Maurice Ravel -The Swiss Watchmaker

Maurice Ravel was born on March 7, 1875, in the small fishing village of Ciboure in the Basque region, near the Franco-Spanish border.  His father, Pierre-Joseph, was a Frenchman of Swiss descent. Pierre-Joseph, a distinguished engineer, met and fell in love with his future wife, a young and beautiful Basque, Marie Delouart, at the time she worked on the Spanish railways.  A few months after Maurice's birth, the family moved from Ciboure to Paris. The parents of Maurice Ravel, Pierre-Joseph Ravel and Marie Delouart. Maurice had a happy childhood. The parents encouraged their two children - Edouard was born in 1878 - to follow their vocation. Maurice's inclination was music. He started music lessons at the age of seven.  Unlike the parents of other composers, Pierre-Joseph viewed positively the prospect of a musical career and sent Maurice to the France's most important musical college, the Conservatoire de Paris in 1889. In the same year, the Paris Exhibition brought toget

Handel - Concerto for Organ and Orchestra No.13 in F Major, HWV 295, "The Cuckoo and The Nahtingale"

In this Organ concerto, Handel reproduces the song of the birds that gives his work its famous subtitle. It was one of the few occasions where he used music as a means of imitation.

Like Handel's other Organ concertos, this concerto No.13 was written as music played during the breaks of the acts of the oratories. It was first presented two days after its completion, at the Royal Theatre in London, on April 4, 1739, along with the oratorio Israel in Egypt.

Many of these concertos, including the 13th, had large "ad libitum" sections. In them, the organist spontaneously improvised and the melody simply played the role of guide. Hendel himself was an excellent organist and surprised his listeners with his virtuosity improvisations.

Movements:

- Larghetto

In the first part, Larghetto, the orchestra presents in a brief introduction the expressive theme. The Organt then interprets the same theme with high notes. The orchestra echoes the Organ's interpretation until the first part is completed peacefully.

- Allegro

In the second part, Allegro, the orchestra presents a new, lively melody. The Organ and the orchestra echo each other. The Organ then presents and develops the two descendant notes that mimic the chirping of a cuckoo, interwoven with the cellared trills of a nightingale. The Organ itself interprets the song of the birds, while the orchestra repeats the original theme inserted between the sections of the "cuckoo and the nightingale".

- Organo ad libitum

Improvisation

- Largetto

In the mournful third part, Larghetto, the orchestra first presents the mournful theme, followed by the Organ. Once again the Organ and the orchestra share the same melody, until the Organ completes the third part with a minor chord.

- Allegro

Some slow, simple chords performed by the orchestra introduce the final fourth part, Allegro. The strings interpret a lively, highly toned theme, repeating the Organ and then being re-formulated sequentially by the  Organ and orchestra. Among the interpretations emerge musical phrases that lead to new harmonies. In the end, the melodies return to the main tonality of the concerto in F Major and share the final chord.




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