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

Vivaldi - Introduction

Portrait of Vivaldi holding a violin

Antonio Vivaldi's music is music full of health. The sounds he created hedonistically breathe the smells of the Mediterranean and capture the joy of life, causing constant bursts of spontaneous excitement and aesthetic enjoyment. The hearing of the Italian composer's music reveals a color richness that only a worthy painter could have imagined.

His work, amazing in scope and depth, impresses with the inexhaustible variety of his inspirations, which are obvious even when the composer dares not be freed from the structural commitment of the almighty in the age of tripartite division: allegro, adagio, allegro.

However, this traditional structure did not prevent him from revising the concerto grosso and proposing a new one for the era of the symphonic idiom, from which the personality of the soloist first emerged.

Vivaldi first imagined and applied the concerto with one or more soloists, even defining the most unusual combinations of instruments. If this is not innovation, originality in music, what can it be? Or did a former composer articulate his musical discourse with the descriptive power of his own music?

Long before Antonio Vivaldi challenged our admiration with his wisdom and fruitful imagination, he had provoked the admiration of Johann Sebastian Bach. It is certainly no coincidence that the Great Cantor copied six of Vivaldi's concertos for a keyboard instrument.
 

(George Monemvasitis)



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