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

Maurice Ravel - Boléro


This dramatic and vivid work called Ravel's Boléro, by Arnold Shore, was painted to honor Ravel's most beloved and best-known composition.

In 1927, dancer Ida Rubinstein ordered Ravel a ballet. The result was Boléro, which was first composed and presented in 1928. The work consists of a tiered crescendo, where the musical variation is based solely on changes in orchestration.

In the ballet, choreographed by the Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, a young gypsy woman begins a slow, sluggish dance. Ecstatic by her movements, the dancers enter the dance one after the other and finally dance together.
Η χορεύτρια Ίντα Ρούμπινστάϊν 
φωτογραφίζεται το έτος 1922.

Boléro caused a great sensation and within two weeks, the composer became world famous.

Accompanied by the snare drum playing the boléro rhythm and the string's pizzicato, a solo flute appears, entering the first part of the dominant melody of the work.

A clarinet repeats the music and follows a bassoon that enters the second half of the theme, which is sluggish and rather sad, but with a distinct jazz feel. The music is repeated by a clarinet of higher tone.

A similar edit of the theme comes back, this time with the rare oboe d'amore, which is tuned lower than the normal oboe and its sound is sweet. The diffuse sound, which resembles a church organ, is the result of many instruments playing the melody in three different toalities.

The number of organs increases as the orchestral escalation begins. A trombone introduces jazz-like gleisandi (slipping up or down in successive notes), while the music gains volume. 

The flow is interrupted by a sudden change of tonality followed by hard beating (very loudly) on the gong and the cymbals that dramatically complete the task.