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

Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467


"The Concert" by the French painter Nicolas Lancret reflects the popularity of concerts in the 18th century.

Mozart wrote his pianistic compositions for himself and his students. He composed three piano concertos in 1785, including this one, which he presented in Vienna in March of that year.

Piano concertos were apparently Mozart's greatest contribution to instrumental music. It was the style and form of the concertos that the composers - like Beethoven - imitated and emulated in their work. The popularity of the concerto in the 19th century owes much to Mozart's latest works.


IAllegro maestoso

Allegro maestoso's inaugural string-playing music resembles a march, while the entrance of the two woodwinds adds a sense of military band. The piano appears discreetly, at first it does not take on a soloist role but merely contributes to the sound of the orchestra. The first melody of the piano appears soon and acquires a guiding character.

The piano announces a new theme - oddly reminiscent of the original part of the Symphony No. 40. This is contrasted with a brighter music - an extremely attractive piano melody - before the theme of the march is heard again. At this point a final new theme is expanding and developing. Throughout the first movement, the piano is constantly busy, with the soloist's music almost always prominent. An elaborate cadenza leads to the final orchestral section.

II. Andante

The slow Andante is obviously one of the composer's best known - it is also one of his most beautiful. Strings announce the serene original theme. Accompanying deep strings provide the harmonious substrate with kindly repetitive notes. High strings play with surdina, ensuring the softest orchestral "color". The piano repeats the music, accompanied by the string pizzicatto. A second and later a third theme is introduced, before the music returns to the original melody.

III. Allegro assai

With a brief, imposing introduction begins the Allegro assai. The piano suggests its own comment on the theme before the orchestra introduces new material. Throughout the orchestra and piano part they share with each other the important part of the music, while the soloist decorates with scales and grabbings when the orchestra plays the melody. The theme of the introduction is often heard and with it the work ends.