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

Robert Schumann - Introduction

In the case of Robert Schumann, the proximity of genius to madness is confirmed. From his father he had inherited a troubled psyche, which was extended by various unpleasant episodes of his life, culminating in his reckless act, after which he realized that he would never become the great virtuoso pianist he dreamed of. So he easily crossed the dividing line and dived into worlds where logic oscillated from existence to non-existence.

His youthful love for the piano filtered by his inspiration, came to fruition with some pianist masterpieces. By the time he was 30, only the piano enjoyed the favor of his fertile imagination.

When his love found a human bright object of desire, Clara Wieck wanted to sing his love for her. He composed beautiful song cycles, enriching with precious mosaics the art that Franz Schubert had brought out.

With the encouragement and support of his life partner, he tested his creative skills in other aspects of music, such as symphonic and chamber music. He completed works exquisitely in every kind of music he dealt with. His imagination, sometimes beseed by the calmness of Eusebius, sometimes by the romantic passion of Florestan, lured him into quests between dream and reality.

In music these quests yielded works full of lyricism, kindness, sensitivity but also passion, dynamism, vitality. In life they attributed the early passage to the infinity of eternity.

(George Monemvasitis)