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

Gioachino Rossini - La Danza (Tarantella Napoletana)

From 1830 to 1835, Gioachino Rossini composed various arias and duets for singers of Parisian society where he used to patronise. These works were published in a volume entitled Soirées Musicales in 1835. La Danza was written in the cheerful style of the 18th century tarantella. 

The orchestra creates the scene with the frenetic rhythm of the Neapolitan tarantella which was extremely popular at the time. The tenor enters holding an impressively long note and then joins wholeheartedly with the spirit of the work. The percussion section, which includes a cymbal, a drum and a triangle, complements the noisy but cheerful music.

The second half of the song features a military feel, with a sharp accompaniment played by the strings. The music breaks out in the chorus with a new glowing tonality and a short orchestral section leads to a second verse and to the final choral.


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