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

Franz Liszt - Consolations in E Major and D flat Major

Franz List probably took this title from a poem by Lamartine (Une larme, ou Consolation). He composed six such works in 1848, immediately after his installation in Weimar. It was "The Year of the Revolutions" with the political movements that rocked the whole of Europe. Instead, these works are models of romantic tenderness.

In Paris Liszt had read poems by Lamartine with his pupil Caroline de Saint-Cricq, their early liaison interrupted by her parents, but remembered by Liszt over the years. His circle of friends and acquaintances in Paris in the earlier 1830s also included Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve and the year 1830 brought the latter’s publication of his Consolations, a further suggested source for Liszt’s choice of title, both writers reflecting Liszt’s literary interests and associations. Liszt later revised his six Consolations, publishing them in 1850.

Consolations in E Major and D flat Major

Both of these works have almost the same mood - they are quiet, thoughtful and full of romantic magic.The first in E Major, is happier while the second in Db Major is more free and emotional, like Chopin's Nocturnes. It has a similar to the "Liebestraum" accompaniment in the left hand and is also one of Liszt's most popular compositions for solo piano. Its theme is taken from a song by the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Liszt’s patron and at times his pupil.

Consolation in E Major (Andante con moto)

Consolation in D flat Major (Quasi adagio)