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

Claude Debussy - The Two Arabesques (Deux arabesques), L. 66

These two works for solo piano were written between 1888 and 1891, when Claude Debussy lived in the colourful Parisian suburb of Montmartre. The exuberant existence of young artists, writers and musicians produced an intense atmosphere, which Debussy glorified by reproducing its unmistakable feeling in his music.

These two pianist works, in E Major and G Major, Debussy was inspired by the decorative style of Islamic art. These are early compositions and as in the case of "Clair de Lune" they are not typical of the composer's mature style. At the same time they are perfect metaphors in the music of the spiral decorations of Islamic art.

I. Arabesque No. 1 in E Major - Andantino con moto

II. Arabesque No. 2 in G Major - Allegretto scherzando