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 - "Jardins sous la pluie" (Estampes)

Debussy was influenced by Western and Eastern art. His work "Pagodes" from the series Estampes for piano, expresses his admiration for the East.

This work comes from a wider group of pianistic compositions and is one of the three pianistic works of the series "Estampes". It was written in 1903 and presented in Paris in 1904. Once again the theme of water appears in a work by Claude Debussy.

The fast motivo of tones and harmony that submit a view seen through a veil of rain, is typical in Debusy's compositions. 

The central part of the work mentions the melody of an old French children's song. 

Towards the end, the music brightens, submitting the appearance of the sun.