A request to include Debussy and Ravel on this site led me to some soul searching. Why had I dismissed them both as composers whose music – for the most part – I didn’t like? How did I know I didn’t “like” them? – if I only had two single pieces by Debusssy and NOTHING by Ravel. I had gone shopping for more Debussy in the past, but was never moved to buy anything more. All I knew by Ravel was Bolero. Everything further I listened to was a turn off.
(* Ravel on Bolero: He described it as trivial … “A piece for orchestra without music” !!!)
As I expanded my search I noticed that they were often included on the same albums; indicating an ‘affinity’ / connection. They were both referred to as “Impressionist Music” (a term that Debussy didn’t like)
So what did I find to break down my prejudices? (or re-inforce them in the case of Aoua!)
MY SINCERE APOLOGIES to lovers of Debussy and Ravel for this superficial and narrow view of their work.
First to Debussy : Claire de Lune. This was one of the only two pieces I had by Debussy. We all love this one don’t we?!
Here was the other one I had in my library at the time of the request. Gamboling about those hills that are Alive with the Sound of music.
Reverie for oboe and orchestra
Is this a partially succesfull attempt to pull at our heart strings?
Debussy Valse Romantique
Now here’s Ravel: This piece almost broke my Ravel prejudice. Why almost? Because it sounds to me like a Rachmaninoff wannabe! They were exact contemporaries, and to my ear it’s Rachmaninoff on a bad day.
Pavane pour une infante defunte
And I like this piece too … BUT – Ravel mentions St. Saens and Satie as influences and it sounds like he placed one cup of St. Saens and one and a half cups of Satie in a blender and just blended them up.
Piano concerto in G major / adagio assai
YUK! If I wanted to be seduced into a suicidal state, or clinical depression; or encouraged to pull my hair out … I would turn to Yoko Ono, or contemporary cutting edge heavy death-metal.
adminDecember 4, 2009 at 8:05 pm
I think someone is making fun of me here!
TaneyevDecember 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm
So, you don’t like Ravel?. It’s understnable, because his music is dispensable, except all his orchestral production, all his piano pieces and all his chamber works!.
Ben LeetFebruary 25, 2008 at 11:17 pm
Hi Jim, Happy Birthday, 114.
I Liked the pavanne and the andante for left hand. I don’t know of other Ravel. Actually Bolero is good, but long. I want to recommend Gabriel Faure, 1845 to 1924. Sounds like you like the late Romantics, as I do. Go for the piano Nocturne 11, op. 104 (1913) and Nocturne 13, op. 119 (1921)Try the sonates pour violon et piano, op. 13, #1, and op.108, #2. Two violin sonatas. And of course the Requiem is nice, his songs are great. And what happened to Rodrigo? I won’t comment more. Today I went to the Hyderabad Baba web page and listened to some music on it. Very nice, also. We had a party yesterday, it was fun. Let’s shout Avatar Meher Baba seven more times!!!!!!! Yours, Ben.