Debussy Debussy and Ravel to break down prejudice! Ravel

Debussy and Ravel to break down prejudice!

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.


  • admin
    December 4, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    I think someone is making fun of me here!

  • Taneyev
    December 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 Leet
    February 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.