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  • Born: 7 March 1875
  • Died: 28 December 1937
  • French
Maurice Ravel

Our Maurice Ravel Sheet Music is available below. We have 30 songs for Maurice Ravel Piano, Vocal and Guitar Sheet Music and other instruments.

This includes 2 Duets.

Genre: Classical, Supplementary, Post-1900 and Romantic, Indie

Maurice Ravel, French pianist and composer, and known for the subtlety and richness of his music, is of mixed Swiss-Basque descent – Swiss on his father´s side, Basque on his mother´s. Born in Ciboure in the department Pyrenees-Atlantique on 7. March 1875, he was brought up in Paris, where he entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of fourteen (1889-1895). While still a student he published some songs, a “Menuet antique” for piano and the “Pavane pour une infante defunte” (Pavane for a Dead Princess) for piano which established his reputation almost overnight. Altogether he studied music at the conservatory under Gabriel Faure for a remarkable fourteen years. During those years he tried several times to win the prestigious “Prix de Rome”, but to no avail. His failure after three attempts caused a scandal – the works he had admitted were judged as being too advanced by a conservative jury. Liberal musicians and writers supported Ravel, protests were published in the daily papers and as a result the director of the conservatory had to resign. He was replaced by Gabriel Faure with whom Ravel had studied since 1898.

Ravel himself claimed he was influenced by Mozart and Couperin, rather than by Claude Debussy as some critics claimed. But he was also influenced by jazz, Asian music and traditional folk song from across Europe. Not being religious, probably even an atheist, Ravel disliked religious themes of other composers such as Wagner, but preferred to look to mythology for inspiration.

By the time Ravel was thirty he had published a “String Quartet” (1903), the orchestral song-cycle “Sheherazade” (1903) and a “Sonatine” for piano. His 1907 song-cycle “Histoires naturelles » (Natural Histories) was greeted with outcries of plagiarism, but criticism was quickly silenced – his “Rhapsody Espagnole” (1907) was received with critical acclaim. With this symphonic work, the ballet “Daphnis et Chloe” (1912) and the “Bolero” (1927) Ravel reached his musical zenith. His Bolero is probably the most popular orchestral work of the 20th century. He himself considered it to be a trivial work, “a piece for orchestra without music”. Regarding opera, Ravel composed two little masterpieces of wit und fantasy – “L´Heure Espagnole” (1907) and “Lénfant et les sortileges” (1925).
Ravel considered himself as a classicist. He relied on traditional forms and structures to present his new and innovative harmonies. In everything he wrote he was an exquisite artist striving for poignancy and perfection of style.

In 1932 Ravel was involved in an automobile accident that severely undermined his health; his musical output dropped considerably. An operation in 1937 did not restore his health as he had hoped; he died soon afterwards on 28. December 1937.

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