The French composer Maurice Ravel was born at Ciboure in the Basses Pyrénées on 7 March 1875 and died in his early sixties in Paris on 28 December 1937. As a composer he was a perfectionist but not always perceived as such. His piano writing was markedly individual, especially with texture, and his orchestral scoring enshrined a striking lucidity that emphasised differing degrees of light and shade.
Misleadingly compared to Debussy, his style and ethos is quite different, his music more refined. He is best remembered for his finest works like the ballet Daphnis et Chloe; and best forgotten for his sake is the Bolero.
A selection of M&V articles about Maurice Ravel
CD Spotlight. European Impressionism - Quartets by Ravel, Debussy and Saint-Saëns, heard by Howard Smith. '[Quatuor Modigliani] attack it with some vehemence.'
An Invaluable Book - Gergely Hubai's 'Torn Music: Rejected film scores, a selected history', recommended by Patric Standford
CD Spotlight. Picturesque Allure - Maurice Ravel's orchestral music, heard by Howard Smith. '... gently hypnotic ...'
CD Spotlight. Dazzling Tracks - Dinu Lipatti, heard by Joanne Chang. '... skillfully and brilliantly carried out.'
CD Spotlight. Communicative Aplomb - Joseph Rackers' debut recording, heard by Howard Smith. '"Eureka" moments ... are conspicuous by their absence.'
Ensemble. Informative and Exhilarating - Chamber and instrumental music from China and elsewhere, heard by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Irridescent Colourings - The Debussy Ensemble, enjoyed by Bill Newman. '... beautifully balanced ...'
Ensemble. Finely Judged - Chinese pianist Di Xiao, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Wondrous Music - Cuarteto Casals, heard by Robert Anderson. '... impeccable ensemble, just intonation, a rich variety of tone colours, and a youthful freshness of approach.'
Ensemble. Reaching Out - Mendelssohn, Mozart, Berlioz and Ravel from James Feddeck and the Cleveland Orchestra, heard by Suzanne Torrey
Ensemble. Angels and Demons - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Sagra Musicale Umbra 2012
CD Spotlight. Sensuously Crafted - Songs by Maurice Ravel, heard by Robert Anderson. '... skilled and dedicated artists ...'
Ensemble. The Finest of Them All - The 2012 Hereford Three Choirs Festival, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Delicacy and Clarity - Bill Newman listens to young Chinese pianist Jianing Kong
CD Spotlight. Avowedly Definitive - John McCabe plays his own 'Tenebrae', heard by Howard Smith. '... imbued with anger and monumental in both structure and outlook ...'
Ensemble. Born to Excel - Recent concerts in London, heard by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Most Remarkable - Jamaican pianist Orrett Rhoden, heard by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Thoroughly Enjoyable - Mike Wheeler listens to the Richard Roddis Singers on tour
Ensemble. Very Moving - A recital by Janine Jansen and Itamar Golan, heard by Bill Newman
DVD Spotlight. Beyond Criticism - Paul Galbraith plays Mozart, Bach and Britten, recommended by Howard Smith. '... palpable, near-orchestral grandeur.'
Clarity of Expression - Yasmin Rowe plays for the Keyboard Charitable Trust, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Beautifully Controlled - Mike Wheeler listens to Suk, Dvorák, Ravel and Debussy from the Hallé Orchestra in Nottingham
CD Spotlight. Full-blooded Performance - Music for violin and piano by Ravel and Lekeu, recommended by Robert Anderson. '... the whole recital has rare commitment and power.'
An Outstanding Evening - Bill Newman listens to American pianist Rorianne Schrade
Ensemble. Tremendously Exciting - The Dante Quartet at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Unaffected Restraint - Halida Dinova plays music that tells stories, heard by Howard Smith. '... a mesmerising interpreter ...'
CD Spotlight. Warmly Spontaneous - Ravel songs, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... utter conviction ...'
Ensemble. Musical Outlooks - Bill Newman attends a selection of concerts at London's Wigmore Hall
Ensemble. Unmissable Talents - An array of artists at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Richly Expressive - The Cleveland Orchestra begins its annual South Florida residency, by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. High Standards - Bill Newman listens to various artists at London's Wigmore Hall
CD Spotlight. A Magnificent Celebration - Three Rodrigo guitar concertos, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. 'Alfonso Moreno is a superb protagonist, technically impeccable ...'
New Year Blues - A roundup of recent London concerts by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Vibrant Performance - Two concerts by the Symphony of the Americas, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ideally Matched - Malcolm Troup hears 'the art of the piano reborn' in Syrian pianist Riyad Nicolas
Timings - Breaking Moulds: 1910, by Jennifer Paull
Confidently Entertaining - A recital by John Paul Ekins delights Bill Newman
Ensemble. What does this symphony mean? - Shostakovich's 'Leningrad', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Liquid Finger-work - Mike Wheeler listens to a piano recital by Cordelia Williams
Ensemble. Superb Pianism - A London recital by Julian Jacobson, heard by Robert Anderson
A Golden Treasury - Havergal Brian on European and American music, read by Patric Standford
CD Spotlight. Vocal Colour - Simon Keenlyside sings Schubert, Wolf, Fauré and Ravel, heard by Robert Anderson. '... a wondrous variety ...'
Ensemble. Hugely Satisfying - As New Zealand arts funding strikes a sour note, Howard Smith listens to the Vector Wellington Orchestra
Ensemble. Performance to Cherish - Lawrence Budmen submits a further report from the Tanglewood Festival 2010
CD Spotlight. An Impressive Performance - Michael Ludwig plays music by John Corigliano, heard by Patric Standford. '... should not fail to entertain ...'
CD Spotlight. Glowing Performances - Music by Koechlin and Jongen, recommended by Howard Smith. '... a truly outstanding recital ...'
Ensemble. Great Fun - The Hallé Orchestra ends Nottingham's orchestral season, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. The Real Thing - Spanish music from the Hallé Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Cross Section - Bill Newman comments on some recent concerts at London's Wigmore Hall
Ensemble. A Wide-ranging Discourse - Sinfonia Viva plays Beethoven, Anna Meredith, Nico Muhly, Ravel and Schumann, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Powerful Beauty - Works by Fauré for Cello and Piano, recommended by George Balcombe. '... a profoundly moving sound ...'
Ensemble. Wilfully Distorted - Petrenko conducts the RLPO, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Spectral Atmosphere - Murray McLachlan plays music by Shostakovich and friends, recommended by Howard Smith. '... an outright triumph for the label and for McLachlan.'
Ensemble. A True Dynamo - Lawrence Budmen listens to French conductor Ludovic Morlot, in concert with Jennifer Koh and the New World Symphony
CD Spotlight. Sterling Playing - Wendy Warner's interpretations of Popper and Piatigorsky, heard by Howard Smith. '... sovereign music-making deserving of the highest accolades.'
Ensemble. Compelling Vocal Drama - Lawrence Budmen listens to Measha Brueggergosman and the New World Symphony
World-ranking Pianism - Malcolm Troup marvels anew at the artistry of Julian Jacobson
Ensemble. Crystalline Lightness - A Symphony of the Americas concert, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. Effectively Performed - Music for violin, cello and piano, heard by Howard Smith. '... beautiful, technically accomplished playing ...'
CD Spotlight. Lyric Warmth - Jennifer Larmore sings Barber, Berlioz, Ravel and Britten, recommended by Howard Smith. '... a compelling disc ...'
Ensemble. Brisk Ebullience - Lawrence Budmen sends a second report from this summer's Tanglewood Festival
Ensemble. Alert Playing - A recital for oboe and harp, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Chameleon Virtues - Barenboim conducts Gershwin, Bernstein, Ravel and Wagner, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... the oddest assortment of music.'
Ensemble. Tonal Luxuriance - Lawrence Budmen reports from Tanglewood 2009
Ensemble. The Boys - Bill Newman was at Nettle and Markham's thirtieth anniversary recital
Ensemble. Especially Successful - Gillian Wills reports from the Australian Fesival of Chamber Music
Balancing Act - Beethoven in E flat, with Julian Jacobson and friends
Ensemble. Suite Brolga - Music of David Salisbury at the 2009 Australian Festival of Chamber Music, reported by Malcolm Tattersall
Ensemble. Compelling Performance - Members of Psappha at the Buxton Festival, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Dream-Travelogue of Intoxification - David Wilkins attends a concert at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire
Music for Musicians Only? - The public turns a deaf ear to improvised music. As for classical music, Jan Dahlstedt claims that having abandoned improvisation, classical music entered a sidetrack from which it has never escaped, thus badly stifling creative progress. If he is guilty of heresy or may have a point, read on and judge for yourself.
Ensemble. Exciting Results - A new partnership between Charles Dutoit and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, experienced by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Consistently Refined - Debussy transcriptions, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... these alternatives are never less than striking ...'
Ensemble. A Worthy Feast - Christopher White and Melanie Reinhard at London's Foundling Museum, enjoyed by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Sovereign Horn Territory - Music for horn and orchestra, recommended by Howard Smith. '... stunning breath control and consummate understanding ...'
Ensemble. Beautifully Handled - Haydn, Dvorák and Lawrie Rose from the Iuventus Quartet, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Rousing Performance - Mendelssohn, Ravel, Larsen and Tchaikovsky in South Florida, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. A Skilful Balance - The Icicle Creek Piano Trio, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... rhythmically brisk, considered performances ...'
CD Spotlight. Pride of Place - Piano music by Frank Bridge, praised by Howard Smith. 'A standing ovation for Mark Bebbington ...'
Record Box. Superb Performances - Ursula Oppens plays Elliott Carter, celebrated by Patric Standford
Committed and Tough - Malcolm Troup plays Bloch's Piano Sonata, appreciated by Julian Jacobson
Ensemble. A Real Barnburner - Another report from this summer's Tanglewood Festival, by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Radiant Lyricism - Victoria Grigorieva and Ekaterina Lebedeva play Beethoven and Ravel, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Wonderfully Inventive - Music and dance on the theme of creation, appreciated by Mike Wheeler
Unflagging Energy - Nicola Meecham plays Haydn, Schubert, Ravel, Prokofiev and Gershwin, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Plenty of Atmosphere - A festive concert from the Derby Concert Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Julian Jacobson - No longer one of British music's best-kept secrets! As reported by Malcolm Troup
Musical Adaptability - Down under with the Wellington Orchestra, by Howard Smith
Musical Insight - Two piano recitals in Brisbane, reviewed by Gillian Wills
Record Box. Beautifully Subtle - Cuarteto Casals plays Ravel, Turina and Toldrá, reviewed by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Flying Dutchmen - More from Bantry House, West Cork, Ireland, with Kelly Ferjutz
Ensemble. Companion Pieces - A Ravel / Puccini double bill, reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Wondrous Colours - Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung play Schubert, Ravel and Stravinsky, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Much to Enjoy - A concert by the Philharmonia of the Nations, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Magnificent Performance - More reviews from London's Wigmore Hall, from Bill Newman
Ensemble. A Valentine Extravaganza - Julian Jacobson in the first of his orchestral Valentine Extravaganzas, enjoyed by Malcolm Troup
Ensemble. Tanglewood and Beyond - The sounds of summer in the Berkshires, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Intelligent and Cogent - Julian Jacobson attended the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe's Summer Celebrity Festival
Provocative thoughts, from Patric Standford - Analysis
CD Spotlight. Something for Everyone - A new CD from The 5 Browns, enjoyed by Kelly Ferjutz. '... charming, vivacious, passionate and gorgeously performed.'
Profile. Tête-à-Tête - Bill Newman talks to British pianist Mark Bebbington
Ensemble. Deeply satisfying - A piano recital by Jane Ford, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Dynamic playing - Roberto Abbado strikes fire with the New World Symphony, and Lawrence Budmen was there
Giants? - Alistair Hinton replies to Patric Standford's latest Provocative Thoughts
Ensemble. Utterly gripping - A recital by Fiona McNaught and Daniel Tong, appreciated by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Aesthetic and didactic - Music by Respighi and Mussorgsky, reviewed by George Balcombe. 'Tadaaki Otaka conjures the composer's unique sound ...'
Ensemble. Passion and yearning - Sujeeva Hapugalle gives a piano recital at London's Leighton House, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
Provocations - Alistair Hinton and Chad Wozniak discuss Patric Standford's recent 'Provocative Thoughts'
Ensemble. Roulades of passion - Oleh Krysa and Tatiana Tchekina at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Darkness to light - Malcolm Tattersall is at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music
CD Spotlight. Often ravishing - Music by Debussy, Prokofiev, Britten and Ravel, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... admirably encompassed ...'
Ensemble. A fitting celebration - The BBC National Orchestra of Wales plays Ravel, Hoddinott and Vaughan Williams, reviewed by Rex Harley
Ensemble. Muscular performance - Rex Harley is left breathless listening to violinist Chloë Hanslip
Ensemble. Ravel chestnut - A dazzling arrangement of 'Bolero' for two pianos, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Gypsy fire - Lawrence Budmen is impressed by Ukrainian violinist Vadim Gluzman
Record box. Brittle colour - Heidi Lowy plays Ravel, reviewed by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Perfect realisations - Mei Yi Foo at Steinway Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman