Ravel: la valse


A record with at least three well known orchestral works. Two from Ravel, and two from Chabrier. I forgot about Chabrier, but I used to listen to his España a lot when I was young. A good reason to focus on the lesser of the two French impressionists.

Chabrier was born in 1841 as the only son of a lawyer from the Auvergne, central France. His parents didn’t want a musical career for him, so after an education as a lawyer he started late in music. By the time he was forty he was a full time composer.

His work was very influential on later French modernists, like Debussy, Ravel, Milhaud, Poulenc and Satie. But also Stravinsky and Richard Strauss were indebted to Chabrier.

España is a so called orchestral rhapsody. He wrote it after a trip he and his wife took to the country in 1882. It started the French craze for Spanish music at the end of the nineteenth century. Other pieces followed, like Debussy’s Iberia and Ravel’s Rhapsodie espagnole.

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