L’heure Espagnole

https://www.discogs.com/release/11796181-Ravel-Danco-Derenne-Hamel-Rehfuss-Vessieres-LOrchestre-De-La-Suisse-Romande-Ernest-Ansermet-LHeure-E

A delightful opera, short and comical, written by Ravel and premiered in 1911. This recording is from 1953, and later changed into a kind of stereo. The result is not very good. Maybe it is a better idea to listen to this work in another version.

Ravel wrote a lot of music in the Spanish way. Whatever that may mean, but it was very much in vogue around the turn of the century. As opera’s go, this is a very short one: just one act. In it, the story tells about a Spanish clockmaker and his unfaithful wife.

While he is away for a while, his wife invited all kinds of strange men into the house, with the intention of having sex with them. She is not always successful in the endeavour, but they all end up hiding in the clocks. And there they get stuck. This is to show how the Spanish people keep time.

I’m always deceived by the cover: it makes me think this is some kind of chamber music. That might even have been the reason why I bought the record.

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