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Maurice Ravel: "The only love affair I have ever had was with music!"

"Dobbiamo sempre ricordare che la sensibilità e l'emozione costituiscono il vero contenuto di un'opera d'arte".
"Music, I feel, must be emotional first and intellectual second".

"We should always remember that sensitiveness and emotion constitute the real content of a work of art".

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec | Spanish Dancer | Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

"The only love affair I have ever had was with music".
"L'unica storia d'amore che abbia mai avuto è stata con la musica".

"I did my work slowly, drop by drop. I tore it out of me by pieces".
"You might lose your spontaneity and, instead of composing first-rate Gershwin, end up with second rate Ravel".

"La musica, credo, deve essere prima emotiva e poi intellettuale".

Wilhelm Gause | Court ball in Vienna, 1900 | Vienna Museum

"Ho svolto il mio lavoro lentamente, goccia a goccia. L'ho strappato via da me a pezzi".

"Potresti perdere la tua spontaneità e, invece di comporre Gershwin di prim'ordine, finire con Ravel di second'ordine".

"Musicista, creatore o dilettante che sia, vuol dire una creatura sensibile al ritmo, alla melodia, all'atmosfera suscitata dai suoni. Fremere per la fusione di due accordi come quando si avverte il rapporto di due tonalità di colore".

Maurice Ravel (7 March 1875 - 28 December 1937) was a French composer, pianist and conductor.
He is often associated with Impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term.
In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer.

A slow and painstaking worker, Ravel composed fewer pieces than many of his contemporaries.

Among his works to enter the repertoire are pieces for piano, chamber music, two piano concertos, ballet music, two operas and eight song cycles; he wrote no symphonies or church music.
Many of his works exist in two versions: first, a piano score and later an orchestration.
Some of his piano music, such as Gaspard de la nuit (1908), is exceptionally difficult to play, and his complex orchestral works such as Daphnis et Chloé (1912) require skilful balance in performance.

Luc-Albert Moreau | Portrait de Maurice Ravel au balcon du Belvédère

Maurice Ravel portrait, 1926 by Scott Vera Prasilova

Maurice Ravel, 1925 | Bibliotheque Nationale de France

Wilhelm Gause | Court ball in Vienna, 1900 (detail) | Vienna Museum

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec | Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in "Chilpéric", 1895-1896 | National Gallery of Art Washington, DC

Camille Claudel | La Valse, 1891