Ravel-Quartet in F Major (second mvt.) arr. Gerhart (SP)- 4M - Product Information
Ravel String Quartet - Arr. Gerhart
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) is considered to be one of the most prominent French composers of the early 20th century. Ravel's unique and sophisticated sense of musical style and form coupled with his now signature use of tonal language, has established him as the creator of compositions that stand out for their freshness and originality. Much of Ravel's early career (while concurrently a student at the Paris Conservatoire) was centered around his inability to win the coveted music-composition award, the Prix de Rome. The Paris musical establishment repeatedly overlooked Ravel's compositions and his fifth rejection for this prize caused a scandal. Public opinion felt that Ravel had been severely wronged. Music critics publicly supported Ravel which ultimately led to the forced resignation of the head of the Paris Consevatoire, who was then replaced by Gabriel Faure.
Composed when Ravel was 28 years old and about to complete his studies at the Paris Conservatoire, the first movement of this four movement work was composed as his third attempt at the Prix de Rome. Begun in December, 1902 and completed in April, 1903 this work is considered to be his first true masterpiece and the only String Quartet in Ravel's oeuvre. The lively second movement is one that draws upon Ravel's Spanish-Basque heritage. The energetic, complex, pizzicato rhythms inspired by Spanish folk dances juxtapose well with the more lyrical and melodic interlude. Rolls and glissandi create a tonal glimmer that sets the mood for a lush theme originally played by the cello. The movement closes with a recap of the dance theme found at the beginning of the movement. This composition was premiered by the Heyman Quartet on March 5, 1904 and was dedicated to Gabriel Fauré, his composition teacher and mentor at the Paris Conservatoire. Program Notes by Cynthia Gerhart
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