Maurice Ravel

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Phaidon, Sep 25, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages
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He is remembered in the United States primarily for the rather banal repetitions of Bolero, but Maurice Ravel wrote a great deal of music more worthy of celebration: ballets like Ma Mere l'Oye (Mother Goose) and Daphnis et Chloe; orchestral and piano works like Pavane pour une Infante Defunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess) and the Rapsodie Espagnole; operas like L'Enfant et les Sortileges (The Child and the Enchantments); and settings of Greek and Jewish songs. British author and critic Gerald Larner offers a well-researched, well-written, accessible biography of Ravel's life and compositions that explores his music and his motivations, a part of the Phaidon Press Limited 20th Century Composers series.

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Maurice Ravel

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Ravel was always sensitive about his diminutive size and the constant comparison of his work to that of Debussy. His compositions were considered dangerously progressive by the musical establishment ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Music critic Gerald Larner was born on March 9, 1963 in Leeds, England. Larner received a B.A. from New College, Oxford, and taught at Manchester University for a couple years before moving into the field of journalism. He joined the Guardian staff in 1962, and in 1965 became the paper's chief Northern music critic in 1965. He has also contributed to Musical Times and The Listener. Larner is the author of Maurice Ravel, a 1996 biography that is part of the Twentieth Century Composers series. Larner also translated Wolf's Der Corregidor into English, and wrote the libretto for John McCabe's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in 1971. In addition, Larner served as the artistic director of the Bowden Festival from 1980 to 1984. Larner lives in Cheshire, England, with his wife, Celia, who is also an author, as well as a translator, book reviewer, and critic. They have two daughters.