Monday, February 05, 2007

Le Tombeau de Couperin

Maurice Ravel's suite of six pieces for piano, entitled Le Tombeau de Couperin, has held a special place near my heart for many years. The combination of clarity and elegance of the pieces echoes the music of an earlier time. Yet, I find the music exceptionally moving in a elegiac way. Ravel dedicated each piece to the memory of a fallen comrade from World War I. While he did not intend the work to be a specific homage to Francois Couperin, the third section, "Forlane", was modeled on a forlane by Couperin. Originally written for piano (the version that I prefer) it was transcribed for orchestra and mounted as a ballet. One of the true spiritual moments in music.

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