Podcast: Ravel’s treasured time piece – L’heure espagnole

Ravel’s opera L’heure espagnole combines an improbable plot with impeccable melodic charm and orchestral transparency. Raymond Bisha introduces this month’s new recording from Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestre National de Lyon, which is coupled with the last work Ravel composed, the song cycle Don Quichotte à Dulcinée. View album details of Maurice Ravel’s L’Heure espagnole Read More …

Lost in translation?

Music must be the leader among the arts when it comes to what one might call high-quality spin-offs. By that I mean many compositions exist not only in their original version, but also in what might be called…well, what does one call them? We have different words for our industry of remoulding originals—transcriptions, orchestrations, paraphrases, Read More …

Podcast: A fascination with sound – Ravel’s spellbinding works for the stage.

Fantasy, fairy tales and Maurice Ravel’s flair for orchestral colour are all to the fore in this new release of two examples of the composer’s music for the stage—the scores for his opera L’Enfant et les sortilèges and his ballet Ma mère l’Oye. This highly imaginative music, projected through a childlike lens, is instantly attractive Read More …

Playing on one’s name

Many instruments evolved over centuries, their names changing in tandem with their timbre. The lute became the guitar, the viol progressed to the violin and the sackbut got transformed into the trombone. Just occasionally, however, an inventor introduces a brand new kid onto the block and, naturally enough, gives it the family name. The most Read More …