Maurice Ravel (1875–1937) Le Tombeau de Couperin
Suite d’Orchestre edited by Jean-François Monnard [Due to copyright reasons not available in France!] Duration: 17'
2(picc).2(cor ang).2.2 – 220.127.116.11 – hp– str. (6 db are required)
An homage to François Couperin, but most notably to the French music of the late 18th century. In his multi-layered work Ravel assimilates the events of World War I in a moving and intensely personal way.
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Ravel's multi-layered homage in "Breitkopf Urtext"
In his homage Le Tombeau de Couperin, Ravel is less specifically interested in Couperin than in French music of the late 18th century. In his preface, editor Jean-Francois Monnard explains how Ravel paid a moving and intensely personal tribute to the events of World War I with his multi-layered work. The orchestral version goes back to the original, eponymous piano suite (1914–17). Then, in 1919, the composer selected four pieces from this source, orchestrated them with all of his grace and artistry; the result provides a charming contrast to the pseudo-Baroque musical idiom, and places the pieces in a new and effective sequence. The work quickly gained great popularity immediately after the concertant world premiere, when the three dance movements of the orchestral suite were included in a ballet production.
The underpinnings of Monnard's edition are provided by the most important sources. The preface features a great deal of information on the interpretation and performance history of the work. This is the fifth major Ravel work now available in print from Breitkopf Urtext.