An Introduction to... RAVEL: Boléro and Ma Mere l'oye
Author and narrator: Jeremy Siepmann
2 CDs, including the complete work
The famous Boléro and the enchanting Mother Goose Suite give us Ravel the orchestral sorcerer at the peak of his unsurpassed powers. From the fierce vitality of sun-baked Spain to the most poignant evocations of childhood and innocence, he captures the immediacy of experience as we feel it. Yet he saw himself as an artisan, not an artist, and a discoverer rather than a composer. Behind every work was a craftsman of astonishing skill - so astonishing that we can examine the artistic workshop in minute detail without dispelling any of the magic.
'Boléro is the most formula-ridden, deliberately repetitious piece of music ever to enter the mainstream concert repertoire,' says Jeremy Siepmann. Ravel himself regarded it as an experiment in form - yet it has proved one of the most popular and seemingly spontaneous works in all classical music. In his informative manner, Siepmann explains, 'Ravel seems to put all his cards on the table right at the outset... but like all top-class magicians... he had endless surprises up his sleeve.' With the surprises revealed, the spotlight put also on the enchanting Mother Goose Suite, and Ravel's fascinating life and behaviour related in the accompanying booklet, this is a compelling recording.