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In June 1905, Ravel told a friend shortly before setting off on a long holiday: “I was terribly busy because of a piece for harp commissioned by the Érard company. I was able to finish it after a fashion, thanks to 8 days of dogged work and three sleepless nights”. But the piece itself shows nothing of the haste in which it was written. In fact, it seems as if Ravel knew how to explore all the musical possibilities of the harp in this brief, but highly striking piece. This septet with its unusual combination of instruments is a further enrichment of Henle’s Urtext editions of Ravel’s chamber music.

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