Canal March

Longing for the Past. Ravel and its models

Josep Colom, piano

Works by A. Borodin, F. Couperin, M. Ravel and F. Chopin.

In reaction to the complete Germanic predominance, during the transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries French composers looked back to their musical past. Rameau and Couperin became sources of inspiration, as reflected in the works of Ravel. A comparative listening to sections of Couperin’s Quatorzième Ordre with parts of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin illustrates the extent to which the updating of French harpsichord music in pianism of the time was deliberate. The video also presents other less obvious comparisons, such as the “Sérénade” and “Rêverie” movements from Borodin’s Petite Suite with A la manière de Borodin, in which Ravel reproduces the Russian composer’s style and technique with a surprising capacity for imitation. The concert concluded with two preludes, one by Chopin and another by Ravel, which reflect another largely unknown dimension of the different sources that inspired the French composer. The explanations given by Josep Colom himself provide the performer’s point of view, thus enriching the concert.

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