17 August 2006

A musical favourite

I love virtually everything composed by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), with the single exception of his monotonous Boléro, a piece he never expected — or wished — to reach such heights of popularity. One of my perennial favourites is his Tombeau de Couperin, originally written for piano in six movements. Ravel subsequently orchestrated and rearranged four of its movements, leaving out the Fugue and Toccata. Now guitarist Lee Zimmer has arranged three movements for guitar duo. Zimmer and Eric Brenton perform the opening movement, Prélude, here. Anyone with an affection for the guitar and for Ravel's music will applaud. Ravel himself would likely have approved.

Next day: Zimmer and Brenton have now posted the Minuet and Rigaudon from Ravel's Tombeau. The applause at the end of the Rigaudon suggests that the guitarists have taken the order of the movements from the orchestrated version rather than the piano version.

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