“No, this is not going to be what you think: you will not find La Marseillaise in it, but instead you will find a Forlane and a Gigue; no Tango either”. Those were the words of Maurice Ravel on 1 October 1914, writing to Roland Manuel about his last piano composition, Le Tombeau de Couperin. This six-movement suite is dedicated both to Franois Couperin and to Ravel s friends who had been killed in World War I.
In this work, old dance forms are restored to life, and the music is characterized by grace, charm, order, and moderation. The unusual movement is the Fugue, a form which is seldom found in earlier suites. The two framing movements – Prlude and Toccata – evoke the harpsichord technique of the 18th century. In the Forlane, the melodic leaps and strange chords catch ones attention, in the central part of the Rigaudon the rustic melody provides a contrast with the cheerful main section…..
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