Tag Archives: Daphnis et Chloe

Ravel – Daphnis et Chloé, Suite n°2 (Seiji Ozawa)

Ravel – Daphnis et Chloé, Suite n°2 (Seiji Ozawa)

Maurice Ravel – Introduction & Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet & String Quartet(1905) : Great compositions/performances|Art by Jean-Léon Gérôme

Maurice Ravel – Introduction & Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet & String Quartet(1905)

Ravel – Daphnis et Chloé, Suite n°2 (Seiji Ozawa),: GREAT COMPOSITIONS/PERFORMANCES

Ravel – Daphnis et Chloé, Suite n°2 (Seiji Ozawa)

Maurice Ravel – Introduction & Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet & String Quartet

Introduction & Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet & string quartet (1905)

Stuttgart Chamber Music Ensemble

The Introduction and Allegro (1905) is one of the few pieces by Ravel that has remained more or less in the shadows — save in the minds of harpists — throughout the last century. While it is certainly not among the composer’s most striking works, it is nevertheless a pleasant enough showpiece that looks forward to the raw sensuality of Daphnis et Chloé while hearkening back with great affection to the music of Chabrier and, especially, Franck. The full title of the work is Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Accompanied by a Quartet of Strings, Flute, and Clarinet. Although it is often conveniently designated a septet, it is really a kind of miniature (10-minute) harp concerto, complete with virtuoso writing and an extended central cadenza for the instrument. Chamber performances of the work, in fact, are few and far between; it is far more frequently heard in the orchestra hall with a full complement of strings. The general simplicity of form and harmony have led some to conclude that the Introduction and Allegro might have originally been composed as a test piece for the Paris Conservatoire; certainly it did not stand out sufficiently in Ravel’s own memory for him to include it in his list of works. 

The brief Très lent introduction presents two themes, the first for the woodwinds in leaping parallel thirds, the second an inverted-arch-shaped gesture sung by the strings in octaves. Presently a shimmering texture of arpeggios and woodwind double-tonguing takes over, inviting the cello to explore another melody before the harp rejoins the lush musical fabric. 

Twenty-six bars into the piece the Allegro commences. Now, as the harp makes an extended solo exploration of the melody presented earlier by the strings, a sonata form begins to take shape. A second, hemiola-ridden theme arrives in the woodwinds, accompanied pizzicato by the strings. The development of this material takes place in the usual fragmentary manner, building to an excited fff climax that breaks away abruptly as the harp assumes center stage with a cadenza. The recapitulation is quite straightforward, and the work ends without extensive fireworks or bombast of any kind. The Introduction and Allegro was first performed in late February 1907. [allmusic.com]

Art by Jean-Léon Gérôme


Fabulous Performances: George Szell conducts Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe: Suite No. 2

George Szell conducts the Cleveland Orchestra


Daphnis et Chloé – Ravel – Dutoit

Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937)

Daphnis et Chloé (1909 – 1912)
Ballet in three parts

Montreál Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Charles Dutoit

From Wikipedia: 

Daphnis et Chloé is a ballet with music by Maurice Ravel. Ravel described it as a “symphonie choréographique” (choreographic symphony). The scenario was adapted by Michel Fokine from an eponymous romance by the Greek writer Longus thought to date from around the 2nd century AD. Scott Goddard published a contemporary commentary that discussed the changes to the story that Fokine made to prepare a workable ballet scenario.[1] The story concerns the love between the goatherd Daphnis and the shepherdess Chloé. The ballet is in one act and three scenes.

Ravel began work on the score in 1909 after a commission from Sergei Diaghilev. It was premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris by his Ballets Russes on June 8, 1912. The orchestra was conducted by Pierre Monteux, thechoreography was by Michel Fokine, and Vaslav Nijinsky and Tamara Karsavina danced the parts of Daphnis and Chloe. Léon Bakst designed the original sets.

File:Bakst Daphnis et Chloë Set Act II 1912.jpg