This is Ravel‘s “Empress of the Pagodas” played by Christopher Parkening from the great CD: “The Artistry of Christopher Parkening”. Many thanks to ‘Music Publishing Rights Collecting Society‘ for graciously allowing this amazing recording to be shared world wide!
“Ravel originally wrote Ma mère l’oye as a piano duet for the Godebski children, Mimi and Jean, ages 6 and 7. Ravel dedicated this work for four hands to the children (just as he had dedicated an earlier work, Sonatine to their parents). Jeanne Leleu and Geneviève Durony premiered the work.”
“The Green Serpent (a green dragon, known as
Serpentin Vert in French), is a French fairy tale written by Marie Catherine d’Aulnoy, popular in its day and representative of European folklore, that was published in her book New Tales, or Fairies in Fashion (Contes Nouveaux ou Les Fées à la Mode), in 1698. The serpent is representative of a European dragon. His description is: “he has green wings, a many-coloured body, ivory jaws, fiery eyes, and long, bristling hair.”
The Green Dragon is really a handsome king placed under a spell for seven years by Magotine a wicked fairy. In many ways the tale is based on the story of Eros and Psyche, to which the narration pays conscious homage when referring to the “discovery” of the Green Dragon.”