Ravel Remembered

Roger Nichols, Editor
Roger Nichols, Editor W. W. Norton & Company $25 (203p) ISBN 978-0-393-02573-6
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) was an intensely private man who revealed his true character only to intimate friends. Nichols, coauthor of The New Grove 20th Century French Masters, here assembles memoirs written by some of them: Stravinsky, Milhaud, Poulenc, Colette, Cocteau, pianist Marguerite Long, violinist Helene Jourdan-Morhange, among others. We learn little of Ravel's methods of composition, about which he was secretive, but we get to know the man a bit. He could be cold and sarcastic to strangers, but he was an affectionate and loyal friend, a humorous and fanciful companion whose charm, absentmindedness and childlike imagination endeared him to those who gained his trust. Much of the magic one feels in his music comes across in these reminiscences. A chronology of the composer's life and works is included, together with lists of contemporaneous events in history and the arts. Illustrations not seen by PW. (July)
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