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“Ravel Day” coming to BBC Radio 3

I predict that Maurice Ravel lovers are going to flock to BBC 3 Radio on Friday, when the service will roll out a full 24 hours of the French composer’s works. “Ravel day” will start at 6:30 AM with a drive time introduction to his genius (heads up: presenter Petroc Trelawny will be taking e-mail requests). Then at 9 AM presenter Sarah Walker will curate my favorite Ravel piece, the String Quartet.

Then at noon listeners will get a sampling of Ravel’s works for voice. Singer Sarah Mouriz and the Nash Ensemble will perform at Wigmore Hall in London (I still have an old recording somewhere of Gerard Souzay singing Ravel songs).

Perhaps the highlight of the day will take place at 6:30 PM, when pianists Pascal and Amy Roge will perform Ravel’s pieces for piano duet and two pianos. A “Ravel soiree” will follow, hosted by presenters Tom Service and Sara Mohr-Pietsch.

BBC 3 has posted lots of great Ravel related performance and discussion clips on its website. Top left you see Ravel biographer Roger Nichols playing Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess on the composer’s own piano. Nichols notes that Ravel listened to a pianist playing the piece in the 1930s and objected to the slowness of the rendition. “Young man,” he chided, “it’s the Princess who died, not the Pavane.”

On the right a BBC 3 clip of another of my favorite Ravel compositions, The Mother Goose Suite, performed by the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra.

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2 Responses to “Ravel Day” coming to BBC Radio 3

  1. Brad Hill March 6, 2014 at 4:36 am #

    I’m not sure Ravel wrote 24 hours of music. Still, this is great.

    • Matthew Lasar March 6, 2014 at 5:16 am #

      I think that Bolero is at least 18 hours long (or at least it has always felt that way to me).

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