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Maurice Ravel's operas L'Heure espagnole (1907/1911) and L'Enfant et les sortilèges (1919–25) are pivotal works in the composer's relatively small œuvre. Emerging from periods shaped by very distinct musical concerns and historical circumstances, these two vastly different works nevertheless share qualities that reveal the heart of Ravel's compositional aesthetic. In this comprehensive study, Emily Kilpatrick unites musical, literary, biographical and cultural perspectives to shed new light on Ravel's operas. In documenting the operas' history, setting them within the cultural canvas of their creation and pursuing diverse strands of analytical and thematic exploration, Kilpatrick reveals crucial aspects of the composer's working life: his approach to creative collaboration, his responsiveness to cultural, aesthetic and musical debate, and the centrality of language and literature in his compositional practice. The first study of its kind, this book is an invaluable resource for students, specialists, opera-goers and devotees of French music.Read more
- Presents previously unpublished or untranslated documentation to form an important contribution to documentary scholarship
- Brings diverse analytical methods to bear on Ravel's compositional practice, with a particular focus upon language and literature and the collaborative process
- Unites biographical, cultural, historical, musical and literary perspectives on Ravel's operas
Reviews & endorsements
"… altogether this is a very fine piece of work, which anyone involved in performing either of Ravel’s operas should read and re-read."
Roger Nichols, BBC Music MagazineSee more reviews
'Scholars, singers, conductors, stage directors, and general readers hoping to gain a deeper understanding of the milieu in which these exquisite small operas were created will find illuminating insights and much to ponder.' Keith E. Clifton, Notes: The Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association
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- Date Published: January 2016
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107118126
- length: 283 pages
- dimensions: 253 x 180 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.73kg
- contains: 11 b/w illus. 2 tables 92 music examples
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Making Operas:
1. Introduction: 'a single act at the Opéra-Comique'
2. Ravel's hour
3. The Child and the impresarios
Part II. Words and Music:
4. The collaborative process
5. Songs into operas
6. 'This archaic attempt at a modern fantasy'
7. A portrait of an opera-ballet
Part III. The Compositional Web:
8. The 'calling cards' of L'Heure espagnole
9. From Carmen to Concepcion
10. The 'big, small world' of L'Enfant et les sortilèges
11. A Child of his time
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