Example Essay

Topics: 20th century, Orchestra, Music Pages: 3 (696 words) Published: September 2, 2013
Composer Biography

Pick a composer who has not been discussed in the course, and research the answers to the following questions.

Composer: _Maurice Ravel________________

Born (year and city): _1875, Ciboure, France__

Died (year and city): __1937, Paris__________

1. With which period or movement is he most commonly associated?

While some scholars argue that Ravel's musical aesthetic was closest to the Impressionism of Claude Debussy, many others say that he developed a musical sensibility all his own. He is considered one of the masters of early twentieth century composition, and is often referred to as the greatest orchestrator of all time.

Since he wrote after the last of the 19th century Romantic masters, he is most commonly associated with the 20th century, or Modern period.

2. In which country (or countries) did he live and write?

Though he did work internationally, Ravel lived for most of his life in Paris, France. His music was central in establishing that city as the new cultural capitol of Western Europe and defining new French music as a reaction against the excesses of 19th century German Romanticism, particularly that of Richard Wagner.

3. What types (genres) of works is this composer famous for?

Ravel composed skillfully in a wide variety of genres, but is remembered primarily for his orchestral works. He avoided the symphonic form throughout his career, but did work in other classical forms, using them as vehicles for his striking new harmonic and orchestrational ideas. His ballet music was and is also well known, as were his deft orchestrations of his own pieces for solo piano. He also contributed a substantial body of chamber music, including many virtuosic works for solo piano.

4. What are some of his most famous works?

The ballet Daphnis et Chloé; the String Quartet in F major; the orchestral suite Mirroirs, La Valse; and his Bolero, one of the most widely performed and recognized melodies of all time,...
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