Maurice Ravel

(1895 - 1963)

Daphnis et Chloé


This work is discussed at length elsewhere, but suffice it to say here that this is the most extended work of Ravel, and generally considered to be his most impressive achievement.  Stravinsky called it “one of the most beautiful products in all of French music”, and all music lovers are entranced by its incredible rhythmic diversity, sensual lyricism, and magical evocation of nature.

The work is also important in that it is the culmination of the first period of Ravel’s output, bringing to ‘perfection’ (his stated aim as a composer) many elements that Ravel had spent years refining: his marked interest in the dance, his keen observations of nature, and especially his innovative orchestral technique.

Here we listen to the very opening of the ballet, which is unfortunately not part of any orchestral suite. A shame, as it is pure magic!