Gabriel Fauré: Pavane in f-sharp minor, op.50 (1887)
Maurice Ravel: Pavana of the Sleeping Beauty, with piano for four hands
Maurice Ravel: Ma mère l’oye (1911)
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (OBC)
Zoi Tsokanou, musical direction
Antonio Ruz, stage direction and choreography
Rosa Fillat, pedagogical direction
THE OBC DANCES RAVEL. BASED ON MA MÈRE L’OYE BY MAURICE RAVEL
Get ready to take part in the show from the comfort of your seat here
The OBC presents a journey through the dances of Maurice Ravel. Sleeping Beauty, Thumbelina, Beauty and the Beast, and other characters from Charles Perrault’s fairy tales are the protagonists of the ballet Ma mère l’oye , an open door to a world enchanted and full of magic that serves as a starting point for a choreographic work on stage. Ravel’s sensibility masterfully captures the fantasy universe: free, vivid, colorful dances that show the tenderest face of a composer fascinated by childhood.
The children’s stories that were compiled by Charles Perrault in Les Contes de ma mère l’Oye (The Tales of Mother Goose) deal with universal themes and archetypal figures of the kind that have fuelled the imaginations of different generations. With them, Maurice Ravel built a highly expressive universe of sound. A work originally for piano 4 hands, Ravel later transformed it into a ballet, giving it narrative unity and adding a prelude, a scene and four interludes. The French composer makes the orchestra dance and, with masterly control of the available resources, he conjures up fascinating scenes and situations through music. As he acknowledged in his memoirs, in its creation, he whittled down the music to evoke the poetry of his childhood. Following a prelude and a dance with a spinning wheel (Danse du rouet) that adds an air of magic, the next section opens with a pavane, introducing us to Sleeping Beauty in the forest. This is followed by a conversation and dance between Beauty and the Beast, a stroll by Tom Thumb, a journey to an imaginary East to meet the Empress of the Pagodas and, lastly, an enchanted garden. A marvellous musical rendition is given of each tale, conserving the original flavour without losing the narrative thread at any time. A century later, it is still one of the finest gems of French music of all times and a superb introduction to music for orchestra for all ages.