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Realizing Ravel: A Study of the Performing Style of the Composer and his Colleagues


Maurice Ravel's synthesis of traditional Baroque and Classical-era compositional forms with 20th-century harmonic and rhythmic idiom poses unique interpretive challenges to the modern performer. The composer's statements that his music ought not to be "interpreted", but rather simply "played" complicates the matter further. Using Ravel's piano roll recordings of "Sonatine" and the "Valses nobles et sentimentales" as a point of departure, this study focuses on the composer's distinct performing qualities, as well as his interpretive instructions to his most trusted musical collaborators, with the goal of broadening the interpretive range available to performers of Ravel in a manner that pays homage to the the composer's vision, as well as the performing traditions of the early 20th century.

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