Joyeux anniversaire, Monsieur Ravel!
An impeccable craftsman, he left behind only eight hours of music from a career of forty years. A master orchestrator, his music rivals the great impressionist painters for sensuous color, while also maintaining the clarity of a well-lit photograph. A man of elegant, cool demeanor, he loved long walks, reading fairy tales, and playing with children. A devoted student of the musical past, he incorporated ragtime, jazz and blues into his works. A man who detested excessive display, his unique personality is imprinted on every precious bar of music, plenty of which is coming up in WFCR’s classical music on Wednesday as we mark the birthday of one of the maîtres of French music, Maurice Ravel. Today's program includes Ma mère l'oye ("Mother Goose") conducted by Pierre Monteux, who premiered such Ravel masterworks as Daphnis et Chloé — which will also turn up in a gorgeous performance from France conducted by Myung-Whun Chung. Later this afternoon, we'll feature Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli's unmatched rendition of the Piano Concerto. And throughout the day, we'll hear four different singers perform Ravel's "Chants populaires" — five exquisite folksong settings in as many different languages.