Joseph Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937) was a French
composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated
with impressionism along with his elder contemporary
Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the
term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally
regarded as France's greatest living composer.
Born to a music-loving family, Ravel attended France's
premier music college, the Paris Conservatoire; he was
not well regarded by its conservative establishment,
whose biased treatment of him caused a scandal. After
leaving the conservatoire Ravel found his own way as a
composer, developing a style of great clarity,
incorporating elements of baroque, neoclassicism and,
in his later works, jazz. He liked to experiment with
musical form, as in his best-known work, Boléro (1928),
in which repetition takes the place of development. He
made some orchestral arrangements of other composers'
music, of which his 1922 version of Mussorgsky's
Pictures at an Exhibition is the best known.
Miroirs is a suite for solo piano written by French
composer Maurice Ravel between 1904 and 1905. First
performed by Ricardo Viñes in 1906, Miroirs contains
five movements, each dedicated to a fellow member of
the French avant-garde artist group, Les Apaches.
Around 1900, Maurice Ravel joined a group of innovative
young artists, poets, critics, and musicians referred
to as Les Apaches or "hooligans", a term coined by
Ricardo Viñes to refer to his band of "artistic
outcasts". To pay tribute to his fellow artists, Ravel
began composing Miroirs in 1904 and finished it the
following year. It was first published by E. Demets in
1906. Movements 3 and 4 were subsequently orchestrated
by Ravel, while Movement 5 was orchestrated by Percy
Grainger, among others.
La vallée des cloches ("The Valley of Bells") is
movement 5 and is dedicated to Maurice Delage, the
piece evokes the sounds of various bells through its
use of sonorous harmonies.
Although originally written for Piano, I created this
unique Interpretation for Marimba & Strings (2 Violins,
Viola, Cello & Bass).