《Piece en forme de Habanera》

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, 1863 (Co)
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Maurice Ravel was one of the most important composers in early 20th century France. The Habanera was a genre of dance music popular in Cuba in the 19th century. The "habanera rhythm" serves as the driving pulse of the music and is usually present in the lower register of the accompaniment throughout a piece. In 1907 Ravel composed Vocalise-étude en forme de Habanera, drawing on the slow, passionate Spanish-style dance as its basis. Filled with exotic sensibilities, the piece was originally composed for piano and bass voice. The ornate, complex musical figures demand exceptional technical virtuosity from the performer. Ravel later rearranged the piece for piano and cello, while retaining the refined virtuosity of the original version. The passionate, vibrant flavor of this piece has resulted in the addition of numerous new versions and adaptations. The cello in this recording was made by French luthier Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (1798-1875) in 1863. Complementing the habanera rhythm in the piano, the French instrument reveals an enchanting melody that adds to the enigmatic allure of the piece, leaving infinite space for the imagination of the audience to take flight.