Hyperion Records

Chants populaires
1910; composed for a competition at the Maison du Lied in Moscow

'Ravel: Songs' (CDA67728)
Ravel: Songs
No 2: Chanson française  Janeta ount anirem gardar
No 3: Chanson italienne  M'affaccio la finestra e vedo l'onde
No 4: Chanson hébraïque  Mejerke, main Suhn
No 5: Chanson écossaise  Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon

Chants populaires
In 1910 Ravel entered seven settings for a competition organized by the Maison du Lied in Moscow. The four Chants populaires published the following year were those that won prizes: of the three also-rans, two are lost, while the Chanson écossaise was recovered by the American scholar Arbie Orenstein from a sketch and published in 1975. In the Chanson française Ravel avoids all artiness or sentimentality. The tune and text, collected in the area around Limoges, had been published in 1904 by d’Indy’s Schola Cantorum, one of Ravel’s bêtes noires, so winning a prize with this must have been especially sweet. In the hypnotic rhythms of the Chanson hébraïque we hear that penchant for monotony that runs through all Ravel’s music, while the pathetic inflections of the Chanson italienne give evidence of his admiration for Puccini. Finally, the Chanson écossaise is adorned with discreet bagpipes—possibly Breton binious, since he didn’t visit Scotland until 1911.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2009

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

   English   Français   Deutsch