From his arrival in Fauré’s class until that composer’s death in 1924, Ravel remained on friendly terms with his teacher, even though his music shows barely any Fauréan influence other than a distaste for loquacity. When the journalist Henry Prunières was planning a Fauré number of his Revue musicale
in October 1922, Ravel joined six other pupils in providing a musical homage. Fauré had been let in on the idea and had suggested a theme drawn from his music to Prométhée
, but in the end his pupils chose a musical transliteration of the name Gabriel Fauré: GABDBEE FAGDE. Ravel’s Berceuse
has an unassuming grace worthy of its dedicatee, and its contrasts, as in the early Sonata movement, are largely between modal and chromatic harmonies. The score is marked semplice and the violin is muted throughout.
from notes by Roger Nichols © 2011