This homage to Ravel, Pavane pour un Génie vivant
, commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of his death. It was written for the Radio France Montpellier Festival of 1987 and carries the subtitle ‘à la mémoire de Maurice Ravel, si présent parmi nous …’. The Pavane
was first performed in Pézenas on July 23 of that year by the Philharmonie de Chambre de Pologne. The conductor was Michel Béroff. Scored for two flutes, one oboe, cor anglais, two clarinets, two bassoons and strings, and prefaced with a quotation from Blaise Pascal (‘Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connait pas’), which epitomises an aspect of Ravel’s creative make-up – that eternally fascinating combination of the fastidious and the passionate. This restrained, evocative piece in 3/4 time makes a brief but finely-wrought epicedium to the master.
from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 2002