Notes on Ravel
OF THOSE composers I most love, Ravel is the single one through whose sound I feel the man himself. The feeling can rise straight from a harmony hit in passing, evoking within a split second the vastly non-abstract realm of Paris before I was born: my heart beats in a salon faubourien during conversation with an artist I never met in a time that is not, and real tears well up for the unknown which is hyperfamiliar. Time and again this happens as I’m seated at the piano playing Ravel or hearing him in a concert hall. No other composer pulls quite the same trick.
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