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Pavane pour une Infante Défunte
Composer: Ravel, Maurice
Performer(s): Clive Titmuss, Antique Classical Guitar

Length: 5:23

Formats: MP3 (128kbps)
               WAV (uncompressed)

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The style of Ravel, unlike that of Debussy, with whom he is often paired, is far more rooted in the past. Whereas his compatriot absorbed non-European music, with his use of whole-tone scales, Indonesian motifs and pan-diatonic harmony, Ravel refused to abandon the past. Rather, in his most famous piano works, Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, Le Tombeau de Couperin, and Sonatine he even embraced and celebrated history. One of the first successful pieces of his large output is the Pavane, a work intended to evoke the claveçinistes, particularly Chambonnières and Louis Couperin. His study of these great French keyboardist composers led directly to the sensuous harmonies, simple rhythms and carefully wrought phrases of the Pavane. From the viewpoint of the guitarist, the neo-classical style of the work offers an irresistible opportunity to explore it from the historical perspective. It often utilizes the textures familiar to the lute player who has studied the art of intabulation of four-part masses and chansons which were common in the lute literature of the mid-1500's. The piece benefits from the clarity of this particular guitar. The softness of the tenor and bass in relation to its treble becomes an advantage, and the very low action which is possible with the adjustable neck offers relief from the intrinsic awkwardness of the piano writing.

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