Spanish Rhapsody

I. Prélude %u0155 la nuit. Trčs modéré II. Malague%u0144a. Assez vif II. Habanera. Assez lent et d'un rythme las IV. Feria. Assez animé


The years 1907-1908 represent the first great upswing in Ravel's career as a composer. In this period, he composed his comic opera l'Heure Espagnole, Mother Goose for piano duet, the solo piano cycle Gaspard de la Nuit and the Spanish Rhapsody. At the 1908 premiere of the latter, the audience demanded that the second movement be repeated.


Ravel had a peculiar sensitivity towards Iberian colour, especially the atmosphere of the South with its passionate dances and rhythms, and this propensity first became apparent with elemental force in the Spanish Rhapsody. His susceptibility owes much to his family roots – his mother was Basque – of which he was especially proud.
The Habanera movement was completed as early as 1895, and was one of the movements of his Sites Auriculaires for two pianos.

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