D’un matin de printemps, ILB 5, L. Boulanger
Le tombeau de Couperin, IMR 50 (rev. 1919), M. Ravel
– –
Miroirs - Une barque sur l’océan, IMR 30 (rev. 1906), M. Ravel
La Mer, ICD 50, C. Debussy

1.05 h (w/out intermission)

Program notes Jose Antonio Canton

Written by Lili Boulanger in 1918, D'un matin de printemps is a little symphonic poem  with a masterful style that transmits the fragrance of Spring morning. A subtle sadness impregnates the piece’s different musical lines which recall, with a very powerful instrumentation, the style of Debussy and Ravel.
Le tombeau de Couperin is a suite in six parts for piano composed by Maurice Ravel between 1914 and 1917, four of which were orchestrated in 1919 by the composer. The word "tombeau" (tomb) in the title refers to the musical tributes, either funerary or not, of illustrious personalities during the baroque period. The work was almost entirely composed in 1917 when Ravel was withdrawn from the front lines of combat in WWI because of illness. Each one of the pieces is dedicated to a friend of the musician who died during the war.
In 1905 a series of five pieces for piano was published with the title Miroirs (Mirrors). Each one of these resonant impressionists reflections is dedicated to one of his friends in the literary  and artistic circle known as the Société des Apaches. The apaches usually met at the home of the painter Paul Sordes, to whom Ravel dedicated Une barque sur l'océan (A boat on the ocean), the third piece of the series, in which undulating waves become more powerful, suggesting danger for a boat in the immensity of the ocean.
La Mer was first performed on the 15th of October 1905 as part of the season of the Lamoureux Concert Society Orchestra, conducted with little success by Camille Chevillard. Its three movements respond to a formal, firmly balanced symphonic scheme. The first movement is a slow tempo in B minor that evokes the serenity of the sea just before dawn. The second movement functions like a type of scherzo. It is an allegro of pulverised sonority that reflects the coming and going of the sea and the splashing of its waves, which vanish in a translucent tonality in E minor. The animated and turbulent last movement describes with brilliance and in a rondo-like manner the tumultuous chaos of two antagonistic forces. This work’s sublime sonority is of such magnetism and beauty that it is considered one of the most transcendental creations of the orchestral repertoire of all time.

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