RAVEL Maurice (1875-1937).

Lot 240
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RAVEL Maurice (1875-1937).
MUSICAL MANUSCRIPT autographed by "Maurice Ravel", Two Epigrams by Clément Marot, 1899; 8 folio pages including 2 titles (34,7 x 27 cm; bound in blue paper, title-piece on the spine. Two melodies for song and piano, on poems by Clément Marot. D'Anne qui me jecta de la neige : "Anne par jeu me jecta de la neige"... 16 bars, at 7/4 (then 5/4 or 6/4), marked Very slow, the piano to be played with " sourdine ". Signed and dated at the end "Maurice Ravel 10 December 1899". Title and 3 pages. D'Anne playing the espinette : " Lorsque je voy en ordre la brunette jeune, en bon poinct, de la ligne des Dieux "... The accompaniment on the "harpsichord or piano (muted), 23 bars, at 5/4, marked Very light (Ravel added in pencil "and with a precise rhythm"). Dated at the end: "December 1896". Title and 3 pages (on verso of title, pencil sketch of the 1st bar). The manuscript is carefully noted in black ink on paper with the mark H. Lard Esnault Ed. Bellamy Sr Paris at 16 staves. The titles are calligraphed in imitation of printed letters (the 2nd in large capital letters). "The archaism of this new music will be yet another way of reacting against the vagueness of stringy writing. The very choice of such a text warns us above all of fruitful aesthetic orientations since, from the age of twenty-one, Ravel shows himself to be attentive to the long and slow movement of discovery of French baroque and pre-baroque poetry [...] with Marot and the sixteenth century Ravel felt above all confirmed in his aspirations by a language that is fine, enamelled, distancing, and without any languor (it is a question of the vocabulary, not of the feelings expressed), a language whose creation he pursues in music. From the outset, the accompaniment, also intended for harpsichord, asserts a distantly modal archaism which, as discreet as it is restrained, releases a graceful and irresistible rhythm in 5/4, distilling a soft and melodious noise, a kind of unrestrained happiness to which this tictoc-choc gives shape and trajectory. Ravel's irony [...] is manifested here in the way it contradicts our hearing habits, this cheerful babble going so far as to mask a dull C sharp minor key. A masterly treatment of the prosody shows how Ravel knows how to serve a text without being servile to it" (Marcel Marnat).
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