Journal Article

Ravel and ‘The Raven’: The Realisation of an Inherited Aesthetic in <i>Boléro</i>

Michael Lanford

in The Cambridge Quarterly

Published on behalf of Cambridge Quarterly

Volume 40, issue 3, pages 243-265
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 0008-199X
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1471-6836 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/camqtly/bfr022
Ravel and ‘The Raven’: The Realisation of an Inherited Aesthetic in Boléro

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Throughout his life, Maurice Ravel was captivated by the act of creation outlined in Poe's Philosophy of Composition, proclaiming that ‘my teacher in composition was Edgar Allan Poe, because of his analysis of his wonderful poem “The Raven”’. Boléro is widely recognised as one of the most popular orchestral showcases, yet it has defied traditional methods of musical analysis owing to its melodic, harmonic and rhythmic repetitiveness. By defining a ‘Poe aesthetic’ that corresponds to Ravel's documented reflections on the creative process and the aesthetic precepts outlined in Poe's Philosophy of Composition, this paper proposes a new reading of Boléro.

Journal Article.  8290 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature ; Art ; Film ; Music

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