Ravel's Introduction and Allegro - Friday's Free Ensemble Monterey Download

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The story of Ravel's Introduction and Allegro actually begins with another composer. In 1904 Claude Debussy was commissioned by the Pleyel harp company to write a composition to show off the abilities of its new chromatic harp. This beast was actually two harps in one with the strings crisscrossing in an X pattern. the resulting piece was Debussy's Dances Sacred and Profane. Now there's a title that will drive sales! Not to be outdone, Pleyel's rival, the Erard harp company, commissioned Maurice Ravel to write a composition showing off its' pedal harp. In this battle of the harps the pedal harp won out and is now the version universally played. As a footnote, Debussy, being no dummy, wrote his Dances so that it could be played on either harp, once again boosting sales.

Ravel's Introduction and Allegro is scored for Flute, Clarinet, Harp and string quartet. The Harp Soloist in our March, 2009 performance is Jennifer Cass. In addition to being a conservatory grad on harp, Jennifer is also a mathematician who teaches at Cabrillo College.

A correction - last Wednesday's recording of Milhoud's Creation of the World was not from our 2016 season as I had claimed, but was from our performance in October, 2006. My apologies!

Have a wonderful and safe weekend! - John Anderson