Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ravel's La Valse: Definitely Not Cheesy Music


Like Bolero, it gradually builds, using a distinctive dance rhythm to drive the music forward toward the big finish. But there's nothing erotic about La Valse: it's a phantasmagoria that leaves you winded, and a little bit wounded too. As Ravel put it, a "fantastic and fatal whirling."

Ravel wrote versions for solo and duo pianos, but it's most popular--and most horrifying--as an orchestral  piece.