Preface to Dowling Urtext Edition

of Ravel's Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello


(c)1990 Richard Dowling, D.M.A.

All rights strictly reserved.

This essay may not be reproduced or distributed

in any form (printed or electronic)

without permission from the author.







We should always remember that sensitiveness and emotion

 constitute the real content of a work of art.  MAURICE RAVEL[1]



Maurice Ravel's Trio pour piano, violon et violoncelle must be regarded as one of the major works of the piano trio genre in the twentieth century, along with the Shostakovich Trio.[2] Its originality, extended technical requirements, and strength of musical expression have afforded it an important and permanent position in the standard repertoire of the piano trio. It is performed frequently on chamber music recital series around the world and has been professionally recorded by more than a dozen established ensembles.

The first and only true edition of Ravel's Trio pour piano, violon et violoncelle was published by Durand et Cie. of Paris, France in 1915. The autograph manuscript was held by Durand for a number of years, but is now housed in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas. The manuscript of the Trio will be referred to as the "UT Manuscript" throughout this treatise.[3] The manuscript is in excellent condition and is arranged vertically on 27 X 35 centimeter music paper with 24 staves. There is an outer title page and back cover also on music paper, held together on its side by adhesive tape. The title reads Trio/pour piano violon & violoncelle in ink, is underlined as such (no comma between "piano" and "violon"), and is signed by Ravel underneath. A purple ink stamp appears underneath his signature which reads "A. DURAND & FILS, Editeurs/DURAND & Cie./PARIS/4, Place de la Madeleine."

The music itself is 39 pages long, also in ink, and is string bound four times, along with adhesive tape. The title appears again at the top of the first page, this time all on one line, and in the upper left corner there is a water-marked, embossed seal which reads "H. Lardesnault/Ed. Bellamy Sr./PARIS," which is evidently the name of the company that printed the music paper. This mark also appears on several pages of Ravel's other manuscripts. The purple Durand stamp appears again in the lower right corner of the first page. On the last page of music Ravel signed his name and wrote "St. Jean-de-Luz, 3-4 7-8 1914" (meaning April 3rd to August 7th, 1914, dated in traditional European "reverse" fashion).

A 40-page set of "almost complete" sketches for the Trio exists in the private collection of Madame Alexandre Taverne in Switzerland, the current inheritor of the Ravel estate, and a one-page sketch of mm. 25 and 47-48 of the Passacaille (third movement) of the Trio is held in the collection of the Robert Owen Lehman Foundation on deposit at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City.[4] An arrangement of the Trio for piano duet (four hands) by Durand is mentioned in two biographies of Ravel.[5] It was transcribed in 1916 by Ravel's friend, Lucien Garban, the chief proofreader at Durand et Cie. In a letter dated October 8, 1916, Ravel authorized him to make the transcription, but advised, "Don't change the harmonies, at least."[6]

The UT Ransom Center's collection actually contains a large number of Ravel's autograph manuscripts, including Daphnis et ChloŽ (ballet music in two orchestral suites), Gaspard de la Nuit (a three movement suite for piano solo), L'heure espagnole (an opera), Introduction et Allegro (a septet for harp, string quartet, flute and clarinet), Ma mre l'oye (the orchestral version of five children's pieces, originally for piano duet, based on stories by four French children's authors), Rapsodie espagnole (four movements for orchestra), Sonate pour violon et violoncelle (only the last three of the four movements for string duo), and Valses nobles et sentimentales (the orchestral version of the piano solo piece arranged for a ballet called "AdŽla•de, ou le langage des fleurs").

Also included in the collection are various large and small vocal works, such as Chansons madŽcasses (three songs for voice, flute, cello and piano, and also arranged for voice and piano based on poetry of Evariste-DŽsirŽ de Parny), Cinq mŽlodies populaires grecques (five folk songs for voice and piano), Don Quichotte ˆ DulcinŽe (three songs for voice and orchestra or piano), Histoires naturelles (five songs for voice and piano based on text by Jules Renard), Les Grands Vents venus d'outremer (a song for voice and piano based on a poem by Henri de RŽgnier), ShŽhŽrazade (not the little-known 1898 orchestral overture, but the familiar 1903 set of three songs for voice and orchestra), Sur l'herbe (a song for voice and piano based on a poem by Verlaine), Trois Chansons pour chÏur mixte sans accompagnement (three songs for mixed choir "a cappella," based on poems by Ravel), Trois pomes de StŽphane MallarmŽ (three songs for voice and piano, or voice and chamber ensemble of nine players). Also included in the collection are various personal letters and telegrams, and also some assorted memorabilia associated with a Ravel festival in 1930.

Most of the works of Maurice Ravel have been held under copyright protection since they were written. On September 16, 1905 Ravel established his lifelong relationship with Auguste and Jacques Durand music publishers of Paris, France. Their contract stated that Durand had the right of first refusal of any of Ravel's new works and that in return, Ravel would receive payment of 12,000 francs annually (the same amount as Debussy). However, Ravel told his close friend and music critic M. D. Calvocoressi that he only wanted 6,000 francs, "so as not to risk feeling compelled to turn out a greater amount of music."[7] The first work published was his Sonatine in 1905.[8]

The original 1915 Durand edition of the Trio is still being printed and sold today.  As of 1990, it is the only available edition of the work in the United States, its copyright continuing until the end of the year. The 10 X 13 inch full-size score is listed in the Durand catalogue as No. 9346. Durand also publishes a 6 X 8-1/2-inch miniature study score, listed as No. 13,895, which is a duplicate of the full-size score.

Another edition of Ravel's Trio does exist however. It was published by the International Music Company of New York, New York in 1944 and listed in their catalogue as No. 731. Today, the same edition is published as No. 3238. International Music Company is now owned by the Bourne Company Music Publishers of New York, New York. According to International's current Director of Publications, Robert J. Frisby, the International edition is a photo reprint of the Durand edition. The original Durand edition was registered with the United States Copyright Office of the Library of Congress in June 1915 and renewed in March 1946, which was technically three years after the first 28 years of copyright, after which time it should have become public domain. But because of World War II during 1943-1945, Durand was unable to renew its initial copyright in the United States. It was during this period that International Music Company prepared its photocopied Durand edition for sale in the United States. At some point after the war, France made publishers discontinue publishing some works that technically were public domain, but because of the war, could not be renewed. The Ravel Trio is currently in public domain in England and the International edition is sold there.[9] A close examination of the International edition of the Trio reveals that some type of alteration has been introduced on every page of the music, presumably to make it slightly different from the Durand. These "mistakes" are found in the form of changed accidentals, redrawn or omitted articulation markings, and notes that have been changed or misaligned, among others. Consequently, the International edition of the Ravel Trio can be generally discounted as an edition worthy of serious academic consideration.

The actual title of the Trio has caused some confusion for both Durand and International music publishers. The outer covers of the full-size and miniature scores and interior title page of the full-size score printed by Durand have Trio pour violon, violoncelle et piano as the official title, with the violin listed first and the piano last, incorrectly. However, the interior title page of the Durand miniature score is printed in Ravel's original order as Trio pour Piano, Violon et Violoncelle (with capitalizations of the instruments by Durand). The International edition translated the incorrect title as Trio in A minor [sic] for violin, cello, and piano. It is not known why or how the appellation A minor (and sometimes A major) came into use. Besides its use in the title of the International edition, it also appears as part of the title on the covers of several of recordings, and also in many of the biographies of Ravel. The correct ordering of the instruments in the title is important because it shows that Ravel was well-aware of the long-established tradition of trio writing. Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Brahms all titled their trios with the piano preceding the strings. Ravel, being a self-professed "classicist," probably hoped that his trio would gain public acceptance and become part of the standard repertoire, much the same as his string quartet. Thus, his careful choice of the traditional title is significant, but not surprising, when the 150 years of trio composition that had preceded him is considered.

Ravel's contributions to chamber music are important, but limited. For him, a certain style or genre of composition was like a puzzle to be solved only once and never again. Generally, we have one only example of each type of musical genre in which Ravel chose to compose.[10] Consequently, it is surprising to realize how little chamber music he had written before tackling the Trio. He had already composed a great deal of solo piano music and vocal works by 1914, but his small chamber music output included only the Sonate pour piano et violon in one movement (1897, published posthumously), the Quatour ("String Quartet"), the Introduction et Allegro, and the Trois Pomes de StŽphane MallarmŽ (in an arrangement for voice and chamber ensemble). The Trio was written during the summer of 1914 and was his first chamber work in almost ten years since the Introduction et Allegro septet of 1905. He had planned a piano trio for at least six years and had told his friends of his intention to write one.[11]

Immediately prior to his beginning work on the Trio in April 1914, Ravel performed concerts in England in December 1913, orchestrated Schumann's Carnaval and Chopin's Les Sylphides on commission by Nijinsky's ballet troupe for London's Palace Theatre in March 1914, and, also on commission, set two Hebraic melodies, Kaddisch and L'Enigme Žternelle for a soprano in the St. Petersburg opera company in April and May 1914. In June 1914 he was embroiled in a dispute with Diaghilev over cutting out the chorus in a London production of Daphnis et ChloŽ.[12] In addition,  early in 1914 he travelled to Geneva and Lyons to be present at concerts of his works.[13]

Ravel usually found it difficult to pursue composition in Paris because of its unrelenting social life. Consequently, he returned frequently to St. Jean-de-Luz, a small town on the Bay of Biscay in Southwestern France in the Basque country, only a few miles from the Spanish border. Since he was born nearby in Ciboure, a small coastal village close to St. Jean-de-Luz, he felt quite at home in this area even though he was raised in the sophisticated atmosphere of Paris. Living in St. Jean-de-Luz enabled him to work virtually undisturbed.[14] He spent almost every summer there composing, walking, swimming, boating, and visiting with friends.[15]

In 1913, shortly after completion of the Trois Pomes de StŽphane MallarmŽ, Ravel conceived of the idea to compose a piano concerto called Zazpiak Bat that was to reflect folk influences of his birthplace.[16] Zazpiak Bat is Basque for "the Seven are One," which is the motto of the Basque nationalists who wished for the seven Basque provinces of France and Spain to be united into one country.[17] It was already underway when he began work on the Trio. Ravel would have heard a great deal of Basque dance music in the cafŽs of St. Jean-de-Luz in the summers he spent there. He was even familiar with a collection of Basque love songs by Charles Bordes in which one of the numbers, the errefusa ("unsuccessful serenade"), is a perfect example of the typical additive rhythm of 3 + 2 + 3 eighth notes often found in Basque music.[18] The enormous influence of Basque and Spanish dance music and rhythms on Ravel is clearly evident in throughout the majority of his works.[19]

A surviving fragment of the score of Zazpiak Bat reveals that the traditional Basque rhythmic alterations of two and three beats into groups of eight found its way very clearly into the work. When Ravel abandoned Zazpiak Bat in favor of the Trio, he retained the same particular rhythm for the theme of the first movement. The rhythm of the theme of Zazpiak Bat is exactly double the note values of the first theme of the Trio.  (Zazpiak Bat is notated in half, quarter and eighth notes, while the Trio is notated in quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes.)[20] Thus, it is obvious what he meant when he described the opening of the Trio as being "Basque in color."[21] Moreover, Eugene N. Wilson has shown how the exoticism of this Basque first theme extended its influence into the themes of the other movements of the Trio. The rhythmic and/or intervallic arrangement of all four main themes is strikingly similar. The initial whole-step movement is followed by the leap of a fourth or fifth.[22] (See Ex. 1.) This type of thematic transformation is not uncommon in Ravel and reflects another Lisztian influence (c.f., the Quatour, Sonatine, Sonate pour violon et piano, Sonate pour violon et violoncelle, and La Valse, among others).[23]

Example 1












(c) 1915 Durand S.A. Editions Musicales

Editions A.R.I.M.A. and Durand S.A. Editions Musicales

Joint Publication

Used by Permission of the Publisher

Sole Representative U.S.A., Theodore Presser Company

Another inspiration for the first theme of the first movement, ModŽrŽ, seems to have been derived from an early composition. Both with respect to melodic outline and key, the first theme of the Sonate pour piano et violon (1897, opus posthumous) resembles that of the Trio. This one-movement work is also essentially in sonata-allegro form, like the first movement of the Trio. A comparison of the two themes reveals their close similarities. Not only is the melodic outline practically identical, but the character and textural usage of both themes is very closely related. (See Ex. 2.) Thus it is possible that Ravel also recalled the youthful inspiration of this unpublished violin sonata when composing the Trio.[24]

Example 2
































(c) 1975 Editions Salabert S.A.                                      (c) 1915 Durand S.A. Editions Musicales

A.R.I.M.A. Ltd. and S.E.M.U.P.                                        Editions A.R.I.M.A. and Durand S.A.

                                                                                                 Editions Musicales Joint Publication

                                                                                                 Used by Permission of the Publisher

                                                                                                 Sole Representative USA, Theo. Presser Co.

Ravel knew instinctively that writing a piano trio would be a difficult endeavor because of the disparate sonorities of piano and strings.[25] Especially complex would be the incorporation of the particular harmonic and melodic devices of the "new, modern" French music of the early twentieth century into the traditional limitations of a piano trio.[26] Ravel solved this problem by drawing on orchestral qualities from time to time, developing a new style of piano writing distinct from that found in Miroirs, Jeux d'eau, and Gaspard de la nuit, all of which were written before the Trio, and supposedly by taking guidance from Saint-Sa‘ns' Piano Trio in F major, Op. 18. However, direct compositional influence is negligible. Ravel simply had a genuine respect for Saint-Sa‘ns' consistent clarity of writing.[27] For clarity, Ravel often achieves balance between the piano and strings by putting the treble part of the piano line between the string parts, which are spaced two octaves apart.[28] The orchestral effects result from his extensive exploration of the highest and lowest registers of all three instruments, creating the illusion of a sonority larger than that of a trio.[29] Ravel even borrowed from his own orchestration techniques by liberally employing coloristic devices such as trills, tremolos, harmonics, and glissandos throughout the Trio.[30]

According to Roland-Manuel, one of the composer's closest friends:


He produced a finished work, at once severe and impassioned, in which each instrument is clearly outlined to the enhancement of the melody. In the most successful movements, especially the first and the Passacaille, the incompatibility of opposing sonorities is solved with consummate lightness and distinction. The fundamental coherence and purity of conception of the Trio in A [sic] shows a quality of mastery quite different from the frenzied melancholy which with infinitely less sureness of touch animates the Quartet. At the end of his life Ravel once compared the two works by declaring in my presence that without much regret he would exchange the technical knowledge of his mature work for the artless strength revealed in his youthful quartet. Coming from him, it is a somewhat surprising confession. None the less it shows that this little man of steel, so certain of himself and ordinarily so distrustful where "inspiration" was concerned, did not escape a state of mind common to most human beings, that of being aware of mysterious influences which escape all our analyses and without which we are powerless. He felt, nevertheless, that as his industry, which held no traffic with these secret forces, became stabilized and assured, so they lost their power. . . .[31]

A great deal of important information regarding the Trio is contained in Ravel's correspondence with his friends, colleagues, and publisher. In them he relates his thoughts and feelings about the work that normally he would have kept to himself. To his friend and pupil, Maurice Delage he remarked at the outset of composition, "My Trio is finished. I only need the themes for it." This is probably one of his most revealing comments about the work. In it we can get a glimpse into a part of his creative process, which is not unlike Mozart's, a composer whom Ravel idolized. Both composers shared an ability to conceive of the entire structure of a work before writing a single note on paper. Ravel's particular compositional equilibrium between inspiration and craft was well thought out and an indication of his standard of quality.[32] On March 21, 1914 he wrote to Mme HŽlne Casella, a good friend whose husband, the famous Italian pianist Alfredo Casella, would perform in the premire of the Trio the following year. In the letter he describes his work habits in St. Jean-de-Luz at that point, "I am working at the Trio in spite of the cold and stormy weather, rain, and hail." By the end of March 1914, he had completed the first movement, but must have had second thoughts about the Zazpiak Bat since he wrote to Ida Godebski, a close friend in Paris, that he could not stop thinking about the Zazpiak Bat concerto.[33] Up to June 30, 1914, work still was progressing on both pieces side by side, as documented in a letter of that date to Lucien Garban.[34] During most of the month of July, Ravel must have encountered a mental block in compositional creativity, for he wrote to Mme Casella July 21st, "in spite of the fine weather, for the last three weeks the Trio has made no progress, and I'm disgusted with it. Today, however, I have decided that it is not too nauseating . . . and the carburetor is now repaired."[35]

A few days later, Ravel wrote to Jacques Durand, his publisher in Paris,


I am continuing to work, still rather slowly it is true, but more surely. I am counting on the participation of the weather, which is turning fair again. This morning I resumed my nautical pastimes, which, I hope, will stir up inspiration.[36]

Finally, it did return and his work became compulsive, as he explained in a letter to Cipa Godebski, the husband of Ida, on August 3rd, "I have never worked with more insane, more heroic intensity." Then, a few days later to Maurice Delage, "Yes, I am working on the Trio with the sureness and lucidity of a madman."[37] It would seem that Ravel must have had an intense burst of creative inspiration at this point, however the crucial reason for his sudden compulsion was his desire to finish the Trio in order to enlist in the army, France having just entered into World War I on August 2, 1914.[38] But despite the war and patriotism, music was still his first priority. It was very important to him that the Trio be not only of the finest quality, but also considered one of his best works.[39]

To Ravel, volunteering for the service became a single-minded obsession. He felt a great need to serve his country since he had been exempted from regular conscription at age twenty because of poor health. He desperately wished to join his brother, Edouard, and most of his friends who had already enlisted. Now at age thirty-nine, he refused to accept the medical authorities' repeated rejections, resulting from his poor heart and below average weight. By September 1914 he was caring for wounded soldiers in a hospital in St. Jean-de-Luz. He tried to join the Air Force in March 1915 hoping that his light weight would be an advantage, but was again rejected. Finally he did manage to obtain a post in the Thirteenth Artillery Regiment as a truck driver, a position of which he was very proud.[40]

Ravel finished the Trio with a burst of speed in order to volunteer. In a letter to Stravinsky on September 26th he said:


Do let me have news of you. What is happening to you in the middle of all this? Edouard has joined up as a dispatch-rider. I haven't been so lucky; they don't want me, but I am pinning my hopes on the new medical examination that all those who have been rejected will have to pass and on the strings I may be able to pull. . . . The idea that I should be leaving at once made me get through five months' work in five weeks! My Trio is finished. . . .[41] 

He wrote to his publisher Jacques Durand on August 29th to tell him that the Trio was ready and to ask where he should send it. With the events of the time in mind, it is quite amazing that the work was completed in such a polished manner.[42] When he sent the manuscript to Durand it must have been accompanied by a set of specific notes regarding the printing of the proofs and the premire performance. Ravel mentions these notes in three letters written in September 1914. One of the two letters from September 21st is addressed to Mme HŽlne Casella and states,


Alas! Your letter finds me still at St. Jean-de-Luz. The analysis of my Trio, the notes for the correction of the proofs and the performance in case I am absent; all of it is useless. . . .[43]

The other letter, written the same day, is addressed to Claude Roland-Manuel and states,


And I have drawn up a bunch of notes for the correction of the proofs and performance of my Trio, in case of the absence of the composer. . . .[44]

In an extremely important letter from Ravel to Ida Godebski, dated September 8th, Ravel describes more of his work habits and the final version of the Trio, namely the UT manuscript:


Before going to Bayonne [a city north of St. Jean-de-Luz where Ravel tried to enlist for the war] I spent one month working from morning till night, without even taking the time to bathe in the sea. I wanted to finish my Trio, which I have treated as a posthumous work. That does not mean that I have lavished genius on it but that the order of my manuscript and of the notes concerning it would allow anybody else to correct the proofs. It is all useless:  the result will only be another Trio [i.e., different from what he originally intended]. . . .[45]

It is plain from these important words that Ravel knew very well that his publisher and engraver were capable of making mistakes in the printing of his works. No doubt they had done so many times before. Ravel must have known in advance that with a work like the Trio there were going to be problems in having it published. The enormous amount of details, extended instrumental techniques, and unusual types of notation were bound to cause Durand's engravers many problems. And as it turns out, the result was "another Trio." While recuperating in an army hospital during the war, Ravel wrote to Lucien Garban (the chief proofreader at Durand) on October 8, 1916 (almost two years after the Durand edition of the Trio had been published), "I hope that in about two weeks I will be able to surprise you [in Paris] with scalpel in hand and that there will

still be enough time to save some pieces of my poor Trio."[46]

An amusing and revealing anecdote demonstrates how these errors in engraving and typesetting could be overlooked for years. It seems that while on a visit to England in 1928, Ravel gave a lesson on his Sonatine to an English pianist named Gordon Bryan, who said of the encounter:


The Sonatina [sic] for piano was published by Durand in 1905, and up to 1928 two accidentals were still missing in the last movement-bars 13 and 15, where there should be sharps before the D's in the bass. (Note that when the figure returns shortly in another key, the G's are already in the key-signature.) Ravel was disgusted beyond measure when I pointed this out to him and he immediately sat down to write a letter to Messrs. Durand which by now must have burnt a hole in their files. He alluded to this several times later, with a satisfied grin, and it appealed to his sense of humour that he should have to come to England to be told of this horreur.[47]

This new, corrected edition of the work, contains hundreds of major and minor differences found between the UT manuscript and the Durand edition of the Trio. This corrected edition incorporates all of these details. Some of these differences are quite substantial and dramatically affect the performance.

The fact that there are differences raises the inevitable questions of why there are any and how they got there. Did the UT manuscript indeed serve as the basis for the Durand edition, or was there another autograph copy used? Did Ravel proof a first edition and make corrections? Did he approve the changes made to the work? As mentioned in his September letters to HŽlne Casella, Claude Roland-Manuel, and Ida Godebski, Ravel said he wrote out some "notes" concerning the manuscript. It is not known where these notes are or if any of them still exist. There is a possibility that they could be part of the 40 pages of sketches held by Mme Taverne in Switzerland. Perhaps they would hold the key to understanding how and why these differences exist between the UT manuscript and the Durand edition. For now at least, the answers to these questions must be found in Ravel's own thoughts from his letters of 1914, an investigation into the events of the period, and from other information presented in his biographies.

If Ravel were in such a hurry to finish in order to enlist in the army, as he mentioned frequently in his letters, he surely would not have had time to write out another 39-page manuscript. If he did, it certainly would not have been a neat one, and the UT manuscript is eminently well-organized and easy to read. Ravel and Mozart evidently had quite a bit in common in their handwriting and creative process. There are amazingly few strike-outs and only a handful of erasures evident in the score. Ravel did not write out separate parts for the violin and cello as he did in some of his other chamber works.  There simply was not time in the fall of 1914 for such labor.

We know that Ravel did not compose much during the war years. During the six months from September 1914 until March 1915 when he was finally accepted as a truck driver, Ravel composed only three short songs for unaccompanied mixed chorus (Trois Chansons pour chÏur mixte sans accompagnement). The only unfinished works still in progress at that time were sketches for Wien, which eventually became La Valse, and a French suite, which evolved into Le Tombeau de Couperin. His preoccupation with the war and his friends seems to have displaced any desire to compose, for he did not produce any new works after the Trio until 1917.[48] Consequently, it seems highly unlikely that another complete and revised autograph manuscript exists from which the Durand edition could have been engraved. Also doubtful is the possibility that Ravel proofed a first printing for errors. It cannot be ascertained whether or not he attended the premire performance or even coached the performers. He did return to Paris during December 1914 to try to persuade the military authorities there to allow him to enter the Air Force, again to no avail. In a letter dated December 15, 1914 to de Falla and another dated January 2, 1915 to Stravinsky, Ravel does not mention the Trio at all. In fact, all correspondence with friends seems to have subsided until after he was accepted as a truck driver in March 1915, after which time he spoke exclusively of his military duties.

The first performance of the Trio took place at a recital of the SociŽtŽ Musicale IndŽpendante at the Salle Gaveau in Paris on January 28, 1915 and went virtually unnoticed by the public and press. The premire was given by well-known and respected artists of the time, including pianist Alfredo Casella, violinist Gabriel Willaume, and cellist Louis Feuillard.[49] Orenstein mentions that critic Jean Marnold did write "a long and very favorable review" and critic Gaston Carraud "spoke highly of its simplicity and breadth."[50] As mentioned before, it is not known whether Ravel was present at the premire, although it is doubtful since he most certainly would have referred to the performance in some of these letters of the period. He was so preoccupied with passing his medical entrance examination so that he could enlist, that it seems he concentrated on little else. The April 11, 1919 premire of Le Tombeau de Couperin at the SMI was Ravel's first public appearance in Paris following the war.[51]

The SociŽtŽ Musicale IndŽpendante (SMI) was formed as a splinter group from the old SociŽtŽ Nationale de Musique (SNM). The idea of the SMI was to promote "new" music and was conceived by Ravel and his friends. In a letter to Charles Koechlin dated January 16, 1909 he explained the reasons for the breakaway:


Societies, even national, do not escape from the laws of evolution. Only, one is free to withdraw from them. This is what I am doing by sending in my resignation as a member [of SNM]. I presented 3 works of my pupils, of which one was particularly interesting. Like the others, it too was refused. It didn't offer those solid qualities of incoherence and boredom, which the Schola Cantorum baptizes as structure and profundity. . . . I am undertaking to form a new society, more independent, at least in the beginning.  This idea has delighted many people. Would you care to join us?[52]

Gabriel FaurŽ was elected president of the new organization and its debut concert took place April 20, 1910 at the Salle Gaveau. Ravel performed Debussy's D'un cahier d'esquisses and Ma mre l'oye was premiered. SMI rivalled SNM for many years, but eventually became defunct in the late 1930s.[53]

We know that Ravel wrote to Jacques Durand in late August to ask where he should send the Trio manuscript. In addition, it was a common practice of the day for pianists (at SNM concerts at least) to perform from manuscript.[54] Accordingly, it is very possible that the first performers of the work were also its first "editors." The Durand copyright on the Trio is 1915, not 1914, meaning that it most likely was not published until after the January 1915 premire, which lends even more credence to this theory. A preliminary printing was probably used by these performers since there were no separate string parts written out by Ravel. Thus, their rehearsal and performance markings, additions, and deletions could easily have been incorporated into the final Durand edition. It is quite clear from studying the discrepancies between the Durand edition and the UT manuscript that the changes were made by the performers on purpose and by the engraver by mistake. In the string parts for instance, there are numerous bow markings, harmonic and position indications, and fingerings that do not appear in the manuscript. There are also several instances in all the parts where accidentals are missing or misplaced, and where actual notes are printed incorrectly either in their placement on the staff or are simply wrong. These are evidently engraving errors. The engraver was a Mr. J. Guidez in 1915. His name can be seen in small print underneath the bass staff of the piano part in the lower left corner of the last page of the Durand edition.

Ravel's biographers are unanimous in observing the extreme care he gave to all aspects of his works. As Seroff points out, he was "extremely meticulous about every tempo and dynamic marking in his works, a deliberate alteration in a score was a major calamity."[55] Orenstein states that, "Many of Ravel's sketches are similar or even identical to their printed versions. For him, there was but one final product-the one which was as perfect as he could make it."[56] Emile Vuillermoz, a close friend, also relates that, "His passion was to offer the public works which were 'finished,' polished to the ultimate degree."[57] However, in a letter to Nelly Delage in 1925, Ravel mentions his disdain for proofing his published works:


My work? It's a nasty job. I am correcting the proofs of L'enfant et les sortilges. Although reviewed by a lot of people, there remain ten corrections per page.[58]

The Trio contains just about as many errors to be corrected per page as did L'enfant et les sortilges. More than ten years after the publication of the Trio, Ravel was still having trouble at Durand with mistakes in his works. Understandably, "Ravel's battles against errors in notation were incessant, and he continued to make corrections in his scores even after they had been published."[59] In a letter to Jacques Durand on March 23, 1922, Ravel sent a batch of corrections for the second suite of Daphnis et Chlše and the Sonate pour violon et violoncelle as a result of inquiries from performers and conductors. The corrections deal with misplaced string harmonics, incorrect metronome markings, and faulty tempo indications. At the end of the letter Ravel commented about Daphnis, "It's really necessary that I go over this unfortunate score entirely one day."[60]  In another letter to Garban in March 1923 he also mentioned that he was "taking careful note" of errors found in La Valse and Ma Mre l'Oye.[61] Ravel was so busy composing, performing, and travelling that finding time for proofing the editions of his works was virtually impossible, not to mention personally annoying. This may account for the few corrections and emendations that appear every so often in light pencil in the music and margins throughout the UT manuscript. However, these small, infrequent pencilled corrections do not account for the large number of significantly rewritten passages found in the Durand edition. Without doubt, these sections of music have been "recomposed" by musicians knowledgeable enough with composition, and talented enough as performers in order to redistribute the music in a more "playable" fashion.

According to Ravel's close friend and fellow pianist, Louis Aubert, "There was no instrument that Ravel had not studied as thoroughly as was possible, and he pursued this knowledge with the single-mindedness of a man totally possessed by an exclusive passion."[62]  Moreover,


His acute awareness of the expressive potential of each instrument gives high definition to his instrumentation and leads to effects of striking originality. . . . Ravel took a keen interest in instrumental technique; it must, however be admitted that it was a composer's interest in what was even barely possible rather than a performer's interest in what was, in terms of instrument design, natural.[63]

Violinist HŽlne Jourdan-Morhange complained to Ravel while she and a cellist prepared his Sonate pour violon et violoncelle, "It's too complicated. It must be great fun writing such difficult stuff, but no one's going to play it except virtuosos." Ravel responded, "Good! Then I shan't be assassinated by amateurs!" Mme Jourdan-Morhange has also noted that, "In general Ravel found that performers did not read the instructions on his scores carefully enough."[64] And that, "Everything to do with technique interested him and he wanted to know the violin's most extreme capabilities."[65] Orenstein notes that,


. . . his scores indicate a natural extension of each instrument's technical resources and range, careful attention to the linearity of each part, and the seeking out of fresh combinations of timbre.[66]

In other words, Ravel knew exactly what he was asking from his performers when he composed. Whether they were always able to perform his sometimes difficult music is another question entirely. His self-professed compositional motto was, "complex, but not complicated."[67] Even today, Ravel's music still poses formidable challenges for the most talented students and artists.





Real art, I repeat, is not to be recognized by definitions, or revealed by analysis: we sense its manifestations and we feel its presence: it is apprehended in no other way.[68] MAURICE RAVEL



It is not surprising that Ravel dedicated the Trio to his composition teacher AndrŽ GŽdalge, for it was from GŽdalge that he learned or was inspired to treat melody as the prime ingredient in a piece of music. GŽdalge said, "What is important is the melodic line, and this does not vary. Whatever sauce you put around the melody is a matter of taste."[69] Ravel studied privately with him and said of his experience, "I am pleased to acknowledge that I owe to AndrŽ GŽdalge the most valuable elements of my technique."[70]  In a tribute to this great teacher Ravel also commented,


You may not realize everything that GŽdalge meant to me: he taught me to realize the possibilities and structural attempts which may be seen in my earliest works. His teaching was of unusual clarity: with him, one understood immediately that technique is not simply a scholastic abstraction. It is not solely out of friendship that I dedicated the Trio to him: the homage goes directly to the master.[71] 

Understandably, Ravel and GŽdalge shared an intense admiration for Mozart. The precision, clarity, and balance in Mozart's music influenced Ravel greatly, as did the melodic emphasis and expressive qualities.[72] As for Ravel, his distinctive compositional approach is most evident in the unique combination of tonality and modality for his harmony, and in the peculiar diatonicism of his melody that is usually treated in a sequential manner instead of in a motivically derived manner (as in Beethoven). His fondness for combining individual melodic materials that are first presented separately appears early in his works (e.g., Menuet Antique, 1890).[73] As a result of GŽdalge's ideas, many Ravellian melodies are frequently repeated at the same pitch level and are simply "reharmonized" for a different effect rather than being traditionally transposed.[74]

The dedication to GŽdalge does not actually appear in the UT manuscript. This is not unusual, for Ravel also forgot to inscribe the dedication, ˆ la mŽmoire de Claude Debussy at the top of the manuscript of the Sonate pour violon et violoncelle. He wrote a letter to Jacques Durand in 1922 to advise him of this inadvertent omission, so it is likely that a similar request was made in the notes that Ravel drew up for the Trio. The dedication, ˆ AndrŽ GEDALGE, does appear at the top of the first page of the Durand edition.[75]

The compositional style of the Trio reveals that Ravel was reaching for something new in terms of sonority, impact, color, technique, and breadth for not only the piano trio genre, but also for his own compositional expertise. The Trio is completely different from the Quatour that preceded it and was an important experiment in expansion of limits for Ravel. It encompasses at once extreme sensitivity, precision, employment of "traditional" forms, establishment of new textural boundaries, and extension of technical demands on the players. Sometimes the thickness of the music's texture suggests that it might have originally been thought of in orchestral terms and somehow "reduced" for a trio. Perhaps this is a residual influence from the Zaspiak Bat piano concerto that Ravel was sketching at the time.[76]

These aspects of Ravel's compositional procedures, ideals, and limits are the foundation of his personal approach to structure in the Trio. However, the piano trio invites special problematic considerations in its own right, including those of balance and distribution of material among three contrasting and decisively independent instruments. Ravel's knowledge of the traditional trio repertoire and its standard format of presentation evidently provided a guide in the construction of each movement of his own trio. The first and fourth movements of the Trio are modified sonata-allegro forms; the second movement is basically a scherzo and trio; and the third movement is a passacaglia.  Orenstein concisely and accurately describes Ravel's sphere of originality:


Ravel was frequently content to work within traditional structures (A-B-A, Sonata form), filling them with fresh content, together with his predilection for structural subtleties. To the extent that his chamber music bespeaks a classical orientation, it may be said to derive from the work of Mozart, Mendelssohn, FaurŽ, and Saint-Sa‘ns. . . . In sum, the composer's approach to melody, harmony, rhythm, and form indicates a drive for innovation within a solid framework of tradition.[77]

Clearly then, the overall form of the Trio is hardly revolutionary. It is what Ravel does within each "traditional" movement that provokes curiosity.

Comprehensive structural analyses of the Trio have been presented in two doctoral dissertations, George L. McGeary's "A Structural and Interpretive Analysis and Performance of Piano Trios by Haydn, Schubert, and Ravel" (Columbia University, 1973) and Eugene N. Wilson's "Form and Texture in the Chamber Music of Debussy and Ravel" (University of Washington, 1968). A very important structural analysis of the Pantoum movement of the Trio can be found in an article entitled "Ravel's Pantoum" by Brian Newbould.[78] In this detailed study Newbould shows how Ravel ingeniously followed the model of a poetic "pantoum" in composing the movement. It would be useless to reiterate these three analyses here, consequently the following analysis will instead show how the corrections modify and/or clarify important structural explanations given in these scholarly works.

Ravel's music can be so appealing on the surface that we lose sense of even the most common of musical structural "events." This is perhaps how Ravel would have wanted his music appreciated. He delighted in veiling his craft in secrecy. In this regard, Ravel probably owes a great deal to Debussy whose music unfolds in a sequence of juxtaposed, yet connected phrases through repetition, recurrence, and interlock. Debussy pioneered new musical methods of composition through a keen understanding of a sort of stream-of-consciousness approach to listening and experiencing music. However, throughout Ravel's works, this same flowing, moment-to-moment progression is underpinned by a deep commitment to "classical" structure. The listener is thus led along without being aware of the practically rigid architecture of the form employed. Everything seems to evolve naturally out of previous material and grow phrase by phrase. These particular aspects of Ravel's compositional technique make it sometimes difficult to observe and define his works structurally.

The differences between the UT manuscript and the Durand edition include an abundance of misplaced, missing, or unnecessary double bar lines. The true positioning of these double bar lines (or lack thereof) serves as one major resource in the search for the delineation of the purposefully obscured structures of the first, second, and fourth movements of the Trio. However, the Passacaille third movement is a straight-forward arch shape constructed out of eleven eight-measure blocks of music. Corrections to the Durand edition of the Passacaille have no significant bearing on the analysis of this clearly-defined movement, and therefore it will not be addressed in the analysis.

The first movement, ModŽrŽ, and the fourth movement, Final, are both constructed in modified sonata-allegro form. Wilson refers to this form as a "ternary-sonata," in that it is a "non-developmental ternary structure" based on the traditional sonata-allegro form.[79] In these two movements the lines of division between the exposition, development, and recapitulation sections are difficult to assess because of the nature of the music.

In the first movement, ModŽrŽ, the music at Rehearsal Nos. 5, 6, and 7 is practically identical as a result of Ravel's similar textural treatment: the piano begins an elaborated downbeat arpeggiation while the strings hold a single note. Rehearsal Nos. 5 and 6 are preceded by a ritardando or ralenti ("ritard") which also makes them sound alike. Consequently, it is difficult to know exactly where the exposition ends and the development begins. A double bar line should be added between mm. 51 and 52 at Rehearsal No. 6 to reflect Ravel's markings in the UT manuscript. This double bar line delineates the division between the exposition and development exactly, thereby clarifying the aurally obscured structure of the movement.

The first and last movements share a structural approach that was favored by Ravel, namely a "false" or intimated recapitulation. Ravel took great delight in this technique; it is known that he was quite fond of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. In that work at the end of the violin's cadenza, the orchestral recapitulation begins before the soloist has "finished," thus blurring the lines of demarcation. Only in retrospect does one understand what Mendelssohn has done. Ravel employs a similar technique not only in the first and last movements of the Trio, but also in Noctuelles from Miroirs and the first movement of the Sonatine, among others. As Orenstein has noted, "Ravel attached great importance to such details, for no aspect of his craft was too small to be given his fullest attention." This is one of Ravel's "predilections for structural subtleties" mentioned earlier.[80]

The recapitulation of the first movement begins deceptively and ingeniously at Rehearsal No. 8 (m. 68). The first theme is restated, but because of the textural similarities from the development's alternating sequential melodic and arpeggio treatment, the "return" is not fully comprehended until the episodic material from Rehearsal No. 2 (m. 17) is transposed exactly at Rehearsal No. 9 (m. 74). Corrections to this particular portion of the movement further enhance Ravel's desire to mask the division of development and recapitulation. The removal of the (en retenant) indication in m. 67 implies that the au Mouvt. of m. 66 should continue through Rehearsal No. 8 (m. 68), thus effectively linking the two sections. Additionally, the low C-sharp octave in m. 68, which should be played loco (i.e., not 8a.bassa as printed in the Durand edition), connects the development section to the recapitulation more smoothly because of the continuation of the middle bass register. The last D-sharp in the left hand of the piano part of m. 67 naturally leads to the adjacent C-sharp in m. 68. Ravel does not reveal the recapitulation until after it has already been achieved. He purposely confirms it by indicating the 8va octave displacement exclusively on the low B-natural octave found on the downbeat of m. 72, which serves to cease abruptly the arpeggio figuration found in the development and carried over through m. 71 of the recapitulation. The first movement closes much like the manner in which it began. The beginning of the coda at Rehearsal No. 12 (m. 96) duplicates the beginning of the development at Rehearsal No. 6 (m. 52). The fact that Ravel marked the double bar line at Rehearsal No. 6 to delineate the development section also indirectly defines the beginning of the coda because of their shared musical character.

The fourth movement, Final, is perhaps the most orchestral of the four movements and requires the utmost in agility, precision, and stamina from all three players. The time signatures of 5/4 and 7/4, again drawn from traditions of Basque music, alternate during the entire movement.[81] Nichols believes that these signatures reflect "metrical instability,"[82] but in point of fact, the groupings are as ordered and balanced as those of the first movement. For example, from the beginning to Rehearsal No. 1 (m. 7), the 5/4 meter is divided 3 + 2. At Rehearsal No. 1 where the meter changes to 7/4 the grouping is divided 3 + 4. Thus themes 1a and 1b are balanced "long-short" to "short-long." Theme 1b is supposed to be related to 1a and thought of, not as a separate entity, but as a logical continuation of 1a. The double bar line that appears at Rehearsal No. 1 (m. 7) should be deleted. A double bar line at this point erroneously gives the impression that the first six measures are an introduction of some sort, and that themes 1a and 1b are actually independent. With the single bar line reinstated, Ravel's original structural intentions are restored.

The entire movement is also closely related to the first movement in terms of structural organization. It too is essentially in sonata-allegro form and shares a similar recapitulative deception. As in the first movement, the Durand edition's misplaced double bar lines obscure the originally clear-cut division between the exposition and development sections. The double bar line that appears just after Rehearsal No. 4 (m. 31) should be deleted since it is not necessary to separate the second theme from the rest of the exposition[83], nor is it necessary to include it in order to establish the key signature change (c.f., m. 49, Final; mm. 60 and 68, ModŽrŽ). With the double bar line removed at m. 31, the double bar line division at m. 42 is thus warranted and clarifies the beginning of the development section.

Ravel incorporates a very clever false recapitulation over G-sharp and F-sharp pedal tones beginning at Rehearsal No. 9 (m. 73), anticipating the real recapitulation at Rehearsal No. 10 (m. 84) in A major. The double bar line that appears at Rehearsal No. 9 should be removed since it is not originally found in the UT manuscript. However, the double bar line at Rehearsal No. 10 is correct.[84] These adjustments allow for a more accurate assessment of the structure of the movement. Heretofore, the placement of the true recapitulation was subject to purely interpretive speculation, but with these corrections we can positively ascertain Ravel's original intentions.

The second movement had been largely misunderstood or never thoroughly comprehended by Ravel scholars and biographers until Brian Newbould's article, "Ravel's Pantoum" was published in 1975. This Pantoum movement is based on the poetic form of the same name which is said to come from Malay descent. Most of Ravel's biographers point out that both Verlaine and Baudelaire wrote poems based on the "pantoum" form, the most famous of which is Baudelaire's Harmonie du Soir, which Debussy set to music in 1887-89 (the second song of Cinq pomes de Charles Baudelaire for voice and piano). We know that Ravel was a great admirer of Baudelaire, so it is not impossible that this particular poem (and also perhaps Debussy's song) was the influence for the composition.[85] The chief characteristic of a "pantoum" is the duality of themes that are in constant alternation. As a result, two separate, yet related poems are joined together through an even more elaborate system of line rotation. Newbould translates W. Theodor Elwert's concise definition of a "pantoun" [sic] as:


The pantoun [sic], ('forme moins correcte: pantoum') consists of a number of quatrains with isometric lines and alternating rhymes. An essential feature is that the second and fourth lines of each stanza become the first and third of the following stanza; the first line should also return as the last line of the poem. The poem treats two themes of which the one [sic] serves as accompaniment to the other; one idea occupies the first two lines of each stanza, and the other the last two.[86]

Ravel basically incorporates only the distinct double theme feature in this movement and leaves the rhyming scheme alone.[87] Newbould explains Ravel's procedure and his own labelling system for his analysis of the Pantoum:


If all or most features of the pantoum are to be translated into a musical equivalent, then the undertaking must by its very nature present a special challenge to the composer's powers of integration. Two themes are to be developed alternately, in a coherent fashion, but in such a way that the two strands of development may be extricated and reassembled as separate, intelligible entities. Ravel does in fact attempt this, and succeeds well enough to have left most listeners and commentators oblivious of his feat. . . . X [the first thematic idea, mm. 1-12] is staccato, brittle, percussive in its cross-rhythms: Y [the second thematic idea, mm. 13-22] is legato, surging and falling in short breaths.[88]

And as if this one task were not enough, Ravel also constructs the entire procedure within a "classical" scherzo and trio format.

As with the first and fourth movements, the misplacement and lack of double bar lines in the Durand edition of the Pantoum makes proving Newbould's theories difficult.  However, with the original bar lines found in the UT manuscript restored to the score, it becomes clear that Ravel did actually follow the structural outline of the "pantoum" poetic form. Between mm. 12 and 13 there should be a double bar line inserted before the key change. This is perhaps the most important correction to the Durand edition in this movement, since without it, it is impossible to show that Ravel made a concerted effort to distinguish two separate "themes" right from the beginning of the movement. The double bar lines that appear later (at Rehearsal Nos. 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9) do suggest the X and Y thematic alterations, however the absence of the precedent at the end of m. 12 is particularly annoying for it tends to discount Newbould's theory. The reinstatement of this double bar line just before Rehearsal No. 1 thus conclusively proves that Ravel did indeed create individual X and Y themes.

Ravel was extremely careful with his markings throughout the UT manuscript.  Within the trio section of the Pantoum there are five major adjustments necessary to double bar lines. First, at the end of sm. 132/pm. 127 the double bar line should be retained in the string parts and deleted in the piano part.[89] The reason for this apparent divergence is that the fifth occurrence of the X theme ends in sm. 132, while the piano is simultaneously occupied with a totally unrelated trio theme in 4/2 time that requires no structural divisions.[90]

The division between the sixth occurrences of the X  and Y themes in the string parts needs to be indicated by the addition of a double bar line between smm. 164 and 165. The double bar line appears in the string parts only in the UT manuscript, and surprisingly, it is printed in the separate violin and cello parts, thus confirming once again that the UT manuscript was the basis for the Durand edition.

The next important delineation is found at Rehearsal No. 14 (smm. 171-72).  At this point in the trio section, the music is inverted and the strings give up their X and Y alternations to the piano in exchange for the new trio theme. Double bar lines should be added to the string parts between smm. 171 and 172 to indicate the role reversal. No indication of any kind appears in the Durand full score (except for the rehearsal number).  These bar lines are printed however in the separate string parts.

The two measures of 3/4 time in smm. 176 and 177 in the Durand edition have been consolidated into one measure of 3/2 time to conform to the notation in the UT manuscript. Thus, the numbering of string measures of this new edition is one less than that found in the Durand edition. At Rehearsal No. 15 (smm. 177-78/pmm. 153-54) the strings continue the trio theme in dotted quarter notes while the piano begins the seventh occurrence of the Y theme. Therefore, the double bar lines found in the string parts should be removed, since the real end of the trio section is not attained until the end of sm. 193. The piano part's double bar lines however should be retained at Rehearsal No. 15 to mark the beginning of Y7.

The double bar lines in both the string and piano parts between smm. 185-86/pmm. 161-62 should be reduced to single bar lines since no structural delineation is necessary at this point and since the key signature change does not require one either. The same situation is encountered at Rehearsal No. 17, where the double bar line in both the string and piano parts should also be deleted. The key signature change does not necessitate the inclusion of such an indication, and the eighth occurrence of the X theme continues uninterrupted (having transferred from the piano part to the strings at this point).

Two novel techniques bring the movement to a brilliant close. At Rehearsal No. 21 Ravel layers the X and Y themes on top of one another simultaneously (X theme in the piano part; Y theme in the string parts), and then reverses the procedure at Rehearsal No. 22. This combination of themes is also evident in the first movement where he juxtaposes the first and second themes together for climactic effect (c.f. mm. 77-82, ModŽrŽ). The second unusual technique is a direct influence from the "pantoum" poetic form, namely that of the recurrence of the first line of the poem as the last line. Ravel brings back a modified version of the opening as a seven-measure mini-coda in smm. 266-272/pmm. 242-248 thus dutifully completing the last requirement for a traditional "pantoum."[91]

Newbould's outline has been followed in a structural outline of the Pantoum which appears as following this essay. Newbould shows how Ravel links the two separated ideas, X and Y, through pitch connections by step, tertian, or dominant-tonic relations, so that if taken apart, all the X or Y sections could be theoretically connected together and played as separate units.[92] The trio section of the movement (beginning at m. 125) invites a close inspection for its incredibly complex structure that somehow brings together continued X and Y theme alternations, introduction of additional contrasting "trio" material of a different character, different simultaneous time signatures (4/2 and 3/4), and finally, inversion of these two sound blocks between instrument groups halfway through the section. (See Rehearsal No. 14). Ravel's ability to create symmetry out of such completely different textures and melodies and achieve balance between the instrumental forces while continuing to maintain the faade of ease of expression is almost superhuman. The music never sounds complicated, even if it is extremely difficult to execute. Burnett James has commented, "Ravel, true artist that he was, had no pity for the difficulties he set his performers."[93] That music of this complex nature can still retain its elegance and expression without doubt ranks it with the best works of composers of the highest order.




All rights strictly reserved. This essay may not be reproduced or distributed in any form (printed or electronic) without permission from the author.



The poetic structure of a "pantoum" has two distinct features:

rhyme scheme and dual thematic content.














a b c d



a b

c d


b e d f



b e

d f


e g f h



e g

f h








x z y a



x z

y a


Rhyme a must return in the last line,

thus unifying and framing the poem.



Ravel's Pantoum follows the idea of two alternating X and Y themes andnot the interchanging rhyme scheme, all within a traditional scherzo-trio-scherzo format.







































































Trio Section

















































































The symbol "Å" (meaning "approximately"), is required because of the two simultaneous time signatures (3/4 and 4/2) that occur in the trio section of the Pantoum.

The measures of the piano and string parts thus differ in size and numbering.



All rights strictly reserved.

This essay may not be reproduced or distributed in any form (printed or electronic) without permission from the author.


[1] From a lecture given on April 7, 1928 at Rice University, Houston, Texas, published later as "Contemporary Music," Rice Institute Pamphlet 15 (April, 1928), pp. 131-45. Reprinted in its entirety in Long, At the Piano with Ravel, pp. 64-76.


[2] Roger Nichols, Ravel (London:  J. M. Dent and Sons, 1977), p. 92.


[3] Musical examples appearing in the text of this paper that are referred to as "UT manuscript" do not imply facsimile reproduction of the HRHRC's manuscript, but refer to changes transferred manually by the author from that manuscript to the printed score of Durand's edition of the Trio.


[4] Arbie Orenstein, Ravel:  Man and Musician (New York:  Columbia University Press, 1975), pp. xiii, 243-244.


[5] Rollo H. Myers, Ravel:  Life & Works (New York:  Thomas Yoseloff, 1960), p. 185; Pierre Narbaitz, Maurice Ravel:  Un Orfvre Basque (Anglet, France:  C™te Basque:  1975), p. 70.


[6] Orenstein, Maurice Ravel:  Lettres, ƒcrits, Entretiens (Mayenne, France:  Flammarion, 1989), p. 163. [Trans. by present author.]


[7] M. D. Calvocoressi, "When Ravel Composed to Order," Music and Letters 22 (Jan., 1941), p. 59.


[8] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 49.


[9] Telephone interview with Robert J. Frisby, Director of Publications, International Music Company, New York City, February 5, 1990. Personal typed letter received from Robert J. Frisby, February 9, 1990.


[10] Norman Demuth, Ravel (London, 1947; rpt. New York:  Collier Books, 1962), p. 173.


[11] Myers, p. 181.  c.f. Letter to Cipa Godebski dated March 26, 1908 in which Ravel lists a "trio" as part of several compositional projects he was undertaking at the time. In Orenstein, Lettres, pp. 95-96 and 504.


[12] Orenstein, Man and Musician, pp. 68-69.


[13] Myers, p. 48.


[14] Victor I. Seroff, Maurice Ravel (New York:  Henry Holt, 1953), p. 179.


[15] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 70.


[16] Myers, p. 47.


[17] Seroff, p. 180.


[18] H. H. Stuckenschmidt, Maurice Ravel:  Variations on His Life and Work, trans. Samuel R. Rosenbaum (Philadelphia:  Chilton Book Company, 1968), pp. 182-183.


[19] Madge Waterston Hunt, "The Spanish Influence in the Piano Music of Debussy and Ravel," thesis, Southern Methodist University, 1964, pp. 73-108.


[20] Arbie Orenstein, "Some Unpublished Music and Letters by Maurice Ravel," The Music Forum 3 (New York:  Columbia University Press, 1973), pp. 327-328.


[21] Claude Roland-Manuel, "Une Esquisse autobiographique de Maurice Ravel," La Revue Musicale 187 (Paris:  Dec., 1938), p. 22.


[22] Eugene N. Wilson, "Form and Texture in the Chamber Music of Debussy and Ravel," diss., Univ. of Washington, 1968, pp. 68-79.


[23] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 135.


[24] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 144.


[25] Nichols, p. 92.


[26] Stuckenschmidt, p. 150.


[27] Demuth, p. 164.


[28] Nichols, p. 93.


[29] Stuckenschmidt, p. 150.


[30] George L. McGeary, "A Structural and Interpretive Analysis and Performance of Piano Trios by Haydn, Schubert, and Ravel," diss., Columbia Univ., 1973, p. 152.


[31] Claude Roland-Manuel, A la gloire de Ravel (Paris:  Editions de la Nouvelle Revue Critique, 1938); rpt. as Maurice Ravel, trans. Cynthia Jolly (London:  Dennis Dobson, 1947), p. 75.


[32] Stuckenschmidt, p. 149.


[33] Myers, p. 182.


[34] Roland-Manuel, A la gloire de Ravel, p. 75.


[35] Myers, p. 182.


[36] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 207.


[37] Stuckenschmidt, p. 153.


[38] Nichols, p. 92.


[39] Burnett James, Ravel (London:  Omnibus Press, 1987), p. 78.


[40] Orenstein, Man and Musician, pp. 72-73.


[41] Myers, p. 49.


[42] Myers, p. 182.


[43] Jean Roy, comp. and ed., "Lettres de Maurice Ravel ˆ HŽlne Kahn-Casella et ˆ Alfredo Casella," Cahiers Maurice Ravel 1 (Paris:  Fondation Maurice Ravel, 1985), p. 70.  [Trans. by the present author.]


[44] Jean Roy, comp. and ed., Lettres ˆ Roland-Manuel et sa Famille (Quimper, France:  Calligrammes, 1986), pp. 24-25.  [Trans. by the present author.]


[45] Vladimir JankŽlŽvitch, Ravel, trans. Margaret Crosland (New York:  Grove Press Inc., 1959), pp. 177 and 179.


[46] Orenstein, Lettres, p. 163.  [Trans. by the present author.]


[47] Demuth, p. 76.


[48] Demuth, p. 42.


[49] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 233. However, c.f. Seroff, p. 288, Myers, p. 185, and Narbaitz, p. 70 who list Ravel's friend, Georges Enesco as the violinist for the premire.


[50] Jean Marnold, Le Cas Wagner (Paris:  E. Demets, 1918) pp. 63-73; Gaston Carraud, La LibertŽ (Feb. 2, 1915). Both quoted in Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 72.


[51] Orenstein, Man and Musician, pp. 72 and 76.


[52] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 61.


[53] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 62.


[54] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 20.


[55] Seroff, p. 262.


[56] Orenstein, Man and Musician, pp. 209 and 127.


[57] Emile Vuillermoz et al., Maurice Ravel par quelques-uns de ses familiers (Paris:  Editions du Tambourinaire, 1939), p. 160.


[58] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 91.


[59] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 208.


[60] Orenstein, Lettres, pp. 195-96. [Trans. by present author.]


[61] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 208.


[62] Louis Aubert, La Revue Musicale (Dec., 1938), pp. 206-207, as quoted in Roger Nichols, Ravel Remembered (New York:  W. W. Norton & Co., 1987), pp. 10-11.


[63] G. W. Hopkins, "Maurice Ravel," in The New Grove Twentieth-century French Masters (New York:  W. W. Norton & Co., 1986), p. 186.


[64] HŽlne Jourdan-Morhange, Ravel et nous (Geneva:  Editions du Milieu du Monde, 1945), pp. 180, 182-3.


[65] Vuillermoz et al., pp. 163-169.


[66] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 137.


[67] As told to his student, Ralph Vaughan-Williams and quoted in Orenstein, Man and Musician, pp. 120-121.

[68] Maurice Ravel, "Contemporary Music," Rice Institute Pamphlet 15 (April, 1928), p. 142, rpt. in Long, At the Piano with Ravel, p. 74.


[69] Maurice Ravel et al., "Hommages ˆ AndrŽ GŽdalge," La Revue Musicale 5 (March 1, 1926), pp. 255-57.


[70] Roland-Manuel, "Esquisse autobiographique," p. 20.


[71] Ravel et al., "Hommages," p. 255.


[72] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 20.


[73] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 131.


[74] Wilson, p. 25.


[75] Orenstein, Lettres, pp. 195-96.


[76] Roland-Manuel, Maurice Ravel, p. 75.


[77] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 135.


[78] Brian Newbould, "Ravel's Pantoum" Musical Times (March 1975), pp. 228-231. 

[79] Wilson, pp. 21-24.


[80] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 135.


[81] Orenstein, Man and Musician, p. 184.


[82] Nichols, p. 95.


[83] Notice also that there is no corresponding double bar line at the return of the second theme in the recapitulation at Rehearsal No. 12 (m. 101).


[84] A spurious double bar line can be found between mm. 90 and 91 in the Durand edition. It should also be removed, not only because it is not present in the UT manuscript, but also because it does not delineate any important structural feature.


[85] Newbould notes on p. 231 of his article the "valse," "vertige," and "tourner" ideas from Baudelaire's poem directly influenced the composition of Ravel's Pantoum according to Albert Kies, Etudes Baudelairiennes (Louvain:  [n.p.], 1967), p. 99f.


[86] W. Theodor Elwert, TraitŽ de versification franaise (Paris:  [n.p.], 1965), p. 187f; qtd. in Newbould, p. 228.


[87] Newbould does make a weak case for Ravel's adaptation of the alternating rhyme scheme influence in the outline of rests in the string parts at the beginning of the movement and in the relation of the string ostinato to the piano's melody in the trio section, but these examples are so isolated that they do not conclusively prove a concentrated effort on Ravel's part to achieve such a poetic/musical connection throughout the Pantoum.


[88] Newbould, p. 228.


[89] The different simultaneous time signatures at this point in the movement require separate measure numbering systems. Thus, "sm." refers to "string measure number" and "pm." refers to "piano measure number."


[90] See also Rehearsal No. 12 (smm. 144-45) where the double bar line in the string parts occurs in the middle of a measure of the piano part (pm. 132) and therefore cannot be extended into the piano part.


[91] Newbould, p. 230.


[92] Newbould, p. 229.


[93] James, p. 79.