b. Ciboure, France / March 7, 1875; d. Paris, France / December 28, 1937
In 1922, Ravel heard Hungarian violinist Jelly D’Aranyi in recital. After the concert, she played Gypsy melodies at his request. Intrigued, he decided to pay homage both to her and her music in this fiery composition, Tzigane (the French word for a female gypsy). She gave the première of the original, violin-and-piano version in London during April 1924. Ravel created the even more colorful arrangement with orchestral accompaniment over the following summer. It opens with a long, elaborate unaccompanied violin solo. The orchestra then enters quietly, ushering in a dashing, kaleidoscopic segment overflowing with virtuoso fireworks.
Program Notes by Don Anderson © 2018