Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Fall 2017
Who's Online Now
89 registered members (briangmoore, accordeur, 36251, Alex Hutor, Anita Potter, 24 invisible), 1,829 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#1516536 - 09/16/10 11:32 AM Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte  
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 102
jlynne Offline
Full Member
jlynne  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 102
I'm looking for advice. I'm working on this piece and I can play the notes, but I cannot for the life of me find the "soul" of the music. Apparently, I have zero affinity for dead royalty.

It's not technically all that difficult, but my rendition of it has all the impact of fingernails on a chalkboard. Can anybody suggest some imagery or a backstory line that might help? I just can't find the feel of it. Maybe Ravel is just beyond me or maybe I need french lessons. I definitely need something.


99% of what I produce at the piano is simply noise, but that other 1%? That's music.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1516540 - 09/16/10 11:40 AM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Boynton Beach, FL
How about Ravel's own words on the piece:

"Do not attach more importance to this title than it has. Avoid dramatizations. This is not the funeral mourning for a girl who has just died, but the evocation of a pavane which could have been danced by a small princess in the days of old, at the court of Spain."

Do some research on Pavane dances and I think that will help as well.

This is what Maurice Hinson has to say about it as well:

"This work was given its world premiere by Riccardo Vines on April 5, 1902 and was the first of Ravel's works to achieve real popularity. It is dedicated to the Princess Edmond de Polignac, a painter and wealthy member of French aristocracy... Ravel insisted that his work should be played calmly, in strict time and without any passionate or sentimental rubato. He told one young pianist, n some exasperation, "I have written a pavane for a dead princess, not a dead pavane for a princess." It must have been exaggerated performances like this that called forth Ravel's response: "I hate to have my music interpreted: it suffices merely to play it." But Ravel could not have meant such a statement literally. What he probably meant was that he hated to hear his music over-interpreted.

The pavane was popular in the sixteenth century and during this time it became established as an introductory dance to the galliard. It was intended to express ceremonial dignity. Ravel's version is a piece of great charm and beautiful in its poignancy.

Try to make the accompaniment sound like a lute; this instrument was very important in early Spanish and French music.

Pavane is written in rondo form: A B A C A. A = measures 1-12; B=13-27; A=28-39 (with varied accompaniment); C=40-49 and repeated, 50-59; A=60-72 (varied with more elaborate accompaniment)."

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Morodiene; 09/16/10 11:56 AM.

private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#1516560 - 09/16/10 12:12 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: Morodiene]  
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 102
jlynne Offline
Full Member
jlynne  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 102
OMG!

Quote
"I have written a pavane for a dead princess, not a dead pavane for a princess."


He's talking to me! blush

In addition to making the mistake of emphasizing the idea of a eulogy, I think what I'm missing is the sense of wistful nostalgia for a time and tradition long gone.

Thank you very much Morodiene. I will have another go at it and see if my changed outlook produces better results.


99% of what I produce at the piano is simply noise, but that other 1%? That's music.
#1516578 - 09/16/10 12:34 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: Morodiene]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 191
JGonzalezGUS Offline
Full Member
JGonzalezGUS  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 191
Florida, USA
Great post, Morodiene!


Jose
Kawai K5 - Kawai CA61
(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#1516623 - 09/16/10 01:27 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 207
Butters109 Offline
Full Member
Butters109  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 207
One thing when playing Ravel is to think of the orchestral nature of his music. Take the opening, think of the portato in the bass cleff like a string base, the staccato in the right hand like a cello, and the slurred melody like a flute or violin.

#1516637 - 09/16/10 01:44 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,734
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Orange Soda King  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,734
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Morodiene, that was a very good post! I learned a lot for when I learn this piece someday (which I WILL do).

#1516653 - 09/16/10 01:59 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member
btb  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
Pretoria South Africa
Here is the focus ... the little Princess ... of the large Spanish royalty picture by Velazquez
called Las Maninas (at the Prado) which inspired Ravel to compose ...
Pavane pour une infante defunte ... Pavane for a Dead Princess.
[Linked Image]

Painted in 1656 ... Las Maninas means Maids of Honour.

[Linked Image]

#1516666 - 09/16/10 02:17 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: btb]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by btb
Here is the focus ... the little Princess ... of the large Spanish royalty picture by Velazquez
called Las Maninas (at the Prado) which inspired Ravel to compose ...
Pavane pour une infante defunte ... Pavane for a Dead Princess.
[Linked Image]

Painted in 1656 ... Las Maninas means Maids of Honour.

[Linked Image]


Oh, she's a cutie!

Glad that info helped, everyone.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#1516707 - 09/16/10 03:09 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 102
jlynne Offline
Full Member
jlynne  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 102
YES!

[Linked Image]

She's precocious. I can see the rebellion in her eyes. And Ravel is giving her a huge wink of understanding across the years - acknowledging her frustration. That's where the tension in the music comes from, not from loss and death, but from growth, from the maturity born of acceptance of societal conventions. Ravel uses one of those conventions, the formal, ceremonial pavane, to reassure her that submission is not the same as surrender - that even a caged bird can sing beautifully. The music isn't so much a sad memorial of loss and grief, it is actually more an expression of hope and encouragement.

OK, probably that only makes sense to me, but it does make sense to me, and that's what I needed - a new perspective. Thanks everyone!


99% of what I produce at the piano is simply noise, but that other 1%? That's music.
#1516731 - 09/16/10 03:34 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member
david_a  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
The translation using the word "dead" is not really wrong I guess, but "défunte" is really used in French the way we use "late" in English, as in "the late Mr. Jackson". It would be much less confusing to say "Pavane for a 17th-century princess". Or "Pavane for the late Infanta". Or... something.

As long as nobody both interprets "infante" as baby and "défunte" as dead, we're fine, really. smile


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1516738 - 09/16/10 03:41 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: david_a]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by david_a
The translation using the word "dead" is not really wrong I guess, but "défunte" is really used in French the way we use "late" in English, as in "the late Mr. Jackson". It would be much less confusing to say "Pavane for a 17th-century princess". Or "Pavane for the late Infanta". Or... something.

As long as nobody both interprets "infante" as baby and "défunte" as dead, we're fine, really. smile


Agreed. laugh


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#1516748 - 09/16/10 03:56 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,891
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member
dolce sfogato  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,891
Ravel also seems to have been enticed by the 2 words 'infante défunte' which make a good tonguetwister in french, something quite more superficial than generally thought..


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#1516782 - 09/16/10 04:50 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,651
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member
stores  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,651
Here, as opposed to there
There is actually no evidence linking Ravel's inspiration to said Velazquez painting. Ravel, while discussing the pavane said, " (it)is not a funeral lament for a dead child, but rather an evocation of the pavane that might have been danced by such a little princess as painted by Velazquez."



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

#1516783 - 09/16/10 04:52 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: Morodiene]  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,572
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member
landorrano  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,572
France
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by david_a
The translation using the word "dead" is not really wrong I guess, but "défunte" is really used in French the way we use "late" in English, as in "the late Mr. Jackson". It would be much less confusing to say "Pavane for a 17th-century princess". Or "Pavane for the late Infanta". Or... something.

As long as nobody both interprets "infante" as baby and "défunte" as dead, we're fine, really. smile


Agreed. laugh


Sorry, this isn't correct.

"Défunte" without question draws attention to the fact that the princess is dead. She is not a historical figure, belonging to the past, in some way her death is weighing on the present.

Concerning the Velazquez canvas, I don't believe that it is known that Ravel was inspired by this work. By the way, the word is meninas, not maninas.


#1516789 - 09/16/10 04:57 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member
david_a  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
OK, thanks - that makes sense. I was also pointing out how easy it is for an English speaker to think that infante or infanta means baby (any baby, not a young princess).


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1516798 - 09/16/10 05:14 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,572
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member
landorrano  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,572
France
Well, infante doesn't mean that the princess in question is necessarily a child, or even young.

Today in Spain, the two daughters of the king and the queen are known as the Infanta Cristina and the Infanta Elena, and they are at least 40 years old, I think.


#1516800 - 09/16/10 05:21 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member
david_a  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
Exactly.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1516820 - 09/16/10 06:05 PM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: landorrano]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 6,451
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member
ChopinAddict  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 6,451
Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted by landorrano
Well, infante doesn't mean that the princess in question is necessarily a child, or even young.

Today in Spain, the two daughters of the king and the queen are known as the Infanta Cristina and the Infanta Elena, and they are at least 40 years old, I think.



That is correct.
More information here .

Apparently this is what he said (according to the Wikipedia): Ravel described the piece as "an evocation of a pavane that a little princess might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court".



[Linked Image]

Music is my best friend.


#1516978 - 09/17/10 12:36 AM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member
btb  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
Pretoria South Africa
OK chaps ... here’s the first page (of 4) of Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante defunte ... to help with suggestions for the OP to develop a dance rhythm .

"I can play the notes, but I cannot for the life of me find the 'soul' of the music."

Any thoughts?
[Linked Image]

#1516999 - 09/17/10 01:34 AM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: jlynne]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member
david_a  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
It's easy to let all the eighth notes get in the way, bog you down, etc.

Stop playing the piano for a while, and sing just the melody alone. Completely forget the eighth-note accompaniment, and do not stick to the tempo that you were practicing; just go at the speed that feels comfortable to sing. Pay special attention to the ties.
That's the best I can do...


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1517107 - 09/17/10 08:08 AM Re: Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte [Re: ChopinAddict]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,155
Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
Originally Posted by landorrano
Well, infante doesn't mean that the princess in question is necessarily a child, or even young.

Today in Spain, the two daughters of the king and the queen are known as the Infanta Cristina and the Infanta Elena, and they are at least 40 years old, I think.



That is correct.
More information here .

Apparently this is what he said (according to the Wikipedia): Ravel described the piece as "an evocation of a pavane that a little princess might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court".


Which is what I originally quoted (though not from Wiki).


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Ritmuller Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Pianoteq 6 Recording Function Glitch
by newbert. 11/18/17 04:10 PM
collapsing pinky
by Muove. 11/18/17 02:22 PM
DP-10X built in speakers for Pianoteq?
by Tim1981. 11/18/17 12:16 PM
Kawai K3 damper felts for "F" look different
by Crow Wing. 11/18/17 10:09 AM
Scarlatti Sonata B minor k 27 pedal
by Potlea. 11/18/17 05:46 AM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics182,829
Posts2,672,804
Members89,158
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0