Tout Gai!, original manuscript by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937); traditional Greek text from the island of Chios, French translation by Michel-Dimitri Calvocoressi; No. 5 of Cinq Mélodies populaires grecques.
Memorial Library of Music, MLM 864
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Guest blogger: Kirstin Haag
Maurice Ravel was known as France’s premier living composer in the 1920s and ‘30s, but his early career was not without challenges. By 1900, Ravel had flunked out of his courses at the Conservatoire de Paris not once, but twice. By 1905, he had failed to win the Prix de Rome no less than five times. However, in the wake of these career hardships, Ravel orchestrated several Greek songs that would become some of his most beloved recital pieces.