The origins of the music are as a piano piece composed in 1899 when Ravel was studying with Fauré. It exists in several arrangements and was popularised as a piano piece by the Spanish pianist Ricardo Viñes. Players should be aiming for both legato and beauty of tone in their playing. The music editor suggests an initial tempo of 63 quarter note beats to the minute in the first instance and as confidence and competence grows possibly slowing the tempo. The aspect of performing music at the correct tempo in a slow piece is quite challenging for players. This is quite a full arrangement for the solo player. However because of its sectional structure A (12 bars) B (7 bars) B’ (8 bars) A’ (12 bars) C (10 bars )C’ (10 bars) A’’ (13 bars). It becomes an easy matter to shorten the arrangement by simply omitting some of the repeating sections.
Players may wish to advise the PlentyMusic Office of some fine tuning that the arrangement requires in respect to its playability. If there is a need for some cut down or shortened accompaniments please again advise the PlentyMusic Office and these will be made available. There are several arrangements of this music in existence and the intention of this one has been to keep as close to the original piano score as possible. This arrangement for English horn with piano accompaniment is in the key of G. The pavane has its origins as an Italian 16th century slow stately dance. Referencing past musical forms in their works became popular among Ravel’s contemporaries including Debussy. The cue sized decorative notes can be omitted whilst the piece in the early stages of studying the piece. The realisation plays back at a tempo of 60 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute and there are opportunities for give and take in the tempo particularly at the end of phrases. This is an ambitious and complete arrangement Ravel’s piece. Time does need to be spent understanding the musical texture and the lines of music. The composer’s own language has also been retained in the language used in the score The chromatic sections require careful study in terms of the notes to be played whilst the phrase endings often explore parallel movement in a characteristic sweep. Ravel frequently avoids the use of thirds in final chords of sections. The barring that is in place is to help the player to make the rhythmic connections in the movement. Performers should listen to a number of different performances played by different instruments to get a good overview of how the music can be best performed. The bold ending is a very characteristic feature of the original piano score and the suggestion is that it should be retained. The use of the piano sustaining pedal markings are not indicated in the score but its use is required. There are three piano accompaniments available at tempi of 1=63, 2=60 and 3=57 quarter note beats to the minute. An English horn part appropriately transposed is appended to the full score.