Melinda Coffey Armstead, piano & organ
Music of Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
Oiseaux tristes from Miroirs (1905)
Pavane Pour une Infante défunte (1899)
Fugue in F minor (1897)
I want to sing like the birds sing,
not worrying about who hears or what they think.
for extra credit:
Miroirs are five pieces for piano composed by Maurice Ravel between 1904 and 1906. His intention was to present visual images and the moods of five characters regarding themselves in a mirror. They are in his impressionistic style. The title of the collection refers to Shakespeare’s lines from Julius Caesar, act 1 scene 2:
Cassius: Can you see your face?
Brutus: No, Cassius, for the eye sees not itself,
But by reflection, by some other things.
The second movement, Oiseaux tristes, begins by evoking a solitary bird whistling a sad tune, after which he is joined by others in a truly polyphonic chorus of birds. The central section is more exuberant, and is followed by a solemn cadence that brings back the melancholic mood of the opening. Ravel said that he wanted to evoke “des oiseaux perdus dans une sombre forêt aux heures les plus chaudes de l’été”, birds lost in a dark forest during the hottest hours of summer.