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Le tombeau de Couperin is a suite for piano in six movements by Ravel, composed between 1914-7. Each movement is dedicated to the memory of a friend of the composer (or in one case, two brothers) who had died fighting in World War I. Ravel also produced an orchestral version of the work in 1919, although this omitted two of the original movements. The title tries, through the use of the family name of a dinasty of musicians, to pay homage to the sensibilities of the Baroque French keyboard suite (reflected in the very structure of the piece). Despite the devastation Ravel felt both after the death of his mother in 1917 and of his friends in the war, Le tombeau de Couperin retains a light-hearted flavour. When criticised for this, Ravel replied: "The dead are sad enough, in their eternal silence." In 1919 Ravel orchestrated four movements of the work and since then, numerous versions have been written.
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