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Maurice Ravel completed his Rapsodie espagnole, one of his first major orchestral works, in 1908. The music was first quickly written as a piano duet, and the orchestration took longer. The Habanera segment, however, had been written years before, and Ravel was insistent about dating the scores of that particular piece, as ha had been once accused of plagiarism. The Rapsodie espagnole reflects the profund influence of the spanish musical heritage imparted to Ravel by his Basque mother. Being a child, he would listen to her singing folksongs, and he would later reflect on this inspiration through the wiriting of Bolero, and L'heure espagnole. Ravel composed his Rapsodie only a year before Debussy appeared with his own evocations of Spain in Iberia. He dedicated the work to Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot, his professor of piano and composition at the Paris Conservatoire. The work is scored for an orchestra of 2 piccolos, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 soprano clarinets, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, sarrusophone, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, castanets, tambourine, gong, snare drum, celesta, 2 harps and strings. It is in four parts and a performance usually lasts around 15 minutes.
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