Ma mère l’Oye was originally written as a five-movement piano duet, between 1908 and 1910, for 2 children: Mimie and Jean Godebski. As it happened with many of his works, Ravel turned the piano version into an orchestral one.
The piece was transformed into a ballet with the addition of a Prelude and the famous “danse du rouet“, and different interludes.
“”I have never felt the need to formulate the principles of my aesthetics, either for the use of others or for myself.
If asked to do so, I would reply that I am inclined to identify with the simple statements made by Mozart, who merely said that there is nothing that music cannot do or attempt or describe, as long as it continues to fascinate and be always music.
I have sometimes been attributed with views that seemingly paradoxically refer to the falsity of art and the dangers of sincerity.
The fact is that I simply absolutely refuse to confuse the conscience of an artist, which is one thing, with his sincerity, which is quite another thing. Sincerity is of no use if conscience does not help to manifest it. This conscience forces us to turn to good craftsmanship.
My goal is therefore technical perfection. I can fight ceaselessly for this purpose, but I am sure that I will never be able to achieve it. The important thing is to get closer each time. There is no doubt that art also has other effects but the artist, in my opinion, must have no other purpose.”
Ravel in 1925
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