Ravel has long been hailed as a leading exponent of musical impressionism alongside his elder compatriot Debussy, although both composers preferred not to use the term to describe their own output. He is particularly revered as an orchestrator, and much of his symphonic output started life as solo piano music, to be adapted later for orchestra.
Pavane pour une infante défunte is an example of this pattern, composed whilst a student under Fauré at the Paris Conservatory, and orchestrated over 10 years later. Ravel described it as ‘an evocation of a pavane that a little princess [infanta] might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court,’ and it has become extremely popular ever since both in its original form and as a solo recital piece when transcribed, as in the present edition.
- Trumpet in B-flat