Commissioned by A.L. Hettich in 1907, the original incarnation of this work appeared as a vocalise-étude for low voice and piano, part of a collection of such studies for use at the Paris Conservatoire. Like many French composers, Ravel had a particular fascination with the music of Spain, and here employs the distinctive two-beat habanera pattern throughout the piano accompaniment. Against this, the voice weaves an enchantingly seductive melody, and whether in its earliest form, or its numerous transcriptions for other instruments, it remains a beguiling work.
- Horn in F