LETTER: Rhythm of a real composer

Click to follow
Sir: A further investigation into Ravel's Bolero would show that the repetitive and throbbing rhythm had little to do with his oncoming mental illness.

The idea was based on a factory at work, and Ravel would have liked to have staged it in a vast industrial unit. His father, Joseph, was a motor enthusiast and invented a motor driven vehicle which was unfortunately destroyed during the Franco-Prussian war in 1870. He also developed a two-stroke engine.

Ravel loved the music of his native Basque country, but he also loved the music of Spain with its atmosphere saturated with the throbbing emotional rhythm of flamenco.

The Bolero united the monotonous factory noise of an industrial world with the popular rhythm of Spain.