To end the week you can drift away on a profound and elfin piece from the
beginning of what older folks think of as this century - the 1900s in
France. Maurice Ravel (not to be confused with Maurice White) wrote this
first as a piano piece and then orchestrated it for orchestra lite. So
noble and yet it deeply charms. The title is 'Pavane for a dead princess'.
A pavane is a slow, stately European court dance. But don't be afraid
of the somber title, Ravel was imagining a little princess dancing at
court. When asked how he arrived at the title Pavane pour une infante
défunte, Ravel replied, "Do not be surprised, that title has
nothing to do with the composition. I simply liked the sound of those
words and I put them there, c'est tout". Orchestrationally, he
puts the melody in the elegant French horn and also gives the english
horn prominent lines in the lower register. Obviously gotta love that
harp. 6.5 minutes of pure heaven.
Pavane pour une infante defunte - Maurice Ravel