Pavane pour une Infante Défunte
Maurice Ravel

216

Listen to this piece at composed.com now

The second of 3 entries for Ravel in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This has featured in every Hall of Fame chart and reached its highest position in 1999: number 150.

The original piano version of the Pavane pour une infante defunte was composed in 1899 and dedicated to the Princess Edmond de Polignac, a French-American musical patron. The orchestral arrangement wasn't premiered for another eleven years.

While it's literally true that the French should be translated as 'Pavane for a dead Princess', Ravel was at pains to point out that it 'is not a funeral lament for a dead child, but rather an evocation of the pavane that might have been danced by such a little princess as painted by Velàzquez'.

The Sleeping Beauty by John Maler Collier (1921).