Unmasking Ravel: New Perspectives on the Music

Peter Kaminsky (Editor)


Unmasking Ravel: New Perspectives on the Music fills a unique place in Ravel studies by combining critical interpretation and analytical focus. From the premiere of his works up to the present, Ravel has been associated with masks and the related notions of artifice and imposture. This has led scholars to perceive a lack of depth in his music and, consequently, to discourage investigation of his musical language. This volume balances and interweaves these modes of inquiry. Part 1, "Orientations and Influences," illuminates the sometimes contradictory aesthetic, biographical, and literary strands comprising Ravel's artistry and our understanding of it. Part 2, "Analytical Case Studies," engages representative works from Ravel's major genres using a variety of methodologies, focusing on structural process and his complex relation to stylistic convention. Part 3, "Interdisciplinary Studies," integrates musical analysis and art criticism, semiotics, and psychoanalysis in creating novel methodologies. Contributors include prominent scholars of Ravel's and fin-de-siècle music: Elliott Antokoletz, Gurminder Bhogal, Sigrun B. Heinzelmann, Volker Helbing, Steven Huebner, Peter Kaminsky, Barbara Kelly, David Korevaar, Daphne Leong, Michael Puri, and Lauri Suurpää. Peter Kaminsky is Professor of Music at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

Product Details

University of Rochester Press
Publish Date
May 15, 2011
6.1 X 0.8 X 9.0 inches | 1.3 pounds
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About the Author

Peter Kaminsky is the author and coauthor of many books, including Pig Perfect, Culinary Intelligence, and Seven Fires and Mallmann on Fire (with Francis Mallmann). He is a longtime contributor to Food & Wine and a former columnist for the New York Times and New York magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Successful . . . for the variety, depth and novelty of its analyses, but also for the way it quietly invites readers to imagine a very different place for Ravel in the canon than the one he currently occupies. Compelling and intricate analyses abound in Unmasking Ravel. JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL MUSICAL ASSOCIATION (Jessie Fillerup) Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, (Barbara Kelly) reveals how early tensions regarding Ravel's fame softened into mutual respect, especially from members of Les Six. . . . (Gurminder Bhogal extends) her ground-breaking research on the French arabesque (in) nuanced analyses. . . . Kaminsky and his colleagues are to be commended for moving us closer to understanding what makes (Ravel's) oeuvre so rich and alluring. FONTES ARTIS MUSICAE (Keith E. Clifton) Compelling new approaches to Ravel's music. Gives the reader insight into what makes Ravel's music the way it is -- its sources of influence and inspiration, its engagement with traditional norms, its setting of text, and its reception. (Helbing's chapter is) memorable. . . .(That by Leong and Korevaar is) illuminating. MUSIC THEORY ONLINE (Claire Sher Ling Eng) Full review at http: //mtosmt.org/issues/mto.12.18.1/mto.12.18.1.eng.php A collection of exceptional creativity and innovation. . . . Provides exceptional insight into the complexity of Ravel's unique formal approaches. . . . A potent reminder of the power of biography and criticism, with implications beyond Ravel scholarship. MUSIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION NOTES (Timothy B. Cochran) A superb, unique contribution to Ravel scholarship. . . Provide(s) both in-depth analysis and critical interpretation. SUMMING UP: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals. CHOICE (R. Pitts) This substantial and authoritative work contains state-of-the-art contributions in both the critical-historical and theoretical-analytical spheres. --Arnold Whittall, Professor Emeritus, King's College, London; author of Romantic Music: A Concise History from Schubert to Sibelius and coauthor of Music Analysis: In Theory and Practice.