Maurice Ravel

A Life
Benjamin Ivry
ISBN 9781566491525 (hardcover)
Published in August 2000
MSRP $24.95
“Excellent... (Ivry's) point of departure, stressing Ravel's sexuality and its manifestations in his creative life, adds a fresh dimension to the literature on the composer.”
-Arbie Orenstein, Aaron Copland School of Music

Maurice Ravel: A Life is the first convincing attempt to paint a portrait of the life and work of the hitherto enigmatic composer of Bolero, Piano Concerto for the Left Hand and L'enfant et Les Sortilèges. Ivry offers here a compelling solution to the much-discussed “mystery” of Ravel's sexuality. More than simply “outing” Ravel as a gay man for the first time among numerous writers on this composer, this book discusses how his secretive sexuality impacted his work. Using unpublished documents, letters, articles and memoirs, many of which were previously unknown even to the greatest Ravel experts, Ivry presents a more rounded view of Ravel, man and musician.
Descriptions of musical work are in non-technical language, friendly to the reader with no specialized knowledge of classical music. Like Ivry's widely acclaimed biography of Poulenc, universally seen as the standard life of this composer in any language, his new Ravel is likely to become a classic of contemporary musical biography.

BEJAMIN IVRY is a poet, journalist and writer who has written critically acclaimed biographies of the poet Arthur Rimbaud (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) and the composer Francis Poulenc (Phaidon). He has also published a poetry collection, Paradise for the Portuguese Queen (Orchises), and abridged and translated Olivier Todd's monumental biography of Albert Camus (Knopf).