Notice anything different? That's right, I've got a banner (or logo, or whatever you call these things) for my Classical Piece of the Week! (Hurray!)
Moving on to the piece...
This week, I have chosen "Pavane pour une infante défunte" by Maurice Ravel. A pavane was a type of dance from the Renaissance era (1500s). It was originally danced with moderately fast music, but the music has slowed down over time, as heard in this Pavane. Ravel wrote this as a piano work, but I strongly prefer his orchestrated version. The title translates into "Pavane for a Dead Infant", so of course, the mood in this piece is rather somber; yet, there are some places where the music sounds almost like a dream, like you're floating away. The lead melody is given to the horn, which I find absolutely perfect, as the horn has this very rich sound that is not overly powerful when played right.
There is no better word to describe this Pavane than beautiful. Ravel has this amazing talent to compose pieces with interesting harmonies yet making it sound just so right. Delicately crafted, Pavane pour une infante défunte is an absolutely magnificent masterpiece.