Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn (Ravel)

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The first 4 bars of Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn About this soundPlay 

Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn is a minuet for solo piano written by Maurice Ravel in 1909 to mark the centenary of Joseph Haydn's death.[1]

Description[edit]

The piece is only 54 bars long and lasts for about a minute and a half. The theme is based on Haydn's own name as a five-note motif. The letter H represents B natural, A and D representing their respective pitches, Y as D natural and N as G natural. In the score, the use of this motif is marked using their letters including several inverted and retrograde versions.[2]

History[edit]

This work came about as a result of a commission by the Revue musicale mensuelle de la Société Internationale de Musique.[3] In total, six composers were commissioned: Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy ('Hommage à Haydn'), Vincent d'Indy ('Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn'), Paul Dukas ('Prélude Élégiaque'), Reynaldo Hahn ('Theme Varié sur le nom de Haydn'), and Charles-Marie Widor ('Fugue sur le nom d'Haydn').

Each composer was given the same task: to write a piece based on the musical equivalent of Haydn's name.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Selected Piano exam pieces. The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. 2009–2010. pp. 24–25.
  2. ^ "Allmusic Guide to Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  3. ^ Soucy, Jean-Phillipe (2009). Six French composers' homage to Haydn: An analytical comparison enlightening their conception of tombeau (Master of Arts thesis). eScholarship@McGill.

External links[edit]