Ravel – Mother Goose Suite (Ma Mère l’Oye) [ANALYSIS]

Last updated Jan 30, 2024 | Published on Apr 22, 2021

Winner of a fellowship at the Bayreuther Festspiele, Mr. Griglio’s conducting has been praised for his “energy” and “fine details”. Mr. Griglio took part in the first world recording of music by composer Irwin Bazelon and conducted several world premieres like "The song of Eddie", by Harold Farberman, a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize. Principal Conductor of International Opera Theater Philadelphia for four years, Mr.Griglio is also active as a composer. His first opera, Camille Claudel, debuted in 2013 to a great success of audience and critics. Mr. Griglio is presently working on an opera on Caravaggio and Music Director of Opera Odyssey.

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Ma mère l’Oye was originally written as a five-movement piano duet, between 1908 and 1910, for 2 children: Mimie and Jean Godebski. As it happened with many of his works, Ravel turned the piano version into an orchestral one.

The piece was transformed into a ballet with the addition of a Prelude and the famous “danse du rouet“, and different interludes.

“”I have never felt the need to formulate the principles of my aesthetics, either for the use of others or for myself.

If asked to do so, I would reply that I am inclined to identify with the simple statements made by Mozart, who merely said that there is nothing that music cannot do or attempt or describe, as long as it continues to fascinate and be always music.

I have sometimes been attributed with views that seemingly paradoxically refer to the falsity of art and the dangers of sincerity.

The fact is that I simply absolutely refuse to confuse the conscience of an artist, which is one thing, with his sincerity, which is quite another thing. Sincerity is of no use if conscience does not help to manifest it. This conscience forces us to turn to good craftsmanship.

My goal is therefore technical perfection. I can fight ceaselessly for this purpose, but I am sure that I will never be able to achieve it. The important thing is to get closer each time. There is no doubt that art also has other effects but the artist, in my opinion, must have no other purpose.”

Ravel in 1925


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Gianmaria Griglio is an intelligent, exceptional musician. There is no question about his conducting abilities: he has exceptionally clear baton technique that allows him to articulate whatever decisions he has made about the music.

Harold Farberman

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