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Pavanne for a Dead Princess (arr Thornton)

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Maurice Ravel

Maurice Ravel (scored James Thornton)

General Info

Year: 1899 /
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Piano
Publisher: Shawnee Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $25.00


Full Score
C Piccolo/Flute II
Flute I
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra-Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
String Bass


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

“ She is old enough now, and her composer has gained sufficient distance to leave her to her critic. From that point of view I fail to see any qualities. Her shortcomings though I perceive all the more clearly, Chabrier’s unremarkable influence and her rather poor form. I am afraid it was the remarkable performance of this not very daring piece that contributed most to its success.”

Thus wrote Maurice Ravel himself in 1912 in a review of a performance of the Pavane for a Dead Princess for the music magazine La Revue Musicale S.I.M. In 1910, Ravel arranged the original piano score for orchestra.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess) is a well-known piece written for solo piano by the French composer Maurice Ravel in 1899 when he was studying composition at the Conservatoire de Paris under Gabriel Fauré.

Ravel described the piece as "an evocation of a pavane that a little princess [infanta] might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court". The pavane was a slow processional dance that enjoyed great popularity in the courts of Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

This antique miniature is not meant to pay tribute to any particular princess from history, but rather expresses a nostalgic enthusiasm for Spanish customs and sensibilities, which Ravel shared with many of his contemporaries (most notably Debussy and Albéniz) and which is evident in some of his other works such as the Rapsodie espagnole and the Boléro.

Ravel dedicated the Pavane to his patron, the Princesse de Polignac. He published it in 1900, but it attracted little attention until the Spanish pianist Ricardo Viñes gave the first performance on April 5, 1902. The work soon became very popular, although Ravel came to think of it as "poor in form" and unduly influenced by the music of Emmanuel Chabrier.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


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State Ratings

  • New York: 49 05 WOODWIND CHOIR LEVEL 5


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Lee University (Cleveland, Tenn.) Wind Ensemble (David Holsinger, conductor) - 9 November 2020

Works for Winds by This Composer