Truth to Power

Was Ravel writing love songs?

Hidden clue to composer’s passion

A sequence of three notes occurring repeatedly through his work spells out the name of a famous Parisian socialite says Ravel expert David Lamaze.

He argues that the notes, E, B, A in musical notation, or “Mi-Si-La” in the French doh-re-mi scale, refer to Misia Sert, a close friend of Ravel’s.

Well known in art circles, she was painted by Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec.

Ravel never married, but Misia was married three times. Ravel composed some of his work while staying on a boat belonging to Misia and her second husband.

“It has never been done before. To take one person and to place them at the centre of a life-long work,” says Professor Lamaze of the Conservatoire de Rennes, who is working on a book about Ravel and Misia. </em>


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