Was Ravel writing love songs?
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.