In The Key Of Pisces: Maurice Ravel & An Astro-Musical Quiz

Thursday March 10th 2016
From astrodatabank. AA rating

From astrodatabank. AA rating

The composer, Maurice Ravel, was born on March 7, 1875 into a musical family in the town of Ciboure, where the River Nivelle meets the Atlantic Ocean in the Basque country. (We are catching up with some missed dates for In The Key Of Pisces…)

He was an innovator and a rebel. Rejected by the establishement in his youth, by the time of his death, he was acknowledged to be France’s greatest living composer. You might expect that with Uranus on the Midheaven.

He was also an experimenter. Bolero, one of his most famous compositions, is all about repetition — a rather Piscean trait (see Parveen, Harrison, Makeba, Barber) — which broke all the then-rules of composition.

The New Moon in Pisces sit in the fifth house of the arts. Mercury in Pisces is in the house of roots, and Neptune, the composer’s planet is in the house of work opposed (out of sign) by Jupiter.

One of his greatest legacies is some intensely melancholic music such as the beautiful Pavane for a Dead Princess.

I have three versions here. See if you can tell which one is played by a Pisces, which by a Taurus and which by a Capricorn. They are all good, but I think one is sadder.

Answers tomorrow.


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  1. Isy says:

    Capricorn, Taurus, Pisces, I’d say.

    It’s such a lovely piece, and I’ve heard it rendered so tenderly it was more like a lullaby than a bereavement. I’m interested in putting a throwaway laugh in a novel about cultural dislocation when the heroine learns she’s going to a performance called Slow Dance for a Dead Baby, and declares firmly that she has nothing to wear.

  2. eggcup says:

    I adore the Richter performance, especially as I’m sitting next to a window on a grey day with rain pouring down outside.

  3. meblake says:

    The Pavane is nice, but my personal favorite is Le Tombeau de Couperin. My second favorite is the Valse Nobles et Sentimentale. (I’m a Ravel freak.) 🙂

  4. Matt says:

    Was listening yesterday to the concerto for left hand. Now I know why.