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Ravel: Bolero

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A capital city.

After Debussy’s death in 1918, Ravel was generally regarded as France’s leading composer. Recognition by the French state led to his being offered the Légion d’Honneur in 1920, a decoration he publicly refused. But this new-found status had the result of alienating him from some of his colleagues, in particular from Satie and the younger generation, including some of Les Six. Ravel emphasized his isolation by moving west of Paris, where he lived with his cats and was looked after by his housekeeper until his final illness. His house, with its original furnishings, is now a museum in his honor.

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