A secret dedication hidden in Maurice Ravel's music - Home

Page 7

A bad intuition...

I had thought for a while that the matching piece could be Misia, and indeed, the picture suits her well, but this feeling was wrong. Nina Gubisch told me that the version of the text I had (given by Marnat, Ravel, Qui êtes-vous ?, La manufacture) was incomplete. The matching piece would be the Comtesse de Noailles, as proves the Spannish version of the text...
This article keeps its meaning though and I leave it here, without rewriting the page...

The matching piece..

In an article written in 1934, Ricardo Viñes is picturing his childhood friend in a very special way :

"Nevertheless, I think also that one can impartially sum up [Ravel's personality] saying : that the tastes and natural propensities of this extraordinary artist do not match in any way his beliefs or what he or wants to be. And that by the action of a sort of auto-suggestion full of coquetry that I would call intro-mirage or bovarysm-quintessence, because [it is] the other way round to that of Flaubert's heroine [...]
As a matching piece to this case of refined intro-mirage I thought, but this one is feminine, to that of a great poetess - alas ! today in the country of shades ! - who was a lovable creature, possessing all the gifts that bestow the fairies or the Muses, but whose barmy ideology and the related enthusiasms, ruled too often the admiring fervours - despite all her delicacy of lyrical patrician and by default of psychological discrimination - towards unbelievable and pale specimens of what the proliferating fauna of the political universal world can father of best, in the worst, concerning simple minded and haughty mediocrities."
(more of this article, in French, here)
Trois aristocrates du son, article de Ricardo Viñes first published in La Nación of Buenos Aires in 1934. Reprinted by Marcel Marnat, Ravel, Qui êtes-vous,   (éd. la Manufacture,1987)

   What a syntax ! Viñes seems to mix up his ideas willingly. We learn that Ravel was the opposit of what he thought he was, or wanted to be... But Viñes forgot to tell us a key for this passage, hiding us who Ravel was, or at least who he imagined himself.
In preference to explain himself, Viñes jumps to another artifice to describe his friend, giving him a feminine matching piece.
This latter is, in the same way as Ravel, hidden behind feats of syntax (the best, in the worst!)  Who could in Argentina where this article was first published, or even in Paris, know who this woman was ?
Ravel's biographer, Marcel Marnat, proposes unconvincingly the poetess Valentine de Saint-Point although she had no relation with the composer (a single meeting, at the occasion of a party organized by Valentine de Saint-Point, is revealed by Viñes's diary).
So, if this "poetess" (stricto sensu) is not Valentine de Saint-Point, who is she ?
David Lamaze
Le Cygne de Ravel ~ Le Coeur de l'horloge