A secret dedication hidden in Maurice Ravel's music - Home
Page 6

Le Coeur de l'horloge
 A secret dedication...

...but to whom ?          

Ravel must have liked the question mark in the other way round... 

A musician woman, you must tickle her ...

   ear ?
 (dixit Mme Verdurin).


  The key is the result :

l t b i h l b m m n l a r i h r l n j t n i

Ricardo's secret.

    Ricardo Viñes, is the closest friend of Ravel we know about for the year around 1890. In November 1888, he confided to his private diary his most important secret, the love of a maiden, Maria de Alba. Although this young Spanish girl, met in Paris, having soon gone back in her native country in order to marry a rich man, probably knew nothing about Ricardo's feeling, this latter decided to vow eternal fidelity to her, or better saying, to the memory of her.
All the passages in relation to his secret love are encoded. For instance (in Spanish) :


Translation :

When I was having lunch, I had a idea sublime in itself but quasi impossible to achieve and it is that : BP pjslt mu xrux ...

Encoded passage :

Yo haria el voto de no amar a ninguna mujer en mi vida es decir de morir virgen ya que no puedo poseer a Maria de Alba.

Translation :

I would make the vow to love no woman in my life, that is to say die virgin for I can't possess Maria de Alba.

  I had the great pleasure to decode these passages for Nina Gubisch who is publishing the diary (Press of the University of Montreal, Canada).For the curious, the key of the code is taken out of one of Jules Verne's novels : la Jangada.
David Lamaze
Le Cygne de Ravel ~ Le Coeur de l'horloge