This week’s BSO concert features Prokofiev’s first violin concerto and Shostakovich’s tenth symphony. I could wax lyrical about how frickin’ AWESOME they both are, but I’ve done that so many times by now that I’m sure you’re quite bored with it. So instead I decide to do a little digging on the subject of the other piece the BSO will play: Ravel’s Ma mere le oye (Mother Goose) Suite.
Ravel first wrote the Mother Goose Suite in 1908 for two children whose parents he was friends with, in a four-hand suite for solo piano.
The children, Mimi and Jean Godebski, were extremely fond of him since he told them fairytales, some of which he made up on the spot!
How very Lewis Carroll/Alice Liddell of him.
The music is more famous in its orchestrated ballet form, which Ravel augmented for continuity, and includes movements based on multiple stories, including Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb, and Beauty and the Beast. Nifty, but the one thing I don’t understand is, why is it called The Mother Goose Suite? Because fairytales live in the realm of nurseries, and that’s where Mother Goose is at home? But for whatever reason I don’t generally associate Mother Goose with fairytales. Maybe it’s just my brain being weird again.
All the same, I like a good fairytale, myself, and if you do too, you can catch Ravel and his buddies Shostakovich and Prokofiev on Saturday, November 20 at 8 pm at Strathmore and on Sunday, November 21 at 3 pm at the Meyerhoff. Gunter Herbig will conduct, and Tianwa Yang is the soloist. See if you can find me a goosefairy.