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Composer Cagematch!: Debussy vs. Ravel

You heartless pagan girl-killers! You KO’d Prokofiev! (Wait, did I just call Prokofiev a girl?)

Team Sergei put up a decent fight — perhaps more of one than some might have expected — but ultimately Team Igor was victorious and Stravinsky exited the ring with about two thirds of the vote. He will advance to the next round, which will occur when I feel like it.

Next up, at the request of TerpsMusic, we turn our attention to France. Saint-Saens and Delibes must have been hiding under the table when the battle horn was blown, because in this corner: don’t ask him to resolve a scale! It’s


And in this corner: don’t tell him how much you love Bolero! It’s


On the one hand, Images pour orchestre. But on the other hand, Pavane pour une infante defunte. Then again, innovation. But then there’s orchestration.

And there you have it. Make. Your. Choice.

(Feel free to try and sway others to your way of thinking in the comments. I will give fair Twitter/Facebook warning regarding when voting closes.)

About Jenn

Despite being the former digital marketing intern at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jenn German does not like Mozart. Beethoven could've totally beaten him up. Also she has an arts management graduate degree from American University, but this changes nothing.


14 thoughts on “Composer Cagematch!: Debussy vs. Ravel

  1. This is even more difficult than Stravinsky v. Prokofiev. They’re so close in so many genres, but for his influence on so many of the greatest songwriters of the last decade including the direct and profound effect of L’Enfant et les Sortilèges on Shara Worden, I think I’ll take Ravel. (I already voted in the poll above.)

    Posted by Eric | February 9, 2011, 10:12 am
  2. Debussy helped carry us into the 20th century (along with stravinsky, woo!). He came up with this great idea of using the ear as the only guide for harmony. It worked well.

    also: my phone like debussy better.

    Posted by Sneaky | February 9, 2011, 3:57 pm
  3. Debussy created his own language. He is a master… Ravel, while fantastic, did not.

    Gotta Be CD.

    Posted by Dr. Carney | February 9, 2011, 9:47 pm
  4. And for those of you who live in the Washington, DC/Baltimore metro area, The Peabody Concert Orchestra and Peabody Opera Theater of The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University will be performing Francis Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias and Maurice Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges. Ain’t Baroque’s brother will even be in the orchestra pit!

    I am with Eric. Love Debussy, but there is something so compelling about Ravel.

    Posted by Sheri | February 10, 2011, 7:48 am
  5. I forgot to mention the dates of that Francophile performance: March 16-19.

    Posted by Sheri | February 10, 2011, 7:49 am
  6. Ooooh! It’s = today!

    Posted by Stephen P Brown | February 16, 2011, 8:21 am
  7. Wow, tough one! Love them both myself! If you’d made it Ravel vs. Poulenc or Debussy vs. Faure, Ravel and Debussy would have been clear winners in those contests.

    Posted by Chris McGovern | February 25, 2011, 12:18 pm
    • Haha, yeah, I’m TRYING not to make fights too one-sided. There are some composers that are just going to sweep up to a point, though. I can’t see anyone taking down Mozart or Beethoven before they get to each other.

      Posted by Jenn | February 25, 2011, 12:23 pm


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