Le Tombeau de Couperin for flute septet


Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin”, composed between 1914 and 1917, pays homage to the Baroque tradition of Francois Couperin. During those years, Ravel joined the French military and dedicated each movement to the memory of a friend who died in World War I. Despite being written while Ravel witnessed the horrors of war and endured the death of his mother, this is a light-hearted work rather than a somber one. His quote: “The dead are sad enough, in their eternal silence.” This arrangement, based on the original piano composition, (and omitting the fugue and the toccata just as Ravel’s own orchestration) is scored for 7 flutes: two C flutes (one doubling on piccolo), two alto flutes, two bass flutes, and a contrabass flute.