Menuet Antique for flute nonet
The spirit of Emmanuel Chabrier lies behind the central section of Menuet Antique, the first of Ravel’s works to be published (in 1898). The piece’s “antiquity” comes out in the flattened leading notes of cadences. Altogether more modern and Ravelian are the harmonic scrunches, beginning with the very first chord, that lend impetus to the imitative lines which follow. Rhythmically too, Ravel plays games with the minuet form, often grouping his phrases in twos rather than threes. This arrangement for flute ensemble, scored for 4 C flutes (with the first doubling on piccolo), 2 altos, 2 basses, and contrabass, gives some challenges for all players and utilizes the low flutes very prominently.