Maurice Ravel has an enormous number of biographers. Michel D. Calvocoressi, René Chalupt, Norman Demuth, Léon-Paul Fargue, Vladimir Jankélévich, Hélène JourdanMorhange, François Lesure, Marcel Marnat, Rollo Myers, Pierre Narbaitz, Arbie Orenstein, Manuel Rosenthal, Alexis RolandManuel, H. H. Stuckenschmidt, and Emile Vuillermoz are just a few of the heavyweight musicians, critics, and scholars who have had their say about the composer. The editor of Ravel’s piano music, Roger Nichols, is an established member of this club, having contributed two previous books to the Ravel literature. Under the circumstances, then, one must ask whether Ravel, despite his standing as France’s favorite composer, really needs a thirty-third biography.1


Roger Nichols
Yale University Press, 420 pages, $60.00

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