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River Gods, Cascades, and Brooks, in Two Themes

Maurice Ravel - Jeux d’eau (1901) 


Magdalena Baczewska, piano 

Ravel wrote Jeux d’eau in 1901, adding this inscription: “Dieu fluvial riant de l'eau qui le chatouille [River god laughing as the water tickles him …”]. The composer himself said that the piece was “inspired by the noise of water and by the musical sounds which make one hear the sprays of water, the cascades, and the brooks.” Ravel chose to set the piece in a traditional sonata form, with two themes. In this episode of Bach@Home, pianist Magdalena Baczewska performs and discusses Ravel’s “pianistic novelty.” 

Magdalena Baczewska is the Director of the Music Performance Program and member of Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University. For more info, visit


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