Podcast Classics

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

Valses nobles et sentimentales

Maurice RavelValses nobles et sentimentales was originally composed for solo piano in 1911, and orchestrated the following year. In an autobiographical sketch Ravel wrote: "the title clearly indicates my intention to compose a series of waltzes following the example of Schubert.”

These eight Valses nobles et sentimentales had their piano premiere at a “Concert sans noms d'auteurs,” where audience members were asked to guess the composer of each piece. The audience attributed them to Kodály, Satie, Chopin, and Gounod, among others, although no one suggested Schubert. According to Ravel, “only a slight majority” correctly identified his music.

The following year, Ravel agreed to orchestrate the waltzes as a ballet score. The ballet is no longer staged, but the colourful orchestral version has become a favourite with orchestras around the world.

Photo: Maurice Ravel in 1912 - the year he orchestrated Valses nobles et sentimentales
(Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Nicholas Collon, conductor

Nicholas Collon photo credit Benjamin EalovegaNicholas Collon is establishing an enviable reputation as a commanding interpreter in a wide range of music. As founder and Principal Conductor of Aurora Orchestra he has promoted imaginative programming that integrates challenging repertoire from the 20th and 21st centuries with masterworks of the Classical and Romantic eras.


Collon and Aurora were winners of Best Ensemble at the 2011 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards. Collon was also the recipient of the 2012 Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent and was Assistant Conductor to Vladimir Jurowski at the London Philharmonic Orchestra for the 2011/12 season.

Complete Biography

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Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra is Auckland’s leading performing arts organisation, and the city’s resident full-time professional symphony orchestra. Renowned for its innovation, passion and versatility, the APO collaborates with some of New Zealand’s most inventive artists, including recent performances with leading Auckland hip hop artists in its Remix the Orchestra performance, Warren Maxwell, Nathan Haines and the Topp Twins. Additionally, the APO is orchestra of choice for visiting international acts such as Kenny Rogers, Diana Krall, and Serj Tankian.

Complete Biography

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Producer: Tim Dodd
Engineer: Adrian Hollay
Programme Notes: Hannah Sassman