A symphony orchestra and a jazz orchestra, both playing music by the impressionist composer Maurice Ravel: it sounds strange, yet Ravel wrote his most important works during the time when jazz was becoming popular, and it was a welcome source of inspiration for him. If he were alive today, he might be a pure jazz composer. Who knows??
In the first part of this concert, the symphony orchestra is on stage, playing repertoire by Ravel including Valses Nobles et Sentimentales. After the interval, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra takes the stage playing a version of the same Valses Nobles et Sentimentales by composer and arranger Pierre Drevet.
Pierre Drevet: “Maurice Ravel has been part of my musical universe for a very long time. I’ve studied his piano, chamber music and orchestral scores for years and I’ve always had a great admiration for his compositional genius and his talent for orchestration. It’s like he’s adding colour to the harmony.” Drevet continues: “In fact, this music, with its clear melody lines and almost straightforward harmonies, is like the best jazz standards: you can play it, arrange it, or make it sound any way you want, with any instrumentation you like. I took the original Valses, which lasts 15 minutes, and made an hour-long suite from it.” The French trumpet player Pierre Drevet has played with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra for 12 years and is one of the orchestra’s house composers and arrangers.