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Maurice Ravel — Bolero
Album: Boston Symphony Orchestra
Avg rating:
8.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1270









Released: 1928
Length: 14:59
Plays (last 30 days): 1
(Instrumental)
Comments (283)add comment
One of the sexiest instrumental plays ever written!!!
smoking hot
picture fade in:  it is a Sunday and i am hearing a processional to the grand bullfight...  from the bullfighters ready room to the songs final cymbal crash.   When the bullfighter finally arrives and center ring, stands tall and challenges the bull...  the end of the beginning ... or the beginning of the end.   Toro!  Toro!  ....Ole!    i've got a great vision of a "music video"... just need the funding  LOL ... but seriously...
Beam me up Scotty!
the first Jam
Has the opposite effect on me as the previous comments. LOVE this piece and immediately become more alive if not slightly grandiose. {#War}
Worth listening to:

https://www.wnycstudios.org/st...

Radiolab - Unraveling Bolero
There was a fascinating Radiolab Podcast about this song, and brain functions and how he was possibly in the process of losing his mind when this was written. https://www.wnycstudios.org/st...
end this dirge
Bolero is putting me to sleep!  I know I have the option to skip or play something different though this is horrible.
Bolero may just have created ambient with this piece. His Bolero elevates whatever is going on in front of it without ever interfering. Masterful. 
You really are an eclectic music station, can't help but think of Torville and Dean
 nice! i thought the same thing{#Cheesygrin}

dwhayslett wrote:
Conan!  What is best in life?
 

Copenhagen Phil (Sjællands Symfoniorkester) did a flash mob at Copenhagen Central Station on May 2nd 2011 playing Ravel's Bolero.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mrEk06XXaAw

Conan!  What is best in life?
 VH1 wrote:
Anyone remember this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcCj0xfO3H8

 
Don't really remember that one...but do you remember this animation?
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pgANtzO2G4 
 
{#Lol}
 VH1 wrote:
Anyone remember this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcCj0xfO3H8

 
This will always be Torvill and Dean for me. Stunning stuff.
From Wikipedia:

On 4 May 1930, Toscanini performed the work with the New York Philharmonic at the Paris Opéra as part of that orchestra's European tour. Toscanini's tempo was significantly faster than Ravel preferred, and Ravel signaled his disapproval by refusing to respond to Toscanini's gesture during the audience ovation.[12] An exchange took place between the two men backstage after the concert. According to one account Ravel said "It's too fast", to which Toscanini responded "You don't know anything about your own music. It's the only way to save the work".[13] According to another report Ravel said "That's not my tempo". Toscanini replied "When I play it at your tempo, it is not effective", to which Ravel retorted "Then do not play it".[14] Four months later, Ravel attempted to smooth over relations with Toscanini by sending him a note explaining that "I have always felt that if a composer does not take part in the performance of a work, he must avoid the ovations" and, ten days later, inviting Toscanini to conduct the premiere of his Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, an invitation which was declined.[15]

Some solid classical music beef.
Just saying... you should all know what Ryuchi Sakamoto did with this "tune". An dif you like Satie too, you should enjoy twice.
ooooooo.....the anticipation of the cymbal crash.
I' m playing this & my wife says "why don't you put the headfones on"....... cus I thought that you want to be enlitend....fonetics....big tune...rite up there with the best....there are not too many 10's in this world.....Slam dunk.......10...Amen
Anyone remember this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcCj0xfO3H8
 ShoreGirl wrote:
It's all about sex, dear friends.    {#Beat}

Initially, Rubinstein (Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein)  asked Ravel to create for her a work with Spanish character, suggesting that he—a highly skilled orchestrator who six years earlier had reworked Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’sPictures at an Exhibition—might adapt for orchestra some piano pieces by Spaniard Isaac Albéniz. But after some consideration, Ravel instead wrote his own original composition, a piece he called Boléro—though some observed that the rhythms were more like those of the fandangoand seguidilla than the bolero. At its debut Rubinstein herself took the solo role of a sultry café dancer enticing her masculine audience, whose growing excitement is reflected in the work’s signature crescendo.    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Bolero-by-Ravel

 

It definitely did the trick for me while watching Bo Derek seduce Dudley Moore to this in "10":

Still of Bo Derek in the movie "10""

{#Ask}{#Idea} Tippster wrote:
Huh: 

Literary critic Allan Bloom commented in his 1987 bestseller The Closing of the American Mind, "Young people know that rock has the beat of sexual intercourse. That is why Ravel's "Bolero" is the one piece of classical music that is commonly known and liked by them."



 
Huh Huh

There´s no better reason to love music

and sex too...


Huh: 

Literary critic Allan Bloom commented in his 1987 bestseller The Closing of the American Mind, "Young people know that rock has the beat of sexual intercourse. That is why Ravel's "Bolero" is the one piece of classical music that is commonly known and liked by them."


Check out Pink Martini's version of Bolero. It's much more fun.
Obviously the inspiration (or, at least, an inspiration) for the "fight scene music" used in the original Star Trek.
 pilgrim wrote:

I am reminded of this story that appeared in Wired years ago about one man's hearing loss, his struggle to get it back and how it revolved around this musical piece - https://www.wired.com/2005/11/bolero/

The technical aspects are pretty amazing and I should really check what's new on this front as my hearing gets worse with each passing day



 

Great article - thanks for sharing.  I hope I never end up in this boat.
Since '10' - about a hundred years ago...I have never be able to hear this without channeling the Bo Derek image and Dudley Moore throwing the pillow
Hilarious!{#Roflol}
If Ravel only knew...

What else could this be, but a 10!
A timeless favorite .......
 baylees wrote:
Yes Star Trek did rip parts of this

For those who thought it was monotonous or building to slowly.  It is classically defined as the closest thing to romance leading up to SEX .

No its not Barry White sexy or drop your drawers eat your booty rap either. Its from long ago.  You had to imply sex to a much smarter more patient (no instant gratification) audience. 

 
Drop your drawers, Eat your Booty? That made me chuckle on a Monday morning,,, thanks 

I am reminded of this story that appeared in Wired years ago about one man's hearing loss, his struggle to get it back and how it revolved around this musical piece - https://www.wired.com/2005/11/bolero/

The technical aspects are pretty amazing and I should really check what's new on this front as my hearing gets worse with each passing day


 j1sey wrote:
Good stuff!  first heard this in Allegro Non Tropo

 
I LOVE THIS SHORT!!! I remember seeing this on Cinemax or HBO which I could get for free if I wrapped tin foil around the cable connection to the TV when I was in Jr. High in the 80's... For a teenage boy that was something else...

Allegro Non Tropo
Some say this reminds them of the movie 10, but for me it's Torvill and Dean  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2zbbN4OL98
It's not often my kids will ask me to turn up classical music.  Or ask to play that again. {#Bananajam}
It's all about sex, dear friends.    {#Beat}

Initially, Rubinstein (Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein)  asked Ravel to create for her a work with Spanish character, suggesting that he—a highly skilled orchestrator who six years earlier had reworked Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’sPictures at an Exhibition—might adapt for orchestra some piano pieces by Spaniard Isaac Albéniz. But after some consideration, Ravel instead wrote his own original composition, a piece he called Boléro—though some observed that the rhythms were more like those of the fandangoand seguidilla than the bolero. At its debut Rubinstein herself took the solo role of a sultry café dancer enticing her masculine audience, whose growing excitement is reflected in the work’s signature crescendo.    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Bolero-by-Ravel
One of my favorite musical experiences. So much fun! And bombastic! Can't help but smile.
Aaaaaah yes - this is what I needed.
Aren't we glad Maurice was able to record this before he died?

/s
Mike Oldfield must have had this in mind when composing Tubular Bells.
Overrated? Overplayed? Maybe even kind of vulgarised? I don't give shit, as long as it's GORGEOUS!
Yes Star Trek did rip parts of this

For those who thought it was monotonous or building to slowly.  It is classically defined as the closest thing to romance leading up to SEX .

No its not Barry White sexy or drop your drawers eat your booty rap either. Its from long ago.  You had to imply sex to a much smarter more patient (no instant gratification) audience. 
I know...I know....most folks have gotten a bit tired of this...even though it's a great piece of music (to me).  And I agree.  And I'll also bet most folks (of a certain age) immediately associate it with a certain movie, too?  Heh!  I'm not much different...BUT....I still flash on this animation (Allegro non Troppo) whenever I hear this piece:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x23sf75_bolero_creation

Somehow it seems quite an apt piece (of animation) for this piece don't it?  Not to mention it is superb cranked up head-phones style. {#Music}

Highlow
American Net'Zen
For those who tire of the repetition, try following the chart in the Wiki article as this plays.  Besides making it more interesting, there's something to be learned. While you're at it, for added interest, try drumming the snare part without missing a beat! Not easy. :-)
wow great piece of music -reminds me of the film '10' with Dudley Moor -very funny , highly recommended
 
By rights the segue from this one should be almost any song from Astral Weeks. Except, maybe, The Way Young Lovers Do.
 Lodomojo wrote:
Enough with the Bolero! Thousands of great Classical pieces and this thing gets played TO DEATH!

 
RT + Fav
Enough with the Bolero! Thousands of great Classical pieces and this thing gets played TO DEATH!
Refreshing to hear some classical, however the monotonous development upon the theme, and the annoying military rhythm part made this a nice try, but better luck next time. Better than U2 anyway. ;-)
Heard a fascinating story on NPR about how Ravel suffered a serious condition that led to the extreme repetitive style of "Bolero". This was the last piece he published. 

From Wikipedia:

 Rael commented to Arthur Honegger, one of Les Six, "I've written only one masterpiece – Boléro. Unfortunately there's no music in it."
 kennewicksheri wrote:
thank you .. Thank you ....
marvelous to hear Ravel today ...
Speakers cranked..... and feeling renewed...

Thank you 

 
The louder the better for this gem.
 Tippster wrote:

Check out Frank Zappa's take sometime.

 
Pink Martini does a great job.  Plus the guy who put the you tube video together chose some rather comely scenery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQOsUMbU9n4 
Oh, man, what can I say?
Tan hipnótico como machacón.
Deutsche Grammophon…now there's an audiophile label for the ages. Along with Sheffield Labs, Angel, RCA Victor, K&K Verlagsanstalt, et mucho al.
ok so read my mind on loving this...about 50 pc at citadel summer music fest quebec city 03? and 32 c out no shade and sounding exactly like a large army marching to take us ..... the crescendo of course....so real
 
Rated 9 in part because it was an unexpected pleasure to hear it on RP. 
so tempting to rate this a 6.0.   Much respect to Chris Dean.    a nine for now.
Hell yes! Sure, there are better interpretations like Jeff Beck's (just kidding ((not really)).  But the Bolero is like pizza.
 deepwoodskev wrote:
If you listen closely, you can hear one of the drummers yawning.

 
it is repetitive

got lucky on PSD with Kashmir 
 stalfnzo wrote:
Ravel wrote this as a farce, a humorous comment on the music of the day. The joke is that everyone thinks it's serious. 

 
Interesting, if true.  Got a reference?
robertheston
(Winston Salem, NC)
Posted: Jan 27, 2014 - 18:36
 

Nearly 20 years after the premiere of Ravel's Boléro, its influence had reached to the West and even further to the East. While directing Rashomon (1950), Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa demanded from the film's composer Fumio Hayasaka, "a piece like Ravel's "Boléro," to link to a particular scene. In Kurosawa's Rashomon there are a series of four characters that give their testimony as witnesses to a murder. For the duration of Masako Kanazawa's (the leading female character) testimony the soundtrack begins to play, for nearly 10 minutes a rather similar selection of Ravel's Boléro. The track used in the film is neither a theme nor a variation of Boléro, however, one unaware of Kurosawa's demand but familiar with Boléro are sure to hear some rather explicit similarities. Two similarities that are easily identifiable are "the unchanging ostinato rhythm" and the rising continuous crescendo from pianissimo to fortissimo. The rhythm may be a straight lift out Boléro, while the primary melody could easily be mistaken for Ravel's. Michael Harris commenting on the use of a Boléro-esque track in Kurosawa's Rashomon, "Together, Hayasaka and Kurosawa brilliantly use traditional Japanese theatre aesthetics upon which to hang this fractured tale of memory and lies."

I never knew that.  And I'm a big fan of Kurosawa's, having originally subscribed to Netflix in order to access his films  (he started in the industry in the 1930s.)   I've seen Rashomon  3 or 4 times, never picked up on the soundtrack.  Curiously, the last time I saw  Rashomon , the plot seems to have changed; memory does funny things.  I once took the film to my movie group, who gawffawed at the witch sequence -no appreciation there  for.  " traditional Japanese theatre aesthetics ".  
Thank you for your input.


If you listen closely, you can hear one of the drummers yawning.
thank you .. Thank you ....
marvelous to hear Ravel today ...
Speakers cranked..... and feeling renewed...

Thank you 
Was having a stressful day, but not anymore. Thanks Bill!
 msla7142 wrote:
really too long...

 
That's what she said.
Slow burn. . .that burns. . .and BURNS. . .AND BURNS!!!
Love this, but because it starts so low, I assumed RP had crashed on my iPad again :)
 Axelito wrote:
So lonnnnnnggggg.....1
 
and soooooooooooo AWESOME.


Musicians hate 'Bolero'.  Boring to play.
 Axelito wrote:
So lonnnnnnggggg.....1
 
It always amazes me how utterly engaging this piece is, despite the repetition and length. Incredibly masterful, not to mention revolutionary. More classical on RP!

(PS listen out for the constructed harmonics played by the piccolo that create a sound like an organ - crazily brilliant!)
So lonnnnnnggggg.....1
Parts sound like they were used as the soundtrack for some of the old Star Trek fight scenes - Captain Kirk vs. some threatening alien
9 > 10 - Doesn't get any better!
Brilliant.  Masterful. Just wake me up when it's over.
 ColdMiser wrote:
The King Crimson interpretation is always a good take as well

 
Check out Frank Zappa's take sometime.
Magnificent kitsch. And I really do mean that in the best possible way.
Great unknown movie. The Bolero piece was really good. So it all started with a coke bottle....

Also -listen to  Unraveling Bolero podcast from Radiolab. Great insights into the music.

 
Emwolb wrote:

What a terrific parody of Fantasia.  Not often the parody is as good as the original.  
 


Majestic 
 Jota wrote:
Too long.

 
Can a piece that was meant to be too long actually be too long?
The King Crimson interpretation is always a good take as well
 j1sey wrote:
Good stuff!  first heard this in Allegro Non Tropo

 
What a terrific parody of Fantasia.  Not often the parody is as good as the original.  
Flash mob at Copenhagen Central Station playing Ravel's Bolero 
 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mrEk06XXaAw
this is Godlike ! Such a crescendo in volume, intensity and drama. This is an incredibly moving piece ! It has something soothing, quiet yet powerful. It's like someone searching for their identity / purpose and suddenly understanding / opening and fully blooming to achieve their destiny. This is pure genius !!  {#Clap}
Good stuff!  first heard this in Allegro Non Tropo
 kcar wrote:

Most worthy of a bump. 

Too long my ass.  

 
I agree.  Fun, art and musical whimsy!  We need it!
 
 robertheston wrote:
Kaisersosay Got it Right!!! I remember that one... Mom made some of that assemble-it-yourself Chinese dinner stuff.... yummmmm.

 
Oh right!  Kinda like the Chef Boyardee Pizza in a box stuff?
 
This music, though I love it, always makes me feel like I'm about to have a heart attack by the time it ends.  The build of it has a way of creeping up my anxiety little by little throughout the whole song.

It's like a fucking stress test.

And I just failed again. 
https://filmpopper.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Bo-Derek-in-10-Swimsuit-240x300.jpg
Forgive me.
 Proclivities wrote:

Hmm, I never heard that before, 'serious' music is no fun anyhow.

 
Try just to enjoy the music and not worry too much about whether you should.
sooooo slooooow and boring as hell.
What the hell, it's still a great piece of music.
What a wonderful way to start the day (UK time) {#Sunny}        
Many thanks Bill and Rebecca {#Clap}
while 5 minutes of it is pretty inspiring, 15 minutes is a bit too much - just saying
Thank you, Bill. I needed that.  {#Curtain}
Had to wait for the next Blake Edwards film to see Julie Andrews topless.  But this setup the demand... 
 stalfnzo wrote:
Ravel wrote this as a farce, a humorous comment on the music of the day. The joke is that everyone thinks it's serious. 

 
Hmm, I never heard that before, 'serious' music is no fun anyhow.
This piece was in several episodes of Star Trek, and in the movie 10 with Bo Derek and Dudley Moore. In Star Trek, it was often used whenever Spock went back to Vulcan to mate. He would have to go through a test of strength frequently involving fighting James T. Kirk bare chested. Another time it was used when a green skinned beauty was dancing in front of James T. Kirk and trying to seduce him. You knew, by the sound of the music, that James would be in trouble if he succumbed to her pleasures! With 10, it was used when Bo was running down the beach in a thong bikini with her beaded cornrows swinging. Dudley Moore was running towards her, but predictably, she ran past him. A great piece of music! ziggytrix wrote:

There's a couple orchestral songs in the RP playlist that make me think of those movies, and this is certainly one of them!

 


 Kaisersosay wrote:
Hey if you speed this up,,,,it sounds like that song when spock and kirk are fighting each other......

Go ahead,,,bring it on... 

 
Trekie, eh? You probably already know that portions of Mahler's first and seventh symphonies were borrowed for the Star Trek theme.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTaSjS1pwhQ

If you are a serious student of music, you should watch this brilliant seven-minute video by the CBC's Tom Allen.
 ziggytrix wrote:

There's a couple orchestral songs in the RP playlist that make me think of those movies, and this is certainly one of them!

 
man that was refreshing! Those guys were obviously very good.
 sventwentythree wrote:
Wasn't this in the movie Conan the Barbarian (or The Destroyer)?

 
There's a couple orchestral songs in the RP playlist that make me think of those movies, and this is certainly one of them!
 stalfnzo wrote:
Ravel wrote this as a farce, a humorous comment on the music of the day. The joke is that everyone thinks it's serious. 

 
Interesting. I never knew that. Now I hear the repetition and the faux importance for what it is. But it doesn't sound unlike many movie scores for the epics of the '40s and '50s. Demetrius and the Gladiators, anyone? 
 Jota wrote:
Too long.

 
Premature calculation
 stalfnzo wrote:
Ravel wrote this as a farce, a humorous comment on the music of the day. The joke is that everyone thinks it's serious. 

 
Beautiful music is beautiful music, farce or not.
Ravel wrote this as a farce, a humorous comment on the music of the day. The joke is that everyone thinks it's serious. 
Great!
excellent piece - will have to buy this
Has from London 
I can't recommend this Radio Lab piece enough.  Gives a new (new for me) insight into what we are listening to:

https://www.radiolab.org/story/217340-unraveling-bolero/

In this podcast, a story about obsession, creativity, and a strange symmetry between a biologist and a composer that revolves around one famously repetitive piece of music. 
It's an extraordinary feat to blend this musical score into the rest of the well chosen tracks of the last few hours. 10.15pm in Sydney Australia on a Monday night .

congrats DJ RP 
 TerryS wrote:
Ida Rubinstein, the inspiration behind Boléro. Portrait by Valentin Serov.
 
"Ravel himself, however, had a different conception of the work: his preferred stage design was of an open-air setting with a factory in the background, reflecting the mechanical nature of the music.
 
Ravel bolero drum rhythtm2.png             "


 
Most worthy of a bump. 

Too long my ass.  
Well, I PSD'd from some soporific Grateful Dead tune until I dialed in here. This orchestra is not out of tune, self-indulgent or stoned. The music conjures mystery and romance.  Iberia? Arabia?  Jeff Beck has translated and emulated. Its slow build to the crescendo is worth the wait. Hail Ravel. I'll return to GD and 48 minutes later they'll still be playing the same shit. 
really too long...
too long, needs to be shorten by 3 or 4 minutes? 
I mean really, doesn't this one HAVE to get a 10? Blake Edwards would argue for it as would Dudley Moore.
I enjoy the occasional classical piece in the mix but this is waaay too long. Yes, yes I know about PSD but this is a bit of classical overkill for a movement that simply repeats itself.
 
Philip Glass called and said, Thanks.
Thanks for.
Thanks for the.
Thanks for the inspiration. 


BTW, for folks complaining: I always figure that a good measure is - how many songs have any of us written that last in the public ear for decades, now almost going into its second century?
And, I strongly protest following this tune with freakin' Coldplay
where else but RP would you find this in a playlist?! thank you, thank you, thank you{#Drool}
from a 9 to a 10 - come on, how could you not?