Maurice Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit ranks among the most important piano works of the 20th century and, as it were, represents the pinnacle of the extension of the piano playing techniques and tonal possibilities which started in the 19th century. Ravel took poems by Aloysius Bertrand as a basis of the three movements Ondine, Le Gibet and Scarbo. Thus, he follows the 19th-century tradition to combine instrumental music with literary works. The new edition of Wiener Urtext not only consulted the first edition, which has been used almost exclusively up to now, but also Ravel's autograph and his personal copy of the first edition on the basis of which numerous passages in the musical text could be corrected. Additional information from personal copies of Ravel pupils are analysed in the Notes on Interpretation. The edition in the reader-friendly large Wiener Urtext format is completed by a glossary in three languages of the French performance instructions used by Ravel as well as English and German translations of the three poems by Bertrand.
Maurice Ravel wrote his Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn in September 1909 to commemorate the Viennese classicist who died 100 years before on 31 May 1809. The piece was published for the first time in connection with an “Hommage à Joseph Haydn” in the Revue musicale to which several contemporaries of Ravel contributed as well. The original edition, still in use today, was published shortly after. A comparison with the composer's autograph, currently in France and privately owned, clearly shows the errors and shortcomings of the two first editions so that Ravel's musical intentions can now be published in full measure for the first time in the present new critical edition.