Ravel: some kind of frog
Ravel and Brahms are challenging me at the moment. Ravel because he's such a Frenchman and I don't understand the cultural background. For research, I think I need to be immersed in French culture - so a trip to the video shop would technically be research. I've already got Amelie and some great French pop music that gets me started, and perhaps I'll reread Almost French and French Women Don't Get Fat...
I've also got some wonderful French photos on the bookshef here that should prove inspiring. For now, I'm trying to draw on my own "ethnic" - I mean "culturally and linguistically diverse" culture. It's a good start and I think I'm starting to crack it.
Brahms is getting to me because he was so intense and brooding. He was one of those guys who pretends to be gruff so nobody sees he's sweet. Early in his life, someone messed up his career by saying he was the "next Beethoven". NOooo!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because of that, he felt incredible pressure not to disappoint that stayed with him for life.
This particular piece seems a bit "romantic" - where romantic means "Tentacle and robot schoolgirl videos". I like to think that had Brahms been around to see modern culture, he'd spend all his money at the worn panties shop. But there's no evidence that he was a hentai - just a lot of very intense music.
Beethoven - I'm doing very well on my 16 minute sonata. And the other guy, Chopin, is fine as long as I focus hard on my fingers and keep my wrists loose.