When the composer was living in Montfort-l'Amaury, France, he accompanied Helen Jourdan-Morhange and they shared a love for jazz. The classic blues band of W.C. Handy exhibited the style of St. Louis blues in Paris from 1923 to 1927. Ravel was inspired by the style of music and dance. Jazz elements can also be found in Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, etc.
Ravel applied the technical and melodic forms of blues. The sonata is stylistically very different from Ravel's earlier works. The music utilizes bitonality, the horizontal management of voices that Erik Satieloved and harmonies of gnashing hardness, which Igor Stravinsky begin to personify. Satie and Stravinsky may have influenced the opening of the new creative period where the blues of Ravel's sonata marked a high point.
More pieces by Ravel
- Alborada del gracioso
- Daphnis et Chloé (complete)