A composer at Montfort L’Amaury!

Here I am in a music mode! Well there is so much in my belle France. I have written on this one briefly but feels he needs a bit more. Therefore, here is my hommage to Maurice Ravel, the composer.

When I was in Versailles, I came often to his town and initially walking to the tour donjon of Anne de Bretagne, saw his house by chance. Then, the rest is history. I like to tell you more about the Maison Museum of Maurice Ravel in Montfort L’Amaury in the Yvelines dept 78 of the ïle de France region.

Montfort L'Amaury mus maison Maurice Ravel 2011

The house now museum of Maurice Ravel (music composer creator of Bolero )  call the  Belvédère, a mansion from the 20C at the foot of the ruins of the donjon/tower Anne de Bretagne ,looking down on the house by Rue Maurice Ravel.

Montfort L'Amaury

Le Belvédère is the name of the house located in Montfort-l’Amaury  that the composer Maurice Ravel lived for sixteen years from 1921 until the year of his death in a clinic in Paris in 1937

This relatively modest and cramped house, acquired in January 1921, owes its name to its hillside location and the panorama it offers of the town of Montfort-l’Amaury and the Rambouillet forest in the background. It is in this house that the composer composed almost all of his works from 1921, including L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Chansons madécasses, the famous Boléro (I know him for it), the Concerto in G for piano and orchestra, the Concerto pour le main gauche.

The house, inherited by the musician’s brother, Édouard Ravel, firstly remained under the care of the musician’s faithful governess of Breton origin, Mrs. Marie Reveleau. the custody of the Belvedere was jointly entrusted in 1954 to Céleste Albaret, former governess of Marcel Proust, and to her sister Marie Gineste. However, Céleste Albaret had to leave the Belvedere in 1970. In his second authentic will of July 18, 1958, Édouard Ravel bequeathed the Belvedere to the Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Union of National Museums).  The museum officially opened as such on May 18, 1973

Guided tours in small groups are organized there every weekend, and during the week by appointment. The house contains many precious and unusual objects. Indeed, Ravel collected trinkets, surprising and wonderful objects. He took great care to decorate his house, perfectly in his image. In the music room are the composer’s office and his Erard piano, made in 1908 and acquired in 1911, who traveled from 4 avenue Carnot to Paris where he was until 1917, then to Neuilly-sur-Seine until at the installation at the Belvedere which began in January 1921

In this room of the house there are also, in addition to numerous objects and souvenirs, five family portraits: two portraits of the child composer, one by his Swiss uncle Édouard Ravel and the other painted in 1886; one of his younger brother Édouard Ravel as a child by the Swiss uncle Édouard Ravel, one of his mother Marie Delouart also by uncle Édouard Ravel and one of his father Joseph Ravel. In the dining room, there is among other things a realistic bust of Maurice Ravel made in the summer of 1928.

The Belvedere can be visited by appointment with the Tourist Office of Montfort-l’Amaury, in groups of six people at most. See the second link below for reservations.

The foundation of Maurice Ravel has more info on the house museum in English here: Foundation of Maurice Ravel on the Belvedere house museum

The city of Montfort L’Amaury on the house museum Maurice Ravel in English

There you go a bit of culture away in a small quant town in my beloved Yvelines, nearer my dear Versailles. Its a nice detour to see what could be call an off the beaten path visit in my belle France. The house museum Maurice Ravel is very interesting if into music.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

ps. and give credit when credit is due hooray for Montfort L’Amaury and Ravel.  Le Village préfére des Français or the Favorite Village of the French? We will have to wait until the start of summer 2020  to find out on France 3 television, on the program of the same name. Stéphane Bern will take up his pilgrim’s staff to take viewers to visit the fourteen villages vying for this 2020 edition. A stroll that will pass, in Île-de-France, through the charming little medieval town of Montfort-l’Amaury, in the Yvelines, which also houses, through a museum, the memory of the composer Maurice Ravel, the man of the “Boléro”. Stay tune!!



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