The Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a dead Princess) was originally written for solo piano in 1899 and dedicated to the Princess de Polignac. In 1910, the composer transcribed it for small orchestra. The title of this piece has led to many misconceptions, but Ravel stated that he did not consider it a funeral piece but simply an evocation of the old pavan dance form that might have been danced by a princess of a bygone age.
The piece has appeared in many arrangements and transcriptions, but it is particularly well-suited to alto instruments, such as the viola or English horn, with piano. I believe that the rich timbre of the English Horn, combined with the sonority of the piano, offers an ideal combination for the Pavane pour une infante défunte.
- Carolyn Hove
- Editions Bim