Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

Maurice Ravel: Pavane pour une infante défunte

for Wind Quintet and Piano


Maurice Ravel composed Pavane pour une infante défunte originally as a solo piano piece in 1899, while studying composition at the Paris Conservatoire. He subsequently orchestrated the work in 1910. The title roughly translates as a 'Pavane for a dead young Spanish princess'. Ravel described the piece as an evocation of a pavane that a young princess might have danced at a Spanish court in earlier times. Perhaps irritated by the work's success with the public, Ravel also later stated that the title was chosen merely because he enjoyed the sound of the words. He disliked performances of the work that were too slow, once stating that he wrote a Pavane for a dead princess, not a dead Pavane for a princess. The long opening melody and simple but characteristic harmonies ensure the piece's popularity. This arrangement for wind quintet and piano is based on both Ravel's piano and orchestral versions.


Instrumentation: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, piano


Available to purchase from Aria Editions here