I composed this brief chamber piece for viola and piano to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the birth of French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). In creating this work, I devised an alphabetical grid to translate the letter of this composer’s name to music. I, then translated his birth year (1875) and this year (2015) into pitch-classes: (DbAbGF) and (DCDbF) On another level, Prelude on the Name “MAURICE RAVEL” serves as a collage piece with quotations from some memorable Ravel piano compositions: Miroirs (1901), Le tombeau de Couperin (1914-17), Sonatine (1905), and Juex d’eau (1901). I have treated these quotations carefully by transferring much of the melodic materials to the viola and matching the quotations with the alphabetical realization of Ravel’s name. In this way, this prelude demonstrates the musical past connecting and blending in with the present.
As of 2008, the music of Maurice Ravel has been "Public Domain" in France. It will be "Public Domain in the US in 2019.