Pierre Lalo  (1866 - 1943)

The son of the composer Edouard Lalo, Pierre became a prominent music critic who wrote for the newspaper Le Temps from 1898. He was a firm advocate of the music of Debussy, but his hostility to Ravel lasted for nearly 40 years - though other composers such as Delage and Honegger also received his disapproval.

Shéhérazade (ouverture): "Pour qualifier cette rhapsodie d'ouverture 'construite d'après le plan classique', il faut que M. Ravel ait beaucoup de candeur ou d'imagination; à moins qu'il ne se moque agréablement de nous. " (Le Temps, 13.vi.1899)

Quatuor à cordes: "[In its harmonies ...its sonority and form ...in all the sensations which it evokes, it offers an incredible similarity to the music of Monsieur Debussy.]" (Le Temps, iii.1904)

Miroirs: "Le plus saillant de ces défauts est une étrange ressemblance avec M. Claude Debussy," (Le Temps, 30.i.1906)

In 1906-1907, there were public exchanges of letters regarding Ravel's originality and indebtedness to Debussy. (Orenstein [1989] letters 29, 41).

Histoires naturelles: "[...Rather in the style of a café-concert, café-concert with ninths, but I would almost be tempted to prefer café-concert by itself.]" (Le Temps, 19.iii.1907)

Rapsodie espagnole: "[A parsimonious España.]" (Le Temps, 24.iv.1908)

L'Heure espagnole: [Its vocal style "puts you in mind of that of 'Pelléas' played on a gramophone at an excessively reduced speed.]" (Le Temps, 28.v.1911)

However in 1905, Lalo did join the criticism of the jury for the Prix de Rome which rejected Ravel's fifth application for the competition.

www.maurice-ravel.net