1904 - 1908: Paris, Levallois-Perret, 11 rue Chevallier (11 rue Louis Rouquier)

The industrial suburb of Levallois-Perret in the north-west of Paris was the location of the automobile business at which Ravel's father and brother worked. After the boulevard Péreire, the family moved here to live at 11 rue Chevallier (the street is now renamed rue Louis Rouquier).

The years during which Ravel was living here were highly productive. He completed or substantially wrote the following:

    Sonatine (1903-1905)

    Cinq mélodies populaires grecques & Tripatos (1904-1907)

    Introduction et allegro (1905)

    Noël des jouets (1905)

    Histoires naturelles (1906)

    Une barque sur l'océan (for orchestra) (1906)

    Vocalise-étude en forme de habanera (1907)

    L'Heure espagnole (1907)

    Rapsodie espagnole (1907-1908)

    Gaspard de la nuit (1908)

It was also while living here that he had his first thoughts on the work which he then referred to as Vienne and which, after being set aside for many years, would come to fruition as La Valse. He was also developing an operatic work which was never to be completed, La Cloche engloutie.

Ravel's father Joseph died in October 1908, and in the following month Ravel and his mother and brother went to live in the avenue Carnot.

Ravel's association with the building at 11 rue Chevallier / rue Louis Rouquier is now commemorated by a plaque, installed in March 2015.

11 rue Louis Rouquier (05/2012) ©Manuel Cornejo
Plaque at 11 rue Louis Rouquier, now rue Chevallier (04/2015) ©Manuel Cornejo

From the autumn of 1930 until his death in 1937, Ravel had a 'second home' at 16 rue Chevallier. A pied-à-terre apartment was fitted out for him, in art-deco style, by Léon Leyritz in the same building where his brother Edouard now lodged with his friend and patron Victor Bonnet and his wife Angèle Bonnet. This was the site of the "Atéliers mécaniques Bonnet", the automobile works where Ravel's father as well as his brother had been employed many years before, and to which the Bonnets and Edouard moved back from Saint-Cloud after 1919. Ravel used the small apartment when he was staying in Paris rather than returning to his home at Montfort-l'Amaury (which was a 30 kilometre journey from Paris). Its stylish décor and furnishings can be seen in a few surviving photographs, but the building was demolished in 1990.

Plaque at 16 rue Louis Rouquier (05/2012) ©Manuel Cornejo

Today a modern building stands at no. 16 rue Louis-Rouquier, on the corner with rue Camille Desmoulins, and Ravel's association is marked by a plaque on the wall. Unfortunately, its text (saying that "The composer Maurice Ravel lived here from 1905 to 1937") gives very erroneous information and makes no recognition of the two different addresses at which Ravel lived at different periods. Ravel was not resident in this street at all between 1909 and 1929.

The modern building at 16 rue Louis Rouquier (05/2012) ©Manuel Cornejo