Frivolity, tragedy and serenity: the many sides of BBC NOW

It is telling that Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales were written before World War One and La valse afterwards. Ravel loved the waltz and its associations with the Viennese court, but after having fought on the Front against Germany and Austria, his feelings about the Viennese waltz had changed. Following the war, the opulence of the Viennese courts could never be returned to, turning La valse into a tribute to a lost past. 

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