Maurice Ravel
Le Gibet
No. 2 from Gaspard de la nuit

Inspired by the dark poetry of Aloysius Bertrand, Gaspard de la Nuit is a triptych evoking images of horror. Le Gibet conjures up the image of a corpse suspended from a gibet in the light of the setting sun, while a bell is tolling in the distance.

ID: 1831
Key: E-flat Minor
Year: 1908
Level: 8+
Period: Impressionism
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Each of the pieces in Gaspard de la nuit is prefaced by one of Aloysius Bertrand’s poems. Le Gibet conjures up the image of a corpse suspended from a gibet in the light of the setting sun, while a bell is tolling in the distance. Ravel´s bell is the B-flat octave that sounds continuously throughout the piece.

What is it – this uneasy sound in the dusk?
Is it the screech of the north wind,
or does the hanged man on the gallows let out a sigh?
Is it a cricket who sings lurking in the moss and ivy
which covers the forest floor out of pity?...
It is the bell ringing by the walls of a city below the horizon
and the carcass of a hanged man reddened by the setting sun.

Background

Gaspard of the Night — Fantasies in the Manner of Rembrandt and Callot is a book by Aloysius Bertrand, considered one of the first examples of modern prose poetry, which had a profound influence on many later French poets and artists. Some of Bertrand's grotesque and nightmarish poems very much appealed to Ravel, who set his impressions of three of the poems to music. The resulting suite is considered to be one of the most difficult pieces in the pianist’s repertoire – Ravel deliberately set out to make the final movement more difficult than Balakirev’s Islamey.


Forum posts about this piece:

Le gibet by unholeee
Having trouble deciphering the score. in  bar 6, and 12 ? Is the Bb played on the chords, even though it looks like its written sligh...

Le Gibet--appropriate playing of large chords by rubygazelle
I'm working through Le Gibet and it's all going quite smoothly except for those beastly large descending chords in measures 20, 23...


Member's recordings of piece:

Le Gibet by rachmaninoff_forever
I've been meaning to post the entire Gaspard and I had a recording of all three of them in a concert which I thought was really well bu...


Members who like this piece have also downloaded:

Ravel: Le Gibet No. 2 in E-flat Minor (published in 1908) . DOWNLOAD piano sheet music from Piano Street digital sheet music library.
Le Gibet in E-flat Minor No. 2 by the composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). This piano piece was composed in 1908 and is part of Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit.