Maurice Ravel
No. 1 from Gaspard de la nuit

Inspired by the dark poetry of Aloysius Bertrand, Gaspard de la Nuit is a triptych evoking images of horror. Ondine portrays a water nymph trying to seduce a mortal man to visit her kingdom at the bottom of a lake.

ID: 1830
Key: C-sharp Major
Year: 1908
Level: 8+
Period: Impressionism
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The Water Nymph

Each of the pieces in Gaspard de la nuit is prefaced by one of Aloysius Bertrand’s poems. The first, Ondine, portrays a water nymph singing to seduce a mortal man to visit her kingdom at the bottom of a lake. The soft, shimmering music emerges out of nothing, and goes on to capture the swirling flow and glittering splashes of water.

...When she had breathed her song, she begged me –
begged me – to put her ring on my finger;
to be her husband and sink with her down –
down to her drowned palace
and be king of all the lakes.
I told her I loved a mortal woman.
Abashed and vexed, she dissolved into tears and laughter;
vanished in a scatter of rain…


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:

“Les fées sont d'exquises danseuses“ by ravelfan07
Is it just me or Debussy’s “ Les fées sont d'exquises danseuses” sounds similar to Ravel’s Ondine?...

Playing two notes with thumb by diegoyan
Hi everyone, I've had this question for some time so I decided to give it a try here to see if I get some answers, since due to the pan...

Hands crossing in Ondine by skryabyn
I'm having problems in mm 15-16. Very frustrating! Now that I'm analyzing it, the most frustrating parts of other pieces that I ne...

Help with Ondine descending thirds fingering by minhogang
First set of thirds, I use 1-4 3-5 1-4 2-3, but I have quite short fingers so I end up rolling the thirds. What are your fingerings on this?...

Short story featuring Peabody, "Ondine" and two amazing pianists by earleaw
Hi everyone, I posted here about six months ago looking for some answers to research regarding my short story. Everyone was very helpful an...

Ravel by berman
Hey guys, I was thinking of start practising Ravels Ondine from Gaspard de la Nuit in a couple of months but I havent played Ravel before. I...

Ravel's Ondine - RH chord tremolo by ondine88
The RH chord tremolos in Ravel's Ondine are obviously a challenge.   Does anyone have tips on how to play this well if one does n...

Some questions about Ondine by gregh87
I'm learning this piece, and man, is it gorgeous!  I have a couple technical questions: 1.  When it goes into 3 staves, do y...

Comparative difficulty of Ravel's Ondine and Jeux d'eau by debussy symbolism
Greetings I am about to strart one of these pieces and am not sure about their difficulty in terms of technique compared to one other. If y...

Ravel: Ondine by Colette
I'm currently playing Ondine from Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, and I've been looking for some very good recordings. I've heard Perlamuter and...

Member's recordings of piece:

Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit: Ondine by iamazombie911
p-2j01kSLeo I have a whole year before auditions, I would appreciate brutally honest feedback. ...

Ravel Ondine by cay123
Hope you enjoy - this is one of my favourite pieces, it's taken me a long time to really feel that I've mastered it! And still it ...

Ravel Ondine by 88kcookiezi
Whelp figured i'd go and embarrass myself.  Lets go bois Its probably the only time ill get anything remotely properly recorded.&...

Gaspard de la nuit - Ondine by rabbidrabbit
Here is my Ondine! Appreciate any comments; no teacher last few years so I learned this with little guidance. Some of my comments: opening f...

Ravel - Ondine by gruffalo
Hi. I've got 2 recordings of this piece and i need to send one of them off for a summer school audition thing and im also hoping for s...

Ravel "Ondine" by fnork
25/9-07 Taken from a concert with mostly chamber music with the following program: Prokofiev - Five melodies Ravel - Ondine Faure - Elegi...

Ravel: Ondine & Scarbo from "Gaspard de la Nuit" by ElectraFingers
Hello everyone, Please tell me what you think. This was recorded in a live concert. Ondine ->

Members who like this piece have also downloaded:

Maurice Ravel: Ondine No. 1 in C-sharp Major from Gaspard de la nuit - piano sheet music to print instantly. This piece is level 8+ and was composed during the Impressionism period.
This piece is composed by Maurice Ravel and was published in 1908. Title: Ondine, No. 1 in C-sharp Major from Gaspard de la nuit. The difficulty level if graded by ABRSM would be approximately 8+ and it belongs to the Impressionism period.