Bolero To Be Taken Seriously?

"Bolero" is a classical piece of music composed by Maurice Ravel in 1928. It is technically a ballet and premiered at the Paris Opera in 1928. Today is has been said that it is played every 15 minutes somewhere in the world. What few people know about the piece is that Bolero was never meant to be taken seriously.

First, the premiere performance staging - "Inside a tavern in Spain, people dance beneath the brass lamp hung from the ceiling. [In response] to the cheers to join in, the female dancer has leapt onto the long table and her steps become more and more animated."  This scenario seems to suit quite well the composition with its exotic tones and Ravel's interest in restructuring dance of the time. However, Ravel wished for his premier stage setting to be an open-air setting with a factory in the background reflecting the mechanical nature of the music. In fact, the piece itself was composed as a slap-in-the-face to repetitive classical musical conventions. Ravel himself believed that no orchestra would play the piece, well, because he assumed they would find it too boring.

One account of uncertain substantiability states that at the premier of Bolero a woman shouted that Ravel was mad. When told about this, Ravel smiled and commented that the woman had understood the piece.

Regardless, Bolero became Ravel's most famous composition.

Bolero is usually played as a full orchestra composition, rarely staged as its intended ballet. Arrangements of the composition were made for single and duet piano, with Ravel himself composing a piano duet version that was published in 1930.

The composition was only intended to be a parody of classical compositions and ended up being legendary.