Ravel’s sumptuous one-movement Bolero continually develops along its meandering instrumental path to its shattering conclusion, underpinned by a metronomic side drum. Originally nearly 15 minutes long, Phillip Littlemore has condensed it into 4 minutes of building tension.
Ravel’s one-movement orchestral piece Bolero was written in 1928. It epitomises Ravel’s preoccupation with restyling and reinventing dance movements. It was also one of the last pieces he composed before illness forced him into retirement. The original version has a duration of between 15 and 18 minutes, depending on the tempo set by the conductor. This brass band arrangement is significantly shorter, lasting a mere 4 minutes or so. There is also an ‘extra’ ending, similar to the one used in the musical sensation Blast! which almost guarantees additional applause at any concert!