Ravel’s Boléro is one of the most performed pieces in the concert repertoire. For 338 out of the 340 bars the drum beats out the hypnotic rhythm which has pulled in the crowds since its first performance in 1928.
Ravel himself described his most famous work as a joke. but what about the musicians who have to play it? For conductor Bramwell Tovey it’s full of great moments; Jack Brymer thinks it’s like being hit behind the ear with a sock full of wet sand.
It was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and won a Sony Radio Award for Best Classical Music Programme.
Producer RICHARD BANNERMAN