Composer Yves Ramette (b. 1921) was born in Bavay, France, where his father was the director of a school. From a very young age Ramette was instinctively attracted towards music. When he was seven years old he started learning musical notation as well as to play the violin and the piano. At age fourteen, while pursuing his secondary studies at the Beauvais Lycée, he also began taking advanced lessons in harmony.

After finishing his studies in humanities, he entered the Conservatoire National de Musique de Paris to obtain training in harmony from Jacques de la Presle, and in contrapuntal and fugue from Simonne Plé-Caussade. He also took lessons in composition from Arthur Honegger at the École Normale de Musique de Paris and was awarded first prize in 1945 with one of his early works.

Ramette studied the violin with Robert Duforestel, the piano with Lélia Gousseau and Lazarre Lévy, and the organ with George Jacob. Under the able guidance of Eugéne Bigot, he took lessons in conducting and orchestration. From 1947 to 1953 he was the director of courses as well as organ and notation classes at the Schola Cantorum in Paris.

Named the “Maitre de Chapelle” and organ player at the Saint Ferdinand de Ternes church in Paris, he resigned in 1990 following a disagreement with religious authorities on the discontinuation of the devotional music. He founded the mixed choir “Voix Ardens” to promote the devotional and secular choral music of the traditional romantic and modern maestros and gave many concerts as the head of this choir from 1968-1987.

Ramette became acquainted with the American pianist Eric Himy at a concert in the mid 1990s. This meeting resulted in a friendly and productive collaboration. Himy performed and recorded number of his works, lending his prodigious technique and sensibility to Ramette’s difficult compositions.

Ramette’s later years were spent devoting himself to composing music and he continued to practice the organ as well as his favorite instrument, the piano. An avid reader, his preferences ranged from Greek and Latin classics to Middle Age authors, the great Classicists and Romanticists as well as historians. He is the author of a book entitled “Grandeur et Décadence d’une tribune” (Grandeur and Decadence of a Tribune).

Ramette passed away in June 2012 and is survived by his wife, Maryse Ramette. PARMA Recordings is proud to honor this exceptional composer’s legacy.

Albums

In Times Of Torment

Release Date: April 8, 2016
Catalog Number: NV6035
21st Century
Chamber
Cello
String Quartet
Violin
IN TIMES OF TORMENT, from the late composer Yves Ramette (1921-2012), displays major themes from almost every single musical era. Composed from 1941-1944 in Paris during the Nazi occupation, the album presents a unique perspective from Ramette, breaking away from the virtuosic piano works found in his previous albums to showcase varying chamber ensembles. Although his sonatas were written for the virtuosic violin and cello, the piano continues to be highlighted throughout his pieces, making it more than an accompaniment, but rather a featured instrument.
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Elements Rising

Release Date: March 10, 2015
Catalog Number: NV5990
21st Century
Chamber
Large Ensemble
Piano
String Orchestra
Navona Records' latest offering of chamber music ELEMENTS RISING highlights contemporary composers who re-imagine the building blocks of music, such as melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics, and timbre, in innovative ways, applying them to a number of duo and ensemble settings.
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The Golden Galaxy

Release Date: September 1, 2014
Catalog Number: NV5971
21st Century
Solo Instrumental
Organ
Piano
THE GOLDEN GALAXY, Navona Record's fourth release of works by the late French composer Yves Ramette (1921-2012), presents works for organ, an instrument which Ramette found to be expressive, dynamic, and warm in color, especially after his position as organist at Église Saint Ferdinand de Ternes in Paris, where he played the church's now replaced Cavaillé-Coll organ. This album is particularly significant in the catalog of this prolific composer since it is the first to feature Ramette both as the composer and the performer.
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Fine Music, Vol. 5

Release Date: April 1, 2014
Catalog Number: NV5949
21st Century
Chamber
Orchestral
Clarinet
Orchestra
Piano
Navona Records' new installment of the FINE MUSIC series presents a deep cross-sectionof the label's wide-ranging and provocative 2013/2014 release slate, featuring performances by the Grammy-nominated New York Polyphony, Ensemble Dal Niente, cellist Chris Wild, Grammy-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, the Apollo Chamber Players, and many more in works by Hindemith, DeGaetano, Hodkinson, Ramette, Stevens, Williams, Bakker, Rotolo, Vines, Sternfeld-Dunn, Brown, Tarlow, and others.
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At the Precipice

Release Date: May 1, 2014
Catalog Number: NV5948
21st Century
Orchestral
Orchestra
AT THE PRECIPICE, the third release on Navona Records featuring the music of the late composer Yves Ramette (1921-2012), showcases four world premiere recordings of the composer's works. Recorded with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in the summer of 2013 after his passing, these four orchestral pieces follow on the heels of Ramette's albums CASCADING INTO REVERIE for piano and orchestra and WITH PASSION for solo piano, and offer interesting insight into not only the composer himself but also the times in which he worked.
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With Passion, Works for Solo Piano

Release Date: October 1, 2013
Catalog Number: NV5932
20th Century
Solo Instrumental
Piano
WITH PASSION is the latest release from Navona Records featuring the works of French composer Yves Ramette (1921-2012). Exquisitely beautiful, these cascading works for solo piano stand alone within a palate of tine, color, and space that Mr. Ramette crafted and honed throughout his studies and professional career.
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Cascading into Reverie

Release Date: May 1, 2013
Catalog Number: NV5910
21st Century
Orchestral
Solo Instrumental
Piano
String Orchestra
French composer Yves Ramette's (1921-2012) music is marked by its ability to broadcast "messages of the heart," offering unflinching and distinguished representations of emotion and experience using traditional forms. A student of Honegger and contemporary of Boulez, among others, Ramette's works draw from the rhythmic and harmonic elements of mid-20th-century France.
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