One of my many prejudices is a dislike of the writer and broadcaster Clive James. As biases go, this one is harsh and wholly unreasonable. My antipathy is solely down to one snide remark made in a review many years ago about Ravel being the world's "most boring composer". I could never forgive him.
This was brought to mind by a moving radio programme (available here for a limited time) about the dementia that allowed Ravel's creative mind to stay active but left him unable to communicate, trapping his music in his head. It is a tragic story and though the programme focused on the possible effect of the illness on his music, it was a celebration of his brilliance as well. And brilliance is the right word. The music is full of colour and fire and, at its most lyrical, ravishes. Boring? Never.