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Bolero, lasts approximately 9 minutes, and repeats each of the theme’s two parts many times in the same key, using different orchestrations to vary the texture and to create a gradual crescendo. (The pattern is AA BB repeated, and then a single repeat of AB, leading to the modulation which gives the piece its cataclysmic ending.)
Ravel was insistent that the work should be played at a steady and unvarying tempo (as his own recording demonstrates). After a performance in 1930, he reprimanded Toscanini for taking the work too fast and for speeding up at the climax.
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