Maurice Ravel, continued
To the general public, Ravel is probably best known for his orchestral work, Boléro, which he considered trivial and once described as "a piece for orchestra without music.
While many critics claim Ravel was influenced by composer Claude Debussy, Ravel himself claimed he was much more influenced by Mozart and Couperin, whose compositions are much more structured and classical in form. Ravel and Debussy were, however, clearly the defining composers of the impressionist movement. Ravel was also highly influenced by music from around the world, including American jazz, Asian music, and traditional folk songs from across Europe. Ravel had left the Roman Catholic Church and was a self-declared atheist, although he was also a spiritualist like many skeptics of his generation. He disliked the overtly religious themes of other composers, and instead preferred to look to classical mythology for inspiration. In 1907, after the premiere of Histoires Naturelles, a controversy erupted. Pierre Lalo, music critic of Le Temps, criticised the work as a plagiarism of Debussy. However, criticism was quickly silenced after the Rhapsodie espagnole was received with such high critical acclaim.