Instrumentation: 2d1+1+alto, 2+1, 2+1+Eb, 3+1 - 4, 4, 3, 1, timp, perc, 2hp, cel, str, mx chor
Ravel's longest work at almost an hour, the complete one-act ballet Daphnis et Chloe was described by the composer as a "symphonie choregraphique" (choreographic symphony). Ravel began the work, a romance about the Greek goatherd Daphnis and the shepherdess Chloe, upon receiving a 1909 commission from famed Russian ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev, and the premiere in 1912 included Vaslav Nijinksky and Tamara Karsavina in the title roles. Full of lush harmonies typical of the impressionist movement and musical leitmotifs, the work is considered among Ravel's most passionate and best compositions. Ravel extracted the music from the ballet to make two orchestra suites, which can be performed with or without chorus, of which this Suite No. 2 is particularly popular.