Kids' Commute: Mother Goose Suite - Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas

May 20, 2015

Learn about the Maurice Ravel's "Mother Goose Suite," this week on the Kids' Commute!

This week on the Kids’ Commute, we’re exploring the Mother Goose Suite, by Maurice Ravel. We’ll hear David Ogden Stiers narrate some of the text from the stories of Mother Goose, and get to listen to the music associated with each story...Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb, Beauty and the Beast, and more! 

So, are you ready for some stories? 

French composer Maurice Ravel wrote the Mother Goose Suite in 1910. He took several fairy tales, and then wrote the related music not for children to just listen to, but to perform. The suite of music was originally written as a piano duet for two children named Mimi and Jean, ages 6 and 7.


Today, we hear the music from Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas.

The story is made up of a combination of other fairy tales. So, while you maybe aren’t familiar with Laideronnette, you are probably familiar with some of the themes that are contained in the story.

First, there is a fairy christening in the story, just like in Sleeping Beauty. And just as Sleeping Beauty’s mother forgets to invite a very cranky fairy, so also does Laideronnette’s mother. The cranky fairy in turn, curses Laideronnette with being the most ugly person in the entire world!

So, Laideronnette gets into a magical boat and sails away from her family, and is rescued by a hideous green serpent. As you might be thinking, this is a bit of a link to Beauty and the Beast! The serpent is very ugly, but is secretly a wonderful person who happens to be the king of the Pagodas. He’s also under a curse. The king loves Laideronnette for who she is, and Laideronnette loves the king for who he is. Together, their love defeats the wicked fairy who has cursed them both! In the end, they become the Emperor and Empress of the Pagodas...

Let’s listen to listen to David Ogden Stiers narrate a bit of Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas for us. Then we’ll hear the music to go along with the story!

Music piece for today:
Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas by Maurice Ravel, performed by Nina Flyer, and Chie Nagatani

Check out this fun video of Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas…

Listen to the Kids’ Commute live on Classical IPR every weekday morning at 7:40am or listen to the archived episode at the top of the post.