Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


 REVIEW

Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively
CD: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

 


Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Daphnis et Chloé (1910/1911) [55:49]
Shéhérazade, ouverture de féerie (1899) [15:33]
MDR Rundfunkchor/Howard Arman
Orchestre Nationale de Lyon/Jun Märkl
rec. 15-17 January, 11 February 2008 (Daphnis); 16-17 February 2008 (Shéhérazade), Auditorium de Lyon, France. DDD
NAXOS 8.570992 [71:37]
Experience Classicsonline



Daphnis et Chloé, Ravel's only full-length ballet, comes close to being his masterpiece in most people’s eyes. For me, however, La Valse and the D major Piano Concerto are the works which tower over his output. Written for, and first performed by, Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1912, Daphnis is a rich and opulent score, full of the most beautiful and descriptive music which can stand quite easily without the visual aspect. Whilst it sounds gorgeous and is very easy on the ear, it’s a complicated piece to get to grips with. The music relies on leitmotifs for the characters and the music is always cross-referencing, so your ears have to be alert to all that is passing before them.

There have been many recordings over the years but none has superseded the one conducted by Pierre Monteux - who led the première - with the Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the London Symphony Orchestra recorded in the superb acoustic of the Kingsway Hall in April 1959 (Decca 000624802).

Recently Märkl and his Lyon Orchestra have given us two disks of Debussy’s orchestral music - the second being especially impressive (Naxos 8.570993) - and so this disk promised much. I wasn’t disappointed. This is a very good performance of the score, very well recorded so every little detail can be heard, the balance between choir and orchestra is good and it’s a very enjoyable experience. Märkl really understands this music and moulds it to his vision, the orchestra willingly going with him and producing some excellent playing.

There are one or two important points I must make. The choir could be a little more seductive. It is rather heavy-handed, or should that be voiced, at times and therefore lacking in poetry which can be a distraction, such as in the famous Daybreak at the start of the final scene. However, in the unaccompanied section at the end of scene 1 there is some ravishing singing. Also, in a couple of places, such as the Brigands dance, which opens the second scene, the brass fails to make the requisite impact. This might be because the disk has a very wide dynamic range - the opening pages are so quiet as to be almost inaudible if played at your usual volume setting; turn it up and there’s a fine recording here. I wonder if the seating of the orchestra was such that the brass were placed too far from the microphones so that their contribution seems less immediate than the rest of the orchestra. It’s a small point for there is a marvellous presence to this recording and the performance is very good, if not in the inspired league of the aforementioned Monteux disk. No matter, at the price it’s well worth the outlay.

As a pleasing coupling we have the early, and quite delightful, fairy overture, Shéhérazade. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the great song-cycle of the same name from four years later. The brass balance is better here and the orchestra is totally at home in this music. That said, the overture shouldn’t appear after the climactic moment of Daphnis; it should have been placed at the start of the disk,

This is totally recommendable - especially at the price - but don’t be without the Monteux on any account.

Bob Briggs  

see also review by John-Pierre Joyce Recording of the Month - April

 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.