MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

  2022
 58,121 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk
Stanczyk Acousmatic Music

Oropesa

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus

 

Support us financially by purchasing this from
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Orchestral Works – Volume 2

Valses nobles et sentimentales (1911) [15:25]
Gaspard de la nuit (1908, orch. Marius Constant, 1990) [22:15]
Le tombeau de Couperin (1914-17) [16:12]
La valse (1920) [12:47]
Orchestre National de Lyon/Leonard Slatkin
rec. September 2011 (Valses), November 2012, Auditorium de Lyon
NAXOS 8.572888 [66:39]

The good news: Leonard Slatkin comes to life in a characterful reading of Le tombeau de Couperin. The opening Prélude sounds a bit runny - the rhythmic foundation could be firmer - but the interplay of colours is pleasing. Slatkin paces the two middle movements slightly faster than usual, underlining the dance element in the Forlane and the easy flow of the Menuet . The Rigaudon is splashy, if perhaps over-aggressive.
 
La Valse, too, is good. The 1960s and 1970s vogue for performances that underlined civilization's mad rush to destruction seems, mercifully, to have passed; conductors now feel free to play this score for purely musical values, as Slatkin does. He brings a sense of fantasy to the lightly scored passages, and infuses the rest with an appropriate dance-like lilt. The woodwind run around the ten-minute mark is slightly ahead of everyone else.
 
Valses nobles et sentimentales is a case of swings and roundabouts. The rhythmic chords at the start are muffled and soggy. The piquant third (Modéré) and fourth (Assez animé) movements flow gracefully, but the fifth (Presque lent), though attentively moulded, loses momentum. The Moins vif movement, anticipating the buoyant rhythmic patterns of La valse, achieves some uplift; but then the Epilogue, less an actual waltz than a thoughtful reflection on the form, lies there inert.
 
Marius Constant's transcription of Gaspard de la nuit is intelligently conceived - such liquid piano writing doesn't transfer readily to the orchestra - even if Constant seems to have had Debussy’s La mer, rather than Ravel, in his ear. Here we get the Slatkin familiar from his earlier series of RCA recordings, seemingly unattuned to subtleties of orchestral colour and texture. The lightly scored opening of Ondine conveys no sense of anticipation; the high-lying passages don't shimmer; the climaxes don't surge. In Le gibet, the woodwinds at the start draw the ear, but successive episodes become increasingly static. The chattering bits in Scarbo are effective, but the fuller passages that follow sound generalized, the tuttis portentous. In short, we have the sounds without the music.
 
The Gaspard transcription awaits a more fully realized performance. Meanwhile, for durable accounts of the other works, you could do worse than Boulez’s Sony versions, from Cleveland (La valse) and New York, with Martinon (EMI), Monteux (Philips), and Masur (Warner Apex) as possible supplements for La valse.

Stephen Francis Vasta
Stephen Francis Vasta is a New York-based conductor, coach, and journalist.

Previous review: Paul Corfield Godfrey