One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

absolutely thrilling

immediacy and spontaneity

Schumann Lieder

24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs

‘Box of Delights.’

J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue

a most welcome issue

I enjoyed it tremendously

the finest traditions of the house

music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message

ground-breaking, winning release

screams quality

Surprise of the month

English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Pavane pour une infante défunte (1910) [7:33]
Daphnis et Chloé - Suite No. 2 (1912) [15:51]
Ma Mère l'Oye (1908-11) [17:39]
Rapsodie Espagnole (1907) [16:22]
USSR State Academic Symphony Orchestra/Evgeny Svetlanov
rec. live, Grand Hall, Moscow State Conservatory, 17 March 1975
MELODIYA MELCD1002338 [57:33]

This is fairly unusual: a Ravel collection taken from an audience-filled Moscow concert hall. Single-disc Ravel anthologies are common enough but not ones presenting recordings taken down at a public concert. You certainly cannot mistake the presence of the audience: there's applause after each item and a speckle of shuffling and coughs during the music. The recording is pretty immediate but no one can credibly claim that the results are silky. It sounds best when driven hard; loud volume settings are desirable.

Evgeny Svetlanov (1928-2002) ventured forth on disc twice with Debussy's La Mer; once with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra and once with the Orchestre National de France. Each was well received here. How does he fare with Ravel? Pretty well in fact, although a warbling tone in the Pavane does not help. Nor is this the most detailed of recordings in terms of transparency. Still, some telling points are made such as the very sensitive sighing whisper of a violin entry at 1.54. Daphnis appears courtesy of Suite no 2. Lever du Jour communicates as an expansive and slowly eruptive warm wash. Svetlanov is very sensitive when it comes to differentiating dynamic contrasts - all the more impressive in a live concert. The Danse générale boasts some corybantic flashes of animation. Ravel clearly learnt much from Borodin's Polovtsian Dances going by the squealing woodwind. On the debit side the strings are rather steely.

For me the Philips studio recordings of Ma Mère l'Oye by Monteux and the LSO are the reference (review ~ review) alongside Antonio Pedrotti's version with the Czech PO (Supraphon Archiv SU4199-2) which has just been reissued. Svetlanov's Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant lingers unduly while his Petit Poucet is disfigured by an tremulous oboe. There are brass imprecisions in Laideronnette, impératrice des pagodes. The slow plangent pulse in Les entretiens de la belle et de la bête is spot-on and the evil in the garden is nicely painted. A hushed Le jardin féerique has a nice warm glow. The Rapsodie Espagnole has a nicely pert Malagueña with some italicised trumpet work while the Habañera is suitably haughty and stiff-necked. In the Feria we are again treated to not the sweetest of violin sounds - more wormwood than nectar.

The liner notes are in Russian, English and French and are by Boris Mukosey. I am not sure why the work and movement titles have been translated from French into English. The original French has more atmosphere.

These fresh and enjoyable recordings were made at a concert dedicated to Ravel’s 100th anniversary so have historical significance. Even so, overall, this is more for Svetlanov enthusiasts or Ravel completists.

Rob Barnett



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger