Ravel: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2

Ravel: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2

by Leonard Slatkin


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Product Details

Release Date: 11/19/2013
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313288878
catalogNumber: 8572888
Rank: 144522


  1. La valse, poème choréographique for orchestra
  2. Le tombeau de Couperin, for orchestra
  3. Gaspard de la nuit, for piano
  4. Valses (8) nobles et sentimentales, for piano (or orchestra)

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Ravel: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
DanClarino More than 1 year ago
I reviewed the first volume of the orchestral works of Ravel with Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestre National de Lyon a couple of months ago and found it well worth having. This second one is, perhaps, even better. Ravel's gift for orchestration is one of his trademarks. Especially in his waltz pieces is his flair for wonderful harmonies and delicate little sonic touches very apparent. The "Valses nobles et sentimentales" are a very charming set of short waltzes whose tone varies from the very refined and subdued to the more bombastic and celebratory. His "La valse" is well known for its gradual building and stunning, Spanish inflected feel. Slatkin paces all these works just perfectly and does not rush anything, capitalizing on the variety in the scores. Ravel intended "Le tombeau de Couperin" as a tribute to some friends who died in the first World War. Originally a piano piece, this is not a quote of any of Francois Couperin's keyboard masterworks but a tribute to their style. Ravel himself orchestrated the set for a ballet performance in 1920. The one work here not actually orchestrated by Ravel is "Gaspard de la nuit." Inspired by the writings of Aloysius Bertrand, Ravel intended the third movement, "Scarbo", to be one of the most virtuostic and difficult piano works one could play. Russian composer Marius Constant orchestrated the present version in 1990 (a previous version being done by Eugene Goosens in 1942) Each of these works illustrates Ravel's passion for both dance music as well as his love of earlier forms and the French Baroque. Slatkin is a gifted Ravel interpreter and has made outstanding recordings of his works on many occasions, including the present. I greatly admired the first volume of this collaboration on Naxos, like I said. This one is a very fine followup and I strongly recommend having both in your collection.
OscarOVeterano1 More than 1 year ago
RAVEL “Orchestral Works” 2 Naxos Orchestre National de Lyon Leonard Slatkin In this, their second recording of orchestral works by Maurice Ravel, the Orchestre National de Lyon (led by the great Leonard Slatkin) gives another interesting and professional performance of his early 20th century compositions, all of which, except “La valse”, were originally written for piano. Both “Valses nobles et sentimentales” and Le tombeau de Couperin” were orchestrated by Ravel shortly after they were written, allowing comparison of their impact as solo piano and, later orchestrated works. “La valse”, commissioned and rejected by Serge Dyagilev, is the only piece presented here which was originally done as a fully orchestrated work. All three compositions, utilizing 18th and 19th century dance forms and 20th century harmonic ideas, show Ravel as an era-straddling composer, inspired by and indebted to the past, but firmly committed to modernism and musical evolution. The one questionable inclusion here is Maurice Constant’s orchestration of “Gaspard de la nuit”. Produced 82 years after Ravel’s original composition (again, as a solo piano piece) it is, at best, an educated guess as to the composer’s intentions. That said, this is a solid, well made recording by a very good orchestra, led by one of the world’s best conductors, of music which is not heard as often as it deserves to be and which highlights Maurice Ravel’s contribution to the development of 20th century music. Highly recommended 81/2 out of 10 Oscar O. Veterano