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Ravel: Rapsodie Espagnole, Etc / Martinon, Chicago Symphony


Release Date: 06/06/2000 
Label:  Rca Red Seal Hp Catalog #: 63683   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Edward DruzinskyDonald PeckClark Brody
Conductor:  Jean Martinon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Jean Martinon led the Chicagoans for a brief five years before he was hounded out of town by a rabid musical press and a board seduced by the prospect of a more glamorous music director. But he left a remarkably choice recorded legacy, including this authoritative all-Ravel disc. He knew Ravel, played violin under the composer's baton, and went on to re-record these and other Ravel works in France for EMI. Those later efforts, recently reissued on a two-fer, don't quite match this Chicago production, perhaps due to an orchestra incapable of the sheer virtuosity on display here.


This Rapsodie Espagnole is one of the best ever, comparable to Fritz Reiner's with the same great
Read more orchestra. It's played with luminous mystery in the prelude, languorous sensuality in the Habanera, and blazing excitement in the Feria, where the trumpet-led climaxes generate tumultuous thrills. Similar pleasures inform all of the pieces on the disc. The Alborada del gracioso is especially atmospheric, with an authentic Iberian flavor. This is a work unusually well served on disc and Martinon's can stand alongside Ernest Ansermet's swifter version (London) and Paul Paray's explosive one (Mercury) at the top of the heap. The Mother Goose Suite is played with affection if without the diamond clarity brought to the complete score by Boulez on Sony or the warmth of Monteux on Philips.


The Chicago strings join soloists from the orchestra in the Introduction and Allegro, adding some bloat to a piece originally written for harp, flute, clarinet, and string quartet. The Daphnis Suite is about as sure-fire a work as any in the repertoire and it gets a smashing performance here, with brilliant strings, delicately traced wind phrasing, and the full power of the Chicago musical dynamo in full roar. It's not quite as spicy as Leonard Bernstein's New York recording (Sony) but compensates with more refined playing and airier quiet passages. These excellences are enhanced by RCA's remastering, part of its High Performance series. Whatever the hype about recapturing 24/96's virtues in the standard digital format, it works here. Spectacular sound. Ravel would have been pleased. [7/27/2000]
--Dan Davis, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Rapsodie espagnole by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Jean Martinon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907-1908; France 
Date of Recording: 04/11/1968 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 14 Minutes 29 Secs. 
2.
Ma mère l'oye: Suite by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Jean Martinon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908-1910; France 
Date of Recording: 04/11/1968 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 15 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Maurice Ravel (1911) 
3.
Miroirs: Alborada del gracioso by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Jean Martinon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904-1905; France 
Date of Recording: 04/11/1968 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 7 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Maurice Ravel 
4.
Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Edward Druzinsky (Harp), Donald Peck (Flute), Clark Brody (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Jean Martinon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; France 
Date of Recording: 05/13/1968 
Venue:  Medinah Temple, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 9 Minutes 41 Secs. 
5.
Daphnis et Chloé Suite no 2 by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Jean Martinon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
Date of Recording: 11/28/1964 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 16 Minutes 51 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Prélude à la nuit
Malagueña
Habanera
Feria
Alborada del gracioso
Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant
Petit Poucet
Laideronnette, Impératrice des Pagodes
Les entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête
Le jardin féerique
Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet, and Strings
Lever du jour
Pantomime
Danse générale

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