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Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
Daphnis is an iconic work for this orchestra, which has recorded it complete on at least four previous occasions, twice for Munch and once each for Ozawa and Haitink. All of these performances have been generally excellent, with the two Munch recordings still considered (rightly) as reference interpretations. It's particularly satisfying to see James Levine, in a personal note, acknowledging this impressive legacy, and even more importantly delivering a performance that is fully worthy of it (especially considering the fact that Levine's earlier version, on DG with the Vienna Philharmonic, wasn't anything to cheer about).
Just about everything goes right here. The opening scene, so often taken too languorously, moves forward with an energy and purpose that still never slights the music's sensuality. This is also true of that other potential "dead" spot, Chloé's dance of supplication in Scene 2--not Ravel's strongest musical inspiration. The vigorous bits are terrific--the pirate's dance, and of course the closing celebration. Throughout it all the orchestra plays magnificently, the chorus is excellently balanced and atmospheric, the live audience decently quiet if not entirely inaudible.
The engineers have captured the sound of the orchestra in the splendid acoustic of Boston's Symphony Hall quite well in both regular and SACD stereo. All told, this release constitutes a smart and wholly successful first issue on the orchestra's new proprietary label. If they continue with an astute mix of new and historical material, they could amass a catalog of a quality and importance second to none. It's an exciting prospect.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Daphnis et Chloé by Maurice Ravel
Boston Symphony Orchestra,
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1909-1912; France
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Sounds real good to me May 16, 2012
By Richard H. (Glendale, AZ) See All My Reviews
"I am not all that familiar with this piece so maybe I should just keep quiet. I have heard other "suites" but this is the first full version. The orchestra is as good as you'll find anywhere and although this particular work may be new to them they sound just fine to me. Levine has always been a favorite of mine and after listening to this recording he still is."