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Ultimate French Classics [5-CD Set]


Release Date: 08/25/2009 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001313602   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Claude DebussyMaurice RavelGeorges BizetCamille Saint-Saëns,   ... 
Performer:  Daniel ChorzempaSylvia McNairThomas Allen
Conductor:  Vladimir AshkenazyPierre MonteuxSir Neville MarrinerBernard Haitink,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland OrchestraLondon Symphony OrchestraRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 5 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 5 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Praise from Gramophone for the original recordings which make up this set.

Monteux's Ravel:
"Ma mere l'oye is a notable case of a composer simplifying his style yet remaining himself. It is heard here in the ballet version, that is with the "Prelude", "Danse de rouet" and various interludes Ravel added for theatrical use, and in this form still evokes what he called "the poetry of childhood". This seems to be Monteux's view of :he work, also, and the textures are most sensitively moulded—in the "Prelude". for example; the tenderness of such things as the "Petit Poucet- melody, too, is quite affecting. In the other two pieces Ravel confines himself to particular
Read more rhythms, counteracting this with as much variety as possible in Lavalse and making a virtue out of monotony in Bolero. Monteux's account of the latter is as musical as can be, and never too insistent. La valse is a darkening and intensification of what had been achieved in V alses nobles et sentimentales; and the sombre opening hints at the later Concerto for the Left Hand. This, also, receives a performance of unobtrusive mastery, and the climax is grimly exuberant."

Zinman's Dukas:
"In L'apprenti sorcier the rhythm is consistently buoyant, the quality of the wind and the 'whipping' phrases of the strings imaginative and full of verve."

Marriner's Fauré:
"Marriner and his players have an affectionate approach [to the Requiem], with plenty of sensitivity in their shading and no lack of strength either, but all is accomplished at a tempo that has nothing overinsistent or pretentious about it. The choir, well balanced and unspoilt by intrusive vibratos or edgy basses, are highly skilled in maintaining the long line of phrase, especially important in the tenors' "Requiem aeternam" and Agnus Dei. As to mood, that too is nicely judged. Max Harrison's insert-notes quote Faure remarking, with approval, that somebody had called his Requiem "a lullaby of death". The lulling motion of the "Offertoire" supports this, and is well caught here; equally, any touch of the soporific or sanctimonious is avoided, in a performance that achieves tenderness without sentimentality."

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Works on This Recording

1. Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1894; France 
2. Nocturnes (3) for Orchestra by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1897-1899; France 
3. La mer by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
4. Rapsodie espagnole by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907-1908; France 
5. Boléro by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; France 
6. La valse by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; France 
7. Ma mère l'oye by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
8. Carmen: Suite no 1 by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; France 
9. Carmen: Suite no 2 by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; France 
10. L'arlésienne: Suite no 1 by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
11. L'arlésienne: Suite no 2 by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
12. Jeux d'enfants, Op. 22: Petite suite by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; France 
13. Symphony no 3 in C minor, Op. 78 "Organ" by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Daniel Chorzempa (Organ)
Conductor:  Edo De Waart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1886 
14. L'apprenti sorcier by Paul Dukas
Conductor:  David Zinman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; France 
15. Requiem, Op. 48 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Sylvia McNair (Soprano), Thomas Allen (Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1890; France 
16. Pavane, Op. 50 by Gabriel Fauré
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; France 
17. Choral sur le nom de Fauré by Charles Koechlin
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
18. In memoriam Gabriel Fauré, Op. 72 by Florent Schmitt
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922-1935; France 
19. Pavane pour une infante défunte by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; France 

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