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Ravel, Lalo, Enescu / Navarra, Silvestri, Czech Philharmonic


Release Date: 09/19/2000 
Label:  Supraphon   Catalog #: 3514   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  Maurice RavelEdouard LaloGeorge Enescu
Performer:  André Navarra
Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

What a marvelous disc! A classic! Flaming greatness, folks! These four pieces, recorded in 1953 and 1956 in warm, realistically natural mono sound showcase both the excellence of the Czech Philharmonic as well as the art of Constantin Silvestri, one of the most exciting and spontaneously passionate conductors of his generation. The recital begins with a Ravel Rapsodie espagnole noteworthy for its attention to coloristic detail in the orchestra's lower registers, as well as for an aristocratic elegance of phrasing (has there ever been a more suavely projected "Habanera?") that characterizes even the most frenzied passages of the concluding "Feria." The piece shines with a nocturnal luminescence that's exactly right: Read more certainly what Ravel must have wanted. Next up: a fetchingly improvisational Lalo Cello Concerto that finds André Navarra in peak form. Silvestri projects the music with an urgency that makes something dramatically cogent even out of the dysfunctional first movement, while the remaining two have charm aplenty.


But the real prize is the two Enescu Romanian Rhapsodies. One of the most profound (and profoundly neglected) of 20th Century composers, Enescu grew to detest these pieces, which he saw achieve wide popularity at the expense of his larger, more complex works (especially symphonies 1-3 and the three orchestral suites, which, alongside the epic tone poem Vox Maris and the sublime opera Oedipe, comprise the bulk of his achievement in large forms). It's easy to understand why they became so popular though, when the tunes are so entrancing, and the sheer craftsmanship of Enescu's orchestral setting so incredibly brilliant and seductive. Silvestri's performances of both Rhapsodies are, quite simply, the finest that have ever been recorded. The combination of those sensationally characterful Czech winds, the spectacular virtuosity of the strings, the tangy interjections of brass and percussion, and Silvestri's own manic urgency of expression combine to make these two items unforgettable, worth the price of the disc alone. Listening to this disc practically defines the word "joy." Don't miss it!
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Rapsodie espagnole by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907-1908; France 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czechoslovakia 
Length: 16 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Cello in D minor by Edouard Lalo
Performer:  André Navarra (Cello)
Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; France 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Venue:  Dvorák Hall, Prague, Czechoslovakia 
Length: 24 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3.
Romanian Rhapsody no 1 in A major, Op. 11 no 1 by George Enescu
Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; Romania 
Date of Recording: 1956 
Venue:  Dvorák Hall, Prague, Czechoslovakia 
Length: 11 Minutes 48 Secs. 
4.
Romanian Rhapsody no 2 in D major, Op. 11 no 2 by George Enescu
Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; Romania 
Date of Recording: 1956 
Venue:  Dvorák Hall, Prague, Czechoslovakia 
Length: 11 Minutes 32 Secs. 

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