"Collection" CDs tend to get buried in the bins, but here's a lovely selection of French music for violin and orchestra that spotlights the artistry of James Ehnes, the award-winning virtuoso whose Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Analekta caused a sort of mini-sensation among lovers of great violin playing a couple of years ago. Here he offers interpretations of remarkable poise and purity in the two Saint-Saëns gems (Havanaise and Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso), along with a really gorgeous, dusky, but flowing account of Chausson's popular Poème--and he lets his hair down a bit in Milhaud's jazzy Cinéma Fantaisie.
Berlioz's rarely-encountered (live, at least) Rêverie et CapriceRead more makes a welcome appearance (how marvelously Ehnes floats those rhythms in the Caprice!), and a remarkably un-tacky Méditation from Thaïs closes the program. Yoav Talmi leads the Quebec Symphony in fine accompaniments and also gets to strut his stuff in a lively Le Corsaire Overture (okay, it's not Beecham or Munch, but then who is?) and in Ravel's orchestration of Debussy's Tarantelle Styrienne. Superb sonics top off a disc that makes for really satisfying listening straight through, which is certainly more than you can say for most collections of this sort. First class. [12/21/2002]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Tarentelle styrienne "Danse"by Claude Debussy Conductor:
Quebec Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: circa 1890; France Notes: Orchestrated: Maurice Ravel (1923)