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Ravel: Orchestral Music, Vol. 1 - Alborada del gracioso; Pavane; Rapsodie espagnole, Bolero et al. / Jennifer Gilbert, violin

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> Alborada del gracioso - Alborada del gracioso
> Pavane pour une infante defunte (version for orchestra) - Pavane pour une infante defunte (version for orchestra)
> Rapsodie espagnole - I. Prelude a la nuit
> Rapsodie espagnole - II. Malaguena
> Rapsodie espagnole - III. Habanera
> Rapsodie espagnole - IV. Feria
> Piece en forme de habanera (arr. A. Hoeree for violin and orchestra) - Piece en forme de habanera (arr. A. Hoeree for violin and orchestra)
> Sheherazade, Ouverture de feerie - Sheherazade, Ouverture de feerie
> Menuet antique (version for orchestra) - Menuet antique (version for orchestra)
> Bolero - Bolero

Album Summary

>Ravel, Maurice : Alborada del Gracioso, for orchestra
>Ravel, Maurice : Pavane pour une infante défunte
>Ravel, Maurice : Rapsodie espagnole
>Ravel, Maurice : Pièce en forme de Habañera
>Ravel, Maurice : Shéhérazade--Fairy Overture, for orchestra (or 2 pianos)
>Ravel, Maurice : Menuet antique
>Ravel, Maurice : Boléro
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Ravel orchestrated his piano pieces Alborada del gracioso and Pavane pour une infante défunte to great effect; the former gains in suggestive colour, and the latter evokes nostalgic pathos. Another orchestrated work is the Menuet antique, which is redolent of old French dance forms. Rapsodie espagnole, Ravel's first major orchestral work, shimmers with expectancy and bursts into Spanish dance rhythms, themes he pursued in Pièce en forme de habanera. His earliest orchestral work, the 'fairy overture' Shéhérazade, is all that remains of a planned opera based on The Thousand and One Nights. The famous Boléro, an 'orchestrated crescendo' of undimmed power, has proved one of the most popular works in all classical music.

Infodad.com
Naxos is the most remarkable producer of series in the CD business... Naxos has produced engaging, often fascinating series for decades and is constantly creating new ones or adding to existing ones. Take the new Ravel series featuring Orchestre National de Lyon conducted by Leonard Slatkin. The first volume is a kind of "greatest hits" compilation, containing Alborada del gracioso, Pavane pour une infante défunte, Rapsodie espagnole, and the inevitable Boléro, as well as other works. But because of the way Naxos pulls the CD together, what listeners get is mostly an intriguing compilation of pieces that Ravel originally wrote for piano and then orchestrated. Four of the seven works here... originated as compositions for piano, dual pianos or piano duet, a fact that makes the composer's inventive and evocative orchestrations all the more impressive. These are all colorful works... The orchestra plays all of them with sensitivity and skill, and Slatkin does a particularly fine job with the seemingly ubiquitous Boléro by emphasizing Ravel's subtle and gradual additions of orchestral instruments to the ever-growing crescendo that is the distinguishing feature of the piece. This is an outstanding start to what is sure to be another top-notch Naxos series.

International Record Review
Ravel's orchestration of the piano piece Alborado del gracioso is particularly sumptuous, and the Lyon orchestra certainly delivers on that score... Leader Jennifer Gilbert's frequently seductive playing is the best feature.

Gramophone
This program is altogether more successful than the same orchestra's disciplined but sometimes matter-of-fact performance of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique (10/12)

BBC Music Magazine
Leonard Slatkin draws a vivid sound from the Lyon players, with a wide range of dynamics and colours... No one could do more for the early Scheherezade overture, where Ravel's interest in orchestral timbres is paramount... Bolero too comes off well.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
These are very good performances whose linearity emphasizes the classical side of the composer. Alborada del Gracioso is warm and atmospheric, with a rich bassoon solo and subtle percussion color. Like many of Ravel's orchestral works, Alborada was a piano piece that the composer transcribed, and this performance brings out its pianistic nature. Pavane for a Dead Princess is consistent in tone. It is well played with fine color. Rapsodie Espagnole with clear, blocked-out colors and effects and plenty of atmosphere. Naxos calls this Volume I of a Ravel set. If completed, it may be a worthy companion to the label's Debussy set led by Jun Mark.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Auditorium de Lyon, France (09/02/2011-09/03/2011).



Reviews

Disengaged Ravel
A new Ravel disc follows the first Naxos recording from the Orchestre National de Lyon under their new music director Leonard Slatkin, a perhaps overly-disciplined reading of the Symphonie fantastique. This CD has the same strengths and failures as that disc. On the plus side, the orchestral playing is marvellous, powerful and subtle. Slatkin provides a unified concept of grace and colour for a varied group of occasional pieces and more consequential works by Ravel. Naxos production and engineering shines once again.

However, the overall feeling is one of disengagement. The Lyon musicians provide completely idiomatic French sounds, but Slatkin runs through things without enough emotion, especially in what should be a hair-raising piece: Bolero. We're left with a Gallic shrug. In this repertoire, that isn't good enough.
Submitted on 12/07/12 by Dean Frey 
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Works Details

>Ravel, Maurice : Alborada del Gracioso, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Ensemble: Orchestre National de Lyon
  • Notes: Auditorium de Lyon, France (09/02/2011-09/03/2011)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1918

>Ravel, Maurice : Pavane pour une infante défunte
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Notes: Auditorium de Lyon, France (09/02/2011-09/03/2011)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1899

>Ravel, Maurice : Rapsodie espagnole
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Notes: Auditorium de Lyon, France (09/02/2011-09/03/2011)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1907

>Ravel, Maurice : Pièce en forme de Habañera
  • Performer: Jennifer Gilbert (Violin)
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Notes: Auditorium de Lyon, France (09/02/2011-09/03/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1907

>Ravel, Maurice : Shéhérazade--Fairy Overture, for orchestra (or 2 pianos)
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Notes: Auditorium de Lyon, France (09/02/2011-09/03/2011)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1898

>Ravel, Maurice : Menuet antique
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Notes: Auditorium de Lyon, France (09/02/2011-09/03/2011)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1895

>Ravel, Maurice : Boléro
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Notes: Auditorium de Lyon, France (09/02/2011-09/03/2011)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1928