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Ravel: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Valses nobles et sentimentales; Gaspard de la nuit; Le Tombeau de Couperin

> Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for orchestra) - I. Modere
> Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for orchestra) - II. Assez lent
> Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for orchestra) - III. Modere
> Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for orchestra) - IV. Assez anime
> Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for orchestra) - V. Presque lent
> Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for orchestra) - VI. Assez vif
> Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for orchestra) - VII. Moins vif
> Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for orchestra) - Epilogue
> Gaspard de la nuit (arr. M. Constant for orchestra) - I. Ondine
> Gaspard de la nuit (arr. M. Constant for orchestra) - II. Le gibet
> Gaspard de la nuit (arr. M. Constant for orchestra) - III. Scarbo
> Le tombeau de Couperin (version for orchestra) - No. 1. Prelude
> Le tombeau de Couperin (version for orchestra) - No. 2. Forlane
> Le tombeau de Couperin (version for orchestra) - No. 3. Menuet
> Le tombeau de Couperin (version for orchestra) - No. 4. Rigaudon
> La valse (version for orchestra) - La valse (version for orchestra)

Album Summary

>Ravel, Maurice : Valses nobles et sentimentales
>Ravel, Maurice : Gaspard de la nuit
>Ravel, Maurice : Le tombeau de Couperin
>Ravel, Maurice : La valse
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Maurice Ravel's Valses nobles et sentimentales present a vivid mixture of atmospheric impressionism, intense expression and modernist wit, his fascination with the waltz further explored in La valse, a mysterious evocation of a vanished imperial epoch. Heard here in an orchestration by Marius Constant, Gaspard de la nuitis Ravel's response to the other-worldly poems of Aloysius Bertrand, and the dance suite Le tombeau de Couperinis a tribute to friends who fell in the war of 1914-18 as well as a great 18th century musical forbear. 'It is a delightful and assorted collection... presented in splendid performances by the Orchestre National de Lyon led by their music director, the venerable American conductor Leonard Slatkin' (Classical.net/ Volume 1, 8.572887).

BBC Music Magazine, January 2014
This is very clever programming...Slatkin avoids making Valses nobles et sentimentales sound merely a melancholic prophecy of La valse...a splendidly characterised La valse, the lusciousness and glitter of the opening dance captured as much as the grisly build-up to its final horrifying climax.

Gramophone Magazine, January 2014
The American shows real empathy with this magical repertoire, and he draws playing of uncommon composure and contagious application from his scruulously prepared Lyons band...Wonderful value at Naxos's price. Bring on the next instalment.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Auditorium de Lyon, France.



Reviews

A Professional Rendering
RAVEL “Orchestral Works” 2 Naxos
Orchestre National de Lyon Leonard Slatkin

In this, their second recording of orchestral works by Maurice Ravel, the Orchestre National de Lyon (led by the great Leonard Slatkin) gives another interesting and professional performance of his early 20th century compositions, all of which, except “La valse”, were originally written for piano.

Both “Valses nobles et sentimentales” and Le tombeau de Couperin” were orchestrated by Ravel shortly after they were written, allowing comparison of their impact as solo piano and, later orchestrated works. “La valse”, commissioned and rejected by Serge Dyagilev, is the only piece presented here which was originally done as a fully orchestrated work. All three compositions, utilizing 18th and 19th century dance forms and 20th century harmonic ideas, show Ravel as an era-straddling composer, inspired by and indebted to the past, but firmly committed to modernism and musical evolution.

The one questionable inclusion here is Maurice Constant’s orchestration of “Gaspard de la nuit”. Produced 82 years after Ravel’s original composition (again, as a solo piano piece) it is, at best, an educated guess as to the composer’s intentions.

That said, this is a solid, well made recording by a very good orchestra, led by one of the world’s best conductors, of music which is not heard as often as it deserves to be and which highlights Maurice Ravel’s contribution to the development of 20th century music.

Highly recommended 81/2 out of 10 Oscar O. Veterano

Submitted on 12/03/13 by Oscar O. Veterano 
Another fine addition to this vital collection
I reviewed the first volume of the orchestral works of Ravel with Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestre National de Lyon a couple of months ago and found it well worth having. This second one is, perhaps, even better. Ravel's gift for orchestration is one of his trademarks. Especially in his waltz pieces is his flair for wonderful harmonies and delicate little sonic touches very apparent. The "Valses nobles et sentimentales" are a very charming set of short waltzes whose tone varies from the very refined and subdued to the more bombastic and celebratory. His "La valse" is well known for its gradual building and stunning, Spanish inflected feel. Slatkin paces all these works just perfectly and does not rush anything, capitalizing on the variety in the scores. Ravel intended "Le tombeau de Couperin" as a tribute to some friends who died in the first World War. Originally a piano piece, this is not a quote of any of Francois Couperin's keyboard masterworks but a tribute to their style. Ravel himself orchestrated the set for a ballet performance in 1920. The one work here not actually orchestrated by Ravel is "Gaspard de la nuit." Inspired by the writings of Aloysius Bertrand, Ravel intended the third movement, "Scarbo", to be one of the most virtuostic and difficult piano works one could play. Russian composer Marius Constant orchestrated the present version in 1990 (a previous version being done by Eugene Goosens in 1942) Each of these works illustrates Ravel's passion for both dance music as well as his love of earlier forms and the French Baroque. Slatkin is a gifted Ravel interpreter and has made outstanding recordings of his works on many occasions, including the present. I greatly admired the first volume of this collaboration on Naxos, like I said. This one is a very fine followup and I strongly recommend having both in your collection.
Submitted on 12/09/13 by Dan Coombs 
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Works Details

>Ravel, Maurice : Valses nobles et sentimentales
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Ensemble: Orchestre National de Lyon
  • Running Time: 14 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1911

>Ravel, Maurice : Gaspard de la nuit
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Notes: Auditorium de Lyon, France (11/28/2012/11/29/2012)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1908

>Ravel, Maurice : Le tombeau de Couperin
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Notes: Auditorium de Lyon, France (11/27/2012-11/28/2012)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1919

>Ravel, Maurice : La valse
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Running Time: 12 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1919-1920