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Ravel: L'Enfant et les Sortilèges; Shéhérazade / Susan Graham, soprano; Anna Christy, Marie Lenormand, Elliot Madore, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt. Seiji Ozawa

Album Summary

>Ravel, Maurice : L'enfant et les sortilèges, opera-ballet in 2 parts
>Ravel, Maurice : Shéhérazade, poems (3) for soprano (or tenor) & orchestra (or piano)
>Ravel, Maurice : Alborada del Gracioso, for orchestra
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

One of the world's legendary conductors, Seiji Ozawa celebrates his 80th birthday in September 2015. To celebrate, this disc of all-new Ravel recordings features one of the composers he has been most closely associated with over his long career.

As a student of Charles Munch and Pierre Monteux, Seiji Ozawa studied with two of the 20th century's greatest exponents of Ravel. In the 1970s he recorded a benchmark set of the complete orchestral works for DG with the Boston Symphony during his record-breaking 29 year tenure with the orchestra.

These new recordings derive from the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan with world-class soloists - leading American mezzos Isabel Leonard in L'enfant et les sortilèges and Susan Graham in Shéhérazade - and a hand-picked orchestra of the world's finest players from Berlin, Vienna, Boston, Cleveland, New York and Philadelphia.

The recording of L'enfant et les sortilèges marked Seiji Ozawa's first full return to conducting after recovering from surgery for life-threatening cancer in 2013. One of the performances was given in the presence of the Emperor and Empress of Japan who had journeyed to the city of Matsumoto especially for the occasion.

Financial Times, 28th August 2015
Ozawa conducts a fine cast that puts the text over clearly... Graham's Shéhérazade [is] even more ravishing than her 2005 BBCSO version.

The Guardian
It's a performance of remarkable assurance, beautifully recorded with scarcely any extraneous stage noise, and every texture and instrumental detail perfectly placed and meticulously realised by the fabulous hand-picked Saito Kinen Orchestra...Isabel Leonard is the Child, never coyly childish, and the multifarious doublings among the rest of the cast...are all kept just the right side of exaggerated caricature.

The Times, 21st August 2015
[The album contains] Ozawa's beautifully languid and atmospheric performance of Shéhérazade, with Susan Graham beguiling as the mezzo soloist, and a sizzling romp through Ravel's Spanish odyssey.

Gramophone Magazine, September 2015
Isabel Leonard makes a believable Child, from the tantrums at the start to the pity, sympathy and loneliness of the ending... A special bouquet to Marie Lenormand and Elliot Madore as the cats, whose mewing ios particularly accurate... Susan Graham, like Ozawa, is at home in the French repertoire...and she is magically sensuous in Shéhérazade.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Naganoken Matsumoto Bunka Kaikan, Japan (08/23/2013-08/31/2013); Performing Arts Centre, Matsumoto, Japan (08/23/2013-08/31/2013); Naganoken Matsumoto Bunka Kaikan, Japan (09/04/2009-09/07/2009); Performing Arts Centre, Matsumoto, Japan (09/04/2009-09/07/2009).



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Works Details

>Ravel, Maurice : L'enfant et les sortilèges, opera-ballet in 2 parts
  • Performers: Susan Graham (Mezzo-soprano); Isabel Leonard (Voice)
  • Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
  • Ensemble: Saito Kinen Orchestra
  • Notes: Performing Arts Centre, Matsumoto, Japan (08/23/2013-08/31/2013)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1920-1925

>Ravel, Maurice : Shéhérazade, poems (3) for soprano (or tenor) & orchestra (or piano)
  • Performer: Susan Graham (Mezzo-soprano)
  • Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
  • Notes: Naganoken Matsumoto Bunka Kaikan, Japan (09/04/2009-09/07/2009)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1903

>Ravel, Maurice : Alborada del Gracioso, for orchestra
  • Performer: Susan Graham (Mezzo-soprano)
  • Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
  • Notes: Naganoken Matsumoto Bunka Kaikan, Japan (09/04/2009-09/07/2009)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1918