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Ravel: L'Enfant et les Sortilèges; Ma Mère l'Oye - Complete Ballet / Orchestre Nat'l de Lyon; Slatkin

Album Summary

>Ravel, Maurice : L'enfant et les sortilèges, opera-ballet in 2 parts
>Ravel, Maurice : Ma mère l'oye
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Ravel's opera L'Enfant et les sortilèges captures an imaginative child's world in which the creatures and objects around him come to life. Wittily portrayed in Colette's inventive libretto and by Ravel's meticulous orchestration, furniture, crockery and animals alike are at first provoked by the child's appalling behavior, finally helping him after he bandages the squirrel's paw he had previously pricked with his pen. The unforgettably enchanting Mother Goose translates well-known fairytales into music, including the gently melodic Sleeping Beauty's Pavane, her conversation with the gruffest of beasts, and a final blessing in The Fairy Garden. Leonard Slatkin, music director of the Orchestre National de Lyon and the Detroit Symphony, has made more than 100 recordings that in total have earned him seven Grammy® awards and 64 Grammy® nominations.

BBC Music Magazine, December 2015
The all-French cast articulate the text splendidly, with tenor Jean-Paul FouchTcourt doing his usual superb number as L'ArithmTtique. Mezzo HTlFne Hebrard as the Child sounds suitably young and fresh, soprano Annick Massis as the Fire negotiates her high coloratura with accuracy and Tlan.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Auditorium Maurice Ravel, Lyon, France (01/22/2013-01/26/2013); Auditorium Maurice Ravel, Lyon, France (09/2011).


Ravel’s second go at opera, L’Enfant et les sortileges (The Child and the Enchanted Things) clocks in at a compact 45 minutes. Its quirky libretto centers on a surly child who is ultimately transformed through encounters with various animals and inanimate objects magically brought to life. Reputedly, the Broadway musical template of the era may have served as something of a structural model. The composer employs a large orchestra complete with exotic percussion and extensive wind and brass sections. In addition, there are 8 soloists, mixed choir and children’s choir. While there are several instances of genius, this is not Ravel at his greatest. That said, Maestro Slatkin’s affection for and understanding of the music is clearly evident in every bar. The singers are uniformly strong as are the 2 choirs. This version is a good one and complements the classic recordings by Bour, Maazel and Previn. Ma Mere L’Oye (Mother Goose), presented here in its complete ballet edition, is beautifully shaped and paced by Maestro Slatkin. Orchestre National de Lyon offers playing of the greatest subtlety and refinement. Throughout the disc, the lustrous sonics are detailed and three dimensional. Balance and dynamics are naturally rendered.
Submitted on 12/11/15 by Allen Cohen 
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Works Details

>Ravel, Maurice : L'enfant et les sortilèges, opera-ballet in 2 parts
  • Performer: Helene Hebrard
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Ensemble: Orchestre National de Lyon
  • Notes: Auditorium Maurice Ravel, Lyon, France (01/22/2013-01/26/2013)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1920-1925

>Ravel, Maurice : Ma mère l'oye
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Running Time: 23 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1911-1912