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Maurice Ravel (1875-1937): L'Heure espagnole; Don Quichotte à Dulcinée / Isabelle Druet, mezzo-soprano; Frédéric Antoun, tenor; Marc Barrard, baritone; Nicolas Courjal, bass; Lyon NSO, Leonard Slatkin

Album Summary

>Ravel, Maurice : L' heure espagnole, opera in 1 act
>Ravel, Maurice : Don Quichotte à Dulcinée, song cycle for voice & orchestra (or piano)
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The stage works of Maurice Ravel are as delicate and poised as one could imagine. In the Spanish-shaded L'Heure espagnole, Ravel gives new vitality into the opera buffa by making the comedic element human, and giving the plot poignancy. Ravel wrote clear vocals, harmonic magic, and radiant orchestration. He imbues Cervante's famous character with blue-blooded Spanish swagger, while still giving him a sort of heroic kindness and openness. Ravel's L'Enfant et les sortileges from Lyon can be found on Naxos 8.660336.

BBC Music Magazine, April 2016
The sound is exquisitely clear and the playing suave from the musky clarinets and ticking clocks of the opening to the sudden flush of hot-to-trot harps... [Druet] captures Concepcion's impatience impeccably [and] Luca Lombardo is an ideally knowing Torquemada, perfectly aware of his wife's roving eye.

Gramophone Magazine, April 2016
Leonard Slatkin conducts wth admirable delicacy, with a nice attention to detail... Isabelle Druet expresses Concepci=n's frustration and impatience so vividly that you almost forget that you can't see her... the ever-helpful Ramiro, more brawn than brain, is touchingly sung by Marc Barrard. The entire cast is excellent, in fact, but FrTdTric Antoun's absurd, self-regarding poet deserves a special mention.

American Record Guide, May/June 2016
That said, I must commend the musical forces on this recording. All five of the singers do an excellent job with Ravel's colorful music and create believable comic portrayals, as much as possible on CD. If one is looking for musical quality only, this cast supplies plenty, and Leonard Slatkin leads the Orchestra of Lyon expertly in Ravel's witty score. One could, of course, enjoy this recording even more with the text included, though there is a good synopsis. The last seven minutes here are devoted to Ravel's last composition: the short three-song cycle Don Quichotte a Dulcine. These songs are very effective in portraying the great Cervantes character; the second song is especially beautiful. They were written with Chaliapin in mind, and several bass-baritones have programmed them over the years. Buy this if you want to hear a good L'Heure Espagnole.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Auditorium Maurice-Ravel, Lyon, France (01/22/2013-01/26/2013); Auditorium Maurice-Ravel, Lyon, France (09/18/2013-09/20/2013).


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Works Details

>Ravel, Maurice : L' heure espagnole, opera in 1 act
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Ensemble: Lyon National Orchestra
  • Notes: Auditorium Maurice-Ravel, Lyon, France (01/22/2013-01/26/2013)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1907

>Ravel, Maurice : Don Quichotte à Dulcinée, song cycle for voice & orchestra (or piano)
  • Performer: Francois Roux
  • Notes: The Auditorium Maurice-Ravel, Lyon, France (09/18/2013-09/20/2013)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1932-1933