mau­rice ravel

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Daph­nis et Chloé (Pen­ta­tone MC SACD PTC5186652) Daph­nis et Chloé al­most cries out for full-frontal Su­per Au­dio treat­ment, and that’s what we get here—a per­fumed and ut­terly in­tox­i­cat­ing read­ing of Ravel’s mas­ter­piece, wor­thy of com­par­i­son with Boulez’ record­ing with the Cleve­land Orches­tra from the 70s. I also sali­vate over the Du­toit/Mon­treal read­ing on Lon­don, which still stands as one of the finest read­ings on disc. The Munch record­ing (RCA Liv­ing Stereo) is also ex­cit­ing. But this new is­sue is fan­tas­tic. Gi­meno un­der­stands the sen­su­al­ity of the score and lets no op­por­tu­nity slip by to let us wal­low in it. The other pieces are or­ches­tra­tions Ravel made from pi­ano pieces. Pa­vane pour une in­fante dé­funte re­ceives a re­laxed and ge­nial read­ing. And on Une bar­que sur l’océan, Gi­meno again has the work firmly in hand, giv­ing it the same ex­cel­lent bal­ances and vis­ceral au­ral pro­jec­tion. Su­perb. Steven Rit­ter

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