RAVEL

BBC Music Magazine - - ORCHESTRAL -

Daph­nis et Chloé;

Une bar­que sur l’océan

Spir­ito; Orchestre Na­tional de Lyon/ Leonard Slatkin

Naxos 8.573545 65:43 mins

As ar­guably Ravel’s great­est or­ches­tral achieve­ment, Daph­nis et Chloé pro­vides an acid test for any cy­cle of Ravel’s works. It is not sim­ply the size of ensem­ble in­volved, in­clud­ing word­less off-stage cho­rus, but the del­i­cate pre­ci­sion with which this mas­ter or­ches­tra­tor de­ploys this re­source. Per­haps mind­ful of this, Leonard Slatkin’s ap­proach is more con­sis­tent in this fourth vol­ume of his com­plete Ravel sur­vey, and this is the most sat­is­fy­ing per­for­mance yet. The nu­ances of de­tail are there with­out dis­tort­ing the flow of the whole. In the tricky un­ac­com­pa­nied choral pas­sages Spir­ito is com­mend­ably se­cure, while the lower strings and brass of Orchestre Na­tional de Lyon are full of men­ace in the ‘Danse guer­rière’.

The sound is very good for CD

– a pity Naxos is not re­leas­ing this vol­ume on Blu-ray Au­dio – en­abling the colours of Ravel’s score to shine. None­the­less, although Slatkin pro­vides a clear sense of the bal­let’s

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