Ravel - Daphnis et Chloe (2017)

Ravel

Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg

Gustavo Gimeno

While Daphnis et Chloe is frequently heard in the concert hall in the form of two orchestral suites, most especially Suite N° 2, this recording by the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg reminds us that Ravel’s complete score – his most extended work – consists of much more than these extracted portions. Although the score’s masterly qualities were hailed by the French critic Emile Vuillermoz as early as 1912, this ambitious project made substantial demands on Ravel and realising the music was far from easy. The painstaking process of composition often involved Ravel in a private struggle, as distinct from the subsequent orchestration for which he had such a natural and imaginative flair. In fact the composer rejected his first, somewhat conservative finale of 1910 written in 3/4 metre, in favour of a much more unpredictable and exciting 5/4 conclusion completed some two years later.

Beyond its music, this is a ballet score conceived as part of a large-scale, multidimensional artwork for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets russes. Despite some serious collaborative tensions, the work was first staged at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on 8 June 1912. Ravel’s music, conducted by Pierre Monteux, was accompanied by intense, deeply coloured Russian-inspired designs and costumes of Leon Bakst; innovative choreography by the ballet reformer Michel Fokine; and an extended scenario, originally authored by Fokine, but including at least some narrative input from Ravel. Vaslav Nijinsky and Tamara Karsavina danced the title roles.

 

 

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Gustavo Gimeno

Born in Valencia, Gustavo Gimeno began his international conducting career in 2012, when at that time he was a member of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, as an assistant to Mariss Jansons. Significant experience was also harnessed in assisting Bernard Haitink and Claudio Abbado, with whom he forged an intense and influential mentorship. Following his acclaimed conducting debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2014, Gustavo Gimeno took up the post of Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg with the 2015-16 season. In his second season, he continues this partnership with a focus on the great orchestral literature including Mahler Symphony No. 4, Beethoven Symphony No. 7, Ravel’s “Daphnis and Chloé”, Stravinsky’s “Sacre” and new commissions of Mark-Anthony Turnage and Francisco Coll. Aside from his Music Director commitments in Luxembourg, Gustavo Gimeno has collaborated with a select list of orchestras including Munich Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Philharmonia Zurich. In 2015, Gimeno led the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on tour to Asia. In 2016-17 season, Gimeno will make his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. and the Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia. He will also appear in Vienna twice that season, with the OPL at the Wiener Konzerthaus and with Vienna Symphony at the Musikverein. “His musical rhetorics are refined, his grip on the structure of the compositions is accurate and convincing” observed Joep Stapel in the NRC Handelsblad, “Gimeno knew how to keep the tension and made the musicians … excel.”
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Ravel - Daphnis et Chloe (2017)

Ravel

Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg

    Audiophile Audition -

A perfumed and utterly intoxicating reading of Ravelís masterpiece. It was the Greek writer Longus, probably from around the 2nd century AD, that gave Maurice Ravel the inspiration for his widely-acclaimedóand some say greatestómasterpiece Daphnis et ChloÈ. The three-scene, one act ìchoreographic symphonyî (as Ravel called it) was written for Serge Diaghilevís Ballet Russes, surely one of the most luxuriant and hothouse scores ever set to paper. The exceptionally large orchestra provides the composer with multitudinous opportunities to show his extraordinary ability in orchestration, and he rarely lets us down, from music of subtlety and seduction to as rousing a final bacchanal as has ever been composed. The story itself is quite subjugated to the music, and sets itself up for the imagery and scents of the impressionist era rather than driving home any sort of musical storyline interpretation. Perhaps because of this, Ravel himself sensed that this hour-long work demanded resuscitation in the form of smaller suites to capture the concert hall imagination, and in fact most people know this piece primarily through one of the two suites, especially the second one. The composition almost cries out for full-frontal DSD treatment, and thatís what we get here. We must deal with this new issue from the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and their young conductor Gustavo Gimeno, and the results are fantastic. Gimeno understands the sensuality of the score and lets no opportunity slip by to let us wallow in it. After all, without the eye-popping involvement of the ballet visuals, we are left with only the music to evocate the stage action, and the orchestra is definitely up to the task of eliciting the most wonderfully beautiful sounds, as good as I have heard on record. Part of the answer lies in the fantastic recording that Pentatone has captured in gorgeously balanced DSD surround sound. The other two pieces are orchestrations Ravel made from piano pieces. Pavane pour une infante dÈfunte is his earliest (1899), and is sterling in this relaxed and genial reading. 1904/5 saw the creation of Miroirs, a five-movement piece of which Une barque sur líocÈan is the third. Ravel had reservations about the orchestration, and it was only published in 1950, unlike its comrade Alborada del gracioso, movement five of the same piano work that was a contemporary of the famousóand popularóLa Mer. Again, Maestro Gimeno has the work firmly in hand, giving it the same excellent balances and visceral aural projection. Superb all around, and well worth the investment. Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars"

Steven Ritter for Audiophile Audition[read full review]

Ravel - Daphnis et Chloe (2017)

Ravel

Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg

Mastering Engineer: Karel Bruggeman
Producer: Karel Bruggeman
Recording Engineer: Karel Bruggeman
Recording location: Philharmonie, Luxembourg
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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PTC5186652: Ravel - Daphnis et Chloe
01:12:35   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Daphnis et Chloe Part I - Introduction et Danse religieuse
Ravel
00:08:46   Select quality & channels above
2.
Daphnis et Chloe Part I - Les jeunes filles attirent Daphnis et l'entourent de leurs danses
Ravel
00:03:28   Select quality & channels above
3.
Daphnis et Chloe Part I - Danse grotesque de Dorcon
Ravel
00:01:51   Select quality & channels above
4.
Daphnis et Chloe Part I - Danse legere et gracieuse de Daphnis
Ravel
00:02:34   Select quality & channels above
5.
Daphnis et Chloe Part I - Tous invitent Daphnis a recevoir la recompense
Ravel
00:01:19   Select quality & channels above
6.
Daphnis et Chloe Part I - Danse de Lyceion
Ravel
00:02:20   Select quality & channels above
7.
Daphnis et Chloe Part I - L'on percoit des bruits d'armes, des cris de guerre qui se rapprochent
Ravel
00:01:46   Select quality & channels above
8.
Daphnis et Chloe Part I - Une lumiere irreelle enveloppe le paysage
Ravel
00:05:12   Select quality & channels above
9.
Daphnis et Chloe Part II - Interlude
Ravel
00:02:55   Select quality & channels above
10.
Daphnis et Chloe Part II - Danse guerriére
Ravel
00:04:38   Select quality & channels above
11.
Daphnis et Chloe Part II - Danse suppliante de Chloe
Ravel
00:06:06   Select quality & channels above
12.
Daphnis et Chloe Part III - Lever du jour
Ravel
00:05:31   Select quality & channels above
13.
Daphnis et Chloe Part III - Pantomime
Ravel
00:05:55   Select quality & channels above
14.
Daphnis et Chloe Part III - Danse generale
Ravel
00:04:29   Select quality & channels above
15.
Une barque sur l'ocean
Ravel
00:08:36   Select quality & channels above
16.
Pavane pour une infante defunte
Ravel
00:07:09   Select quality & channels above

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