Magazine article Gramophone

Ravel: 'Orchestral Works, Vol 3'

Magazine article Gramophone

Ravel: 'Orchestral Works, Vol 3'

Article excerpt

Ravel

'Orchestral Works, Vol 3' Chabrier Menuet pompeux Debussy Danse. Sarabande Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition Schumann Carnaval (all orch Ravel) Lyon National Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin Naxos (B) 8 573124 (61' * DDD)

Considering the cultural links that existed between Russia and France at the turn of the 20th century, it is no surprise that Ravel should have jumped at the chance of colouring in Mussorgsky's Pictures in 1922, particularly as he had already collaborated with Stravinsky in orchestrating the opera Khovanshchina for Diaghilev. The Mussorgsky/Ravel score has not exactly been short of takers in the recording studio, stretching as the catalogue does from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Koussevitzky in 1930 up to modern classics by Claudio Abbado and the LSO, Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic and Giulini with the Chicago Symphony.

Leonard Slatkin has already recorded it with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, having also released a disc with the Nashville Symphony that was an amalgam of various other orchestrators' slants on Mussorgsky's piano suite. This new one, setting the Mussorgsky transcription alongside Ravel's scoring of Chabrier, Debussy and Schumann, is a disappointment compared with the high quality of Slatkin's previous discs of Ravel for Naxos with the Orchestre National de Lyon. …

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