Magazine article Gramophone

Ravel: 'Orchestral Works, Vol 4'

Magazine article Gramophone

Ravel: 'Orchestral Works, Vol 4'

Article excerpt

Ravel

'Orchestral Works, Vol 4'

Daphnis et Chloe (a). Une barque sur l'ocean

(a) Spirito; Lyon National Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin

Naxos (M) 8 573545 (66' * DDD)

Naxos has done well by Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe, with a handful of recordings of his symphonie choregraphique in the company's recent history. Indeed, Leonard Slatkin's is the second in the past decade to feature the Orchestre National de Lyon, the first set down by his predecessor as music director, Jun Markl, in 2009. This disc marks the fourth volume in Slatkin's Ravel series but I'm not convinced it's preferable to Markl's earlier effort.

Slatkin's chief problem is a lack of urgency. Even if the premiere was overshadowed by another Sergey Diaghilev commission which opened two days earlier in Paris (the Prelude a L'apres-midi d'un faune, in which Vaslav Nijinsky had caused a scandal as the faun), Daphnis is an intensely dramatic work. Slatkin is more content to revel in the languorous stretches of Ravel's meticulous score than to unbutton his shirt in the more hedonistic sections. …

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