Ravel: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 (CD)

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Orchestre National de Lyon, Leonard Slatkin

Maurice Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales present a vivid mixture of atmospheric impressionism, intense expression and modernist wit. His fascination with the waltz is further explored in La Valse, a mysterious evocation of a vanished imperial epoch. Heard here in an orchestration by Marius Constant, Gaspard de la nuit is Ravel’s response to the other-worldly poems of Aloysius Bertrand, and the dance suite Le tombeau de Couperin is a tribute to friends who fell in the war of 1914-18 as well as a great 18th century musical forbear. ‘It is a delightful and assorted collection… presented in splendid performances by the Orchestre National de Lyon led by their music director, the venerable American conductor Leonard Slatkin.’ (Classical.net / Volume 1, 8572887).

Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit orchestrated by Marius Constant is rarely recorded, and despite their deserved popularity both the Valses nobles et sentimentales and Le tombeau de Couperin are far more widespread in their solo piano versions.

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Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for orchestra)

I. Modere

II. Assez lent

III. Modere

IV. Assez anime

V. Presque lent

VI. Assez vif

VII. Moins vif


Maurice Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit (arr. M. Constant for orchestra)

I. Ondine

II. Le gibet

III. Scarbo

Maurice Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin (version for orchestra)

No. 1. Prelude

No. 2. Forlane

No. 3. Menuet

No. 4. Rigaudon

Maurice Ravel: La valse (version for orchestra)

La valse (version for orchestra)

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BBC Music Magazine

January 2014


“This is very clever programming...Slatkin avoids making Valses nobles et sentimentales sound merely a melancholic prophecy of La valse...a splendidly characterised La valse, the lusciousness and glitter of the opening dance captured as much as the grisly build-up to its final horrifying climax.”

Gramophone Magazine

January 2014

“the American shows real empathy with this magical repertoire, and he draws playing of uncommon composure and contagious application from his scruulously prepared Lyons band...Wonderful value at Naxos's price. Bring on the next instalment.”