For listeners who prefer their Ravel lushly textured, luminously colored, and luxuriantly impressionistic, this four-disc set of his orchestral music performed by Charles Dutoit and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal will be just the thing. Recorded between 1981 and 1995 in warmly opulent Decca sound and including all the canonical works plus the two piano concerts and the opera L'Enfant et les sortiléges, Dutoit's approach to Ravel is decidedly sensual, even tactile. One can feel the excitement in the closing "Dance générale" of Daphnis et Chloé, sense the energy in La Valse, smell the sea in Une barque sur l'océan, and touch the dancer's flushed skin in Boléro. This is not to say that details are lost in Dutoit's performances – with the superlative playing of the Montreal orchestra, one can assuredly hear everything in the scores. Nor is this to say that Dutoit neglects the music's clear shapes and lucid forms – with a decisive beat and a clean technique, Dutoit's interpretations are models of clarity. But it is assuredly to assert that, for sheer aural beauty, these recordings cannot be beat. With the very virtuosic and very French playing of Pascal Rogé in the two piano concertos plus very characterful singing in L'Enfant, this set will be mandatory listening for all those who love Ravel.
A trim, at times, almost balletic Falstaff. If that seems a ludicrous contradiction, I should explain that it refers to Dutoit's spirited interpretation of the work, not the central character, though Falstaff himself has shed a few pounds in the process but is no less loveable. Indeed, Dutoit's swift tempo for the second section (at the Boar's Head) has the theme for Falstaff's 'cheerful look and pleasing eye' sounding less like Tovey's understandable misunderstanding of it as ''blown up like a bladder with sighing and grief''. The trimming down process is abetted by the Montreal sound, with lean, agile strings and incisive brass (the horns are magnificent). Some may feel a lack of warmth in the characterization. I certainly felt that the first presentation of Prince Harry's theme (0'40'') could have done with a richer string sonority. Doubtless, too, there will be collectors who, at moments, miss the generous humanity of Barbirolli, or the Straussian brilliance of Solti. And although Mackerras is wonderful in the dream interludes and Falstaff's death, the start of his fourth section, with Falstaff's rush to London only to be rejected by the new King, is short on teeming excitement and anticipation. (Gramophone)
This limited edition box set includes 35 sonic spectacular albums from the early golden age of digital when Decca’s engineers created a new DECCA SOUND. This set is a celebration of the nearly 25-year partnership between conductor Charles Dutoit and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Highlights include recordings of Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Berlioz, Bizet, Respighi, Stravinsky, Holst, Debussy and much more.
Among the virtuosity warhorses in the piano repertory, the five concertos by Camille Saint-Saens have established an appealing reputation. The audiences worldwide are enchanted to attend performances by great virtuosos in utterly melodious and harmonic works with dazzling keyboard pyrotechnics and musical ideas of the most refined quality. Yet, a very few of the professional pianists dare to approach this pianistic output by one of the most prolific and multifaceted artists of the European culture (composer, playwright, philosopher, astronomer, archaeologist, poet etc). To find the proper touch, to balance the wild virtuosity with the subtle musical concept, to get the deepest level of significance in these works – are all difficult tasks that require a high level of artistry (not only in pianistic terms).
Pergolesi's Stabat mater and his C minor Salve Regina were coupled earlier on the Hogwood (L'Oiseau-Lyre) recording, highly praised by NA. The addition of another Salve Regina, this one attributed not quite conclusively to Scarlatti as a late work, provides the new record with a further attraction both on the piece's own merit (irrespective of authorship) and in its affinity with the Stabat mater. Another attraction for many will lie in the identity of the two singers and the conductor. Dutoit, to be sure, is not commonly associated with music of this kind, but the stylishness of his performances over a wide field may promote confidence that it will extend to this, and that the Montreal Sinfonietta will bring a touch that will not seem too heavy in an age which has grown accustomed to authentic instruments and reduced numbers. As for the singers, bath have the requisite clarity and flexibility, and Bartoli has made a notable success of arie antiche written within the period (Decca).
Swan Lake (Russian: Лебединое Озеро, Lebedinoye Ozero) is a ballet, op. 20, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composed 1875–1876. The scenario, initially in four acts, by Vladimir Begichev and Vasiliy Geltser was fashioned from Russian folk tales as well as an ancient German legend, which tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger. The ballet received its premiere on February 27, 1877, at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as The Lake of the Swans. Although it is presented in many different versions, most ballet companies base their stagings both choreographically and musically on the 1895 revival of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, first staged for the Imperial Ballet on January 15, 1895, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. For this revival, Tchaikovsky's score was revised by the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatre's chief conductor and composer Riccardo Drigo.
HI fellows. Dutoit's recording on Prokofiev's 5th is another gem that was not included in the box "The art of Charles Dutoit" and deserves more than one listening… Please Enjoy!