Louis Frémaux / Stanislaw Skrowaczewski

Ravel: Orchestral Music

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Presented on two CDs, this Brilliant Classics reissue of orchestral music by Maurice Ravel includes several favorites, but collectors should note it is less than complete. Prominent in the listing is Boléro, for many listeners Ravel's greatest hit, along with the popular Pavane pour une infante défunte, La valse, the Rapsodie espagnole, Valses nobles et sentimentales, the two suites from Daphnis et Chloé, and the full ballet version of Ma mère l'oye. That's a generous serving of Ravel's most famous music, though the Menuet antique, Shéhérazade, Le tombeau de Couperin, and the orchestral version of Miroirs would have been desirable, though they would have required a third disc. Bearing that in mind, the performances by Louis Frémaux and the London Symphony Orchestra (tracks 1, 2, and 3), and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and the Minnesota Orchestra (the remaining tracks) are full of atmosphere and color, and while the slightly thin sound of the Frémaux selections need some boosting, the Skrowaczewski recordings are clear and detailed, with a warm and satisfying tone in the bass.

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