Stefan Blunier / Beethoven Orchester Bonn / WDR Rundfunkchor Köln

Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé

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The ballet Daphnis et Chloé is Maurice Ravel's longest orchestral work, and it is ranked among his greatest achievements for its sustained erotic atmosphere, lush harmonies, and shimmering orchestration. This audiophile recording by the Beethoven Orchester Bonn and the WDR Rundfunkchor Köln, conducted by Stefan Blunier, is a superb presentation that offers vibrant tone colors and rich textures, all recorded live in multichannel sound by Musikproduction Dabringhaus und Grimm. Even though the ensembles and the recording company might suggest a Germanic spin on Daphnis et Chloé, Blunier's interpretation is appropriately French in feeling and style, and it's difficult to imagine a lighter and more transparent performance. The recording has an extremely wide dynamic range, which captures the subtle nuances of the playing, though some volume adjustment may be necessary at the climaxes. Listeners who are only familiar with the two Daphnis et Chloé suites are in for a treat, and collectors of SACDs should be quick to snap up this dazzling orchestral showcase. Highly recommended.

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