For the novice listener, this CD may not offer the ideal introduction to either work, but the performances of Poulenc's Gloria and Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé with Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Chorus should interest any fan of the conductor, the orchestra, or the pieces themselves. In this live 2007 recording, Haitink and the CSO turn in performances full of buoyant rhythms, sparkling colors, lucid textures, and an irresistible joie de vivre. Poulenc's Gloria receives a bright, ebullient performance that does not lack for depth in the central movements, but which still sings and swings in the outer movements. Ravel's Daphnis gets a performance that glows with luminous colors, irresistible tempos, and a sense of inevitability that hold the work together as an aesthetic whole, despite its expansive length and teeming diversity. Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Chorus turn in performances that rival the finest ever made technically, and the live digital sound is deep, clean, and balanced. Although there are recordings of each work neophytes should hear first -- most notably, Decca's ecstatic 1959 Daphnis et Chloé with Pierre Monteux and the London Symphony, and the joyous 1988 EMI recording of the Gloria with Georges Prêtre and the Orchestre National de France and the Chorus de Radio France -- this disc has sufficient virtues to merit a hearing.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Gloria, for soprano, chorus & orchestra, FP 177|
|Daphnis et Chloé, ballet for orchestra|