Widely regarded as his orchestral masterpiece, Maurice Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé was one of the most sumptuous scores written for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, and though it is most often performed as a concert piece today, it is well-loved for its gorgeous melodies, lush harmonies, and atmospheric tone colors. Yet most listeners are only familiar with the second of two suites Ravel extracted from the score, so they may not know the sweep and splendor of the work as a whole. For this super audio CD from BIS, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra perform the complete hour-long ballet, along with the popular orchestral miniature, Pavane pour une infante défunte. Because of the spectacular playing and the superb multichannel recording, it's unlikely that anyone could surpass this recording, which is a true showcase for the orchestra and a nearly ideal presentation of the music. Thanks to Nézet-Séguin's expert handling of instrumental nuances and sectional balance, all of the details are transparent, though the ensemble blend remains rich and vibrant. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Daphnis et Chloé|