The fourth installment in Leonard Slatkin's series on Naxos of the orchestral works of Maurice Ravel features the complete 1912 ballet Daphnis et Chloé and the tone poem Une barque sur l'océan in spectacular performances by the Orchestre National de Lyon. Daphnis et Chloé is widely regarded as Ravel's masterpiece, and the shimmering orchestration and lush harmonies that epitomize impressionism are lovingly rendered by Slatkin and the French orchestra. While Daphnis et Chloé is most often presented as two suites for orchestra, this 2015 performance also includes the atmospheric choral parts, sung by Spirito, a body consisting of the Choruses and Soloists of Lyon and the Britten Chorus. The sumptuous scoring and seductive melodies that made Daphnis et Chloé one of Ravel's most beloved works are also at play in Une barque sur l'océan, Ravel's dazzling orchestral version of the third piece in his piano suite, Miroirs. The depiction of a small boat riding the surging waves is brilliantly captured, and the glistening timbres of woodwinds, harp, and strings convey the sea spray quite effectively. Naxos provides remarkably clear and deep sound, so the finer points of Ravel's scores are easily heard.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Daphnis et Chloé|