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Various: Harmonious Breath

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From very early on in Maurice Ravel's career it was clear that he was excited by the orchestra's capacity for passion, exoticism and excess, and that strings, wind and brass, unlike the piano, sustain sounds. He was a master of orchestration and one of his favourite occupations was orchestrating his own piano music. Most of the works in this superb collection were originally written for the piano, with the exception of the three ballets. Many of Ravel's greatest works for orchestra are here, including pieces inspired by his Spanish background, Bolero, Alborada del gracioso, and his homage to Spain, the Rapsodie Espagnole. The collection also features one of Ravel's most astonishing achievements, the Valses nobles et sentimentales: a set of seven sparing and dissonant waltzes, Daphnis et Chloe, the sumptuous full-length ballet he wrote for the Ballet Russes, and the dark and menacing portrait of the dance - La valse. Bernard Haitink's legendary partnership with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has produced many great recordings over the years. These distinguished performances of Ravel's orchestral music were recorded during the 1970s, and were received with much acclaim. Haitink has a fine sense for French music of this period, and these are all 'exemplary performances, gorgeously played and recorded with the clarity and rich sonority the Concertgebouw was noted for'. (Gramophone)

'He (Haitink) is responsive to the whole range of this composer's orchestral - and expressive - spectrum, from the gentle wistfulness of the musette which forms the central section of Le tombeau de Couperin to the orgiastic ends to Bolero and La valse. Ravel's orchestration, in other words, varies between the lightest watercolours and the heaviest oils, and this recording captures it all beautifully, the tiny details as much as the explosions'. Gramophone
Item number BISCD1790
Barcode 7318590017906
Release date 31/05/2011
Label BIS Records
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Claude Delangle
Composers Gang Chen
Leilei Tian
Xiuwen Peng
Yiu-Kwong Chung
Conductors En Shao
Orchestras Taipei Chinese Orchestra
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