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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2009
The 1970s pop/rock group E.L.O. (Electric Light Orchestra) was famously formed to "pick up where [The Beatles'] 'I Am the Walrus' left off." Similarly, all the works on this CD come out of the sound world created by a single piece: Maurice Ravel's 1905 Introduction et Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet, and String Quartet. This lineup of composers comes from Ravel's generation, except for the youngster Francaix, who is 30-40 years younger than the rest. The pieces were all written in the 1920s or 1930s, all of them for flute, harp, and strings.

Though the music exists in that same sound world, subtle differences in the personalities of the composers emerge. Francaix is playful, Roussel muscular, and Schmitt nostalgic and a bit sentimental. Marcel Tournier's Suite, Op. 34 is a special treat. I knew, and enjoyed, the piece from a Hanssler Classic CD with the Linos Harp Quintet, but the Mirage Quintet give the work a forward momentum and depth that really makes it stand out. You can get a feel for this from the Mirage Quintet's YouTube video of the 3rd Movement (Lied: Assez Lent, Avec Melancolie) filmed during the CD recording in Toronto in 2007. [...]

This recording took place under the watchful eyes and ears of the great team of Bonnie Silver & Norbert Kraft, who between them share producer, engineer, and editor functions. Kraft, by the way, is the very same guitarist who completely nailed the Villa-Lobos guitar music for Naxos in 2000. The sound on the new disc is predictably excellent, though some might argue that Robert Aitken's flute is too forward in the mix. It's hard to see how this music could be played or presented any better.

A longer version of this review is at The Villa-Lobos Magazine - [...]
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2014
The whole thing's too Germanic for me : the frenchness of it all is subsumed under emphasis of the gutteral, rather than the gestural.

The notion of 'french' things, whether they be pictorial or architectural and especially musical, should relate directly to the Dance, e.g. the pointillism might be the leading voice of a string, or be explained through an ornament under a parapet, or perhaps be a brush-stroke that goes somewhere, and not nowhere (as so much of Turner goes)

Delicateness is paramount, and such figurines will, or rather, should, invoke a particular sound from the instruments.

Unfortunately, in this record, all sounds go straight the the bowels ; I belch, and cannot tell whether I am reticular or simply un-particular.
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