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Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé; La Valse Import

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, September 19, 1995
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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

There may be sexier complete D&Cs on disc, but few are as well recorded, clearly balanced, expertly paced, and shaded with the suppleness that Boulez and the Berlin Philharmonic bring to this rendition of Ravel's sumptuous ballet. If that's not enough, Boulez's dazzling La Valse caps things off with a bang. --Jed Distler
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Product Details

  • Performer: Rundfunkchor Berlin
  • Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Pierre Boulez
  • Composer: Maurice Ravel
  • Audio CD (September 19, 1995)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GPI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,518 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This recording of Ravel's masterpiece is simply stunning. This is Boulez's second recording of the complete ballet. His understanding of the music, phrasing, shading come out in every bar. His is aided by the peerless Berlin Philharmonic. This is the BPO first recording of the complet ballet, it is also the best played. The orchestra plays effortlessly and colors the music wonderfully. They are able to bring their wonderfully huge sound to the big moments and also play with great lightness and grace so solo's come through as they should. Terrific flute solo in the final part of the ballet. This is a great album showing a great partnership between the BPO and Pierre Boulez. Little need to be said about La Valse other than it's a great performance.
Highest recommendation.
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Format: Audio CD
I am coming to admire Boulez's Ravel more everyday, much more than his Debussy. And I don't consider the two as most as representations of musical impressionism. Both were master innovators of sound. And Ravel was at bit more sensitive to the orcehstral pallette. This massive score needs someone with a global vision of the work, its exquisite timbres are actually contained in quite conventional forms, repetition. However the fast and filigree woodwinds and the divisi strings, and the large palette of string harmonics makes this a feast for the ears. Yet there are moments of sublime ugliness, the muted brass or whenever the density accelerates with held brass chords. Boulez was the first actually to take away the movie music elements in this music, having a great discipline toward the rhyhthm and sound. Great refined and gentle playing is what's here. The music is understood very deeply.
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Format: Audio CD
For years the Charles Munch performance of DAPHNIS was the one to own. It was one of the early miracles of LP vinyl; not merely because of the grealy improved Hi-Fi reproducion technique, but because for the first time you could experience the entire ballet. Suddenly it was't just bautiful; it made sense. The Munch performance is still a great performance (didn't he premier the ballet?) and the Dutoit is excellent, as well. But there is no soubt the Boulez recording is the best, and that, in and of itself is phenomenal considering the high quality of the Munch and the Dutoit recordings.

When I play the Daphnis I don't do anything but listen. All distractoins are put away. This is not "backgrond" music; its foeground music. To me this is one of the handfull of great symphonies of the world. It isn't often thought of as a symphony, though Ravel called it a Choreographic Symphony. Three movements with chorus. Seems unorthodox, but the French symphonies are usually different in some way. Consider the Saint-Saens for Organ for example, or the five movement Berlioz Fantastic Symphony, or the Lalo Symphony on a Mountain Air, or the Cesar Franc: Why not the Martinu symphonies as well? All vividly sensual, emotional, all out-of-the ordinary -- or anti-scholastic though academic exercises, like the Bizet -- and all frequently theatrical.

One can't really comment on Boulez's work coherently if one is a layman, because, face it, you have to be at near genius-level even to read the score. This incredible music begins at the highest level of virtuosity for all the instruments in the orchestra.
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Format: Audio CD
Boulez is one of my favorite conductors living today. I simply love his Grammophone performances on almost all of the post-romantic pieces I heard on radio and CD - starting with Debussy's La Mer (which one him Grammys), Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin, and Stravinsky's Firebird (Complete Version) - the only exception was the Rite of Spring.
This CD is deninitely no exception. When I heard "Daphnis and Chloe" for the first time on a radio station with the Berlin Phil under Boulez, I loved it! The orchestra was good, the choir was great, and the sound quality was definitely nice. But it was the finale which really made me to never hesitate to buy the CD. I later tested other performances on the ballet, but nothing seems to overpower Boulez's interpretation, the orchestra's massive frenzy, the choir's dynamic "Ahhs", and the percussion alone was thumbs up! His finale is the best Daphnis finale ever!!! If you haven't heard the ballet, never hesitate to buy this CD.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This recording stands out as top choice for this work. The combination of the great French conductor with the greatest orchestra in the world when they were still under the direction of the late, great Claudio Abbado, is hard to match. I am curious what this recording would have sounded like if it were made in the Philharmonie, however the choice to use JC Kirche was inspired, offering a recording of excellent detail and presence, so closely-miked, though, that it robs the performance of the richness and magic a slightly more distanced approach would have achieved. For that reason, it is a bit more hard-edged than other versions.

Regardless of these reservations, the performance is thrilling, dynamic, seductive and very enjoyable. I listen to it often and still find the sheer power of the performance to overwhelm me at times. All in all among the best versions to consider. Dutoit's, and Previn's are also very fine and capture a bit more of the magical and mystical qualities of this score in my personal opinion.
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