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ClassicsOnline Home » DUKAS, P.: Apprenti sorcier (L') / RAVEL, M.: Ma mere l'oye / KOECHLIN, C.: Les bandar-log (Strasbourg Philharmonic, M. Albrecht)
Dukas Sorcerer's Apprentice; Ravel Ma mere loye; Koechlin Les bandar-log/Orchestre Philharmonic de Strasbourg/Marc Albrecht/Pentatone PTC 5186 336 ($US9.99) recorded 10/08
All 3 composers on the recording are Frenchmen who were contemporaries around the late 19th. & early 20th. Centuries. Paul Dukas studied at the Conservatoire de Paris, where he became friends with Claude Debussy. Dukas worked as a music critic and orchestrator. He was a perfectionist and destroyed many of his pieces. The symphonic scherzo, Sorcerer's Apprentice, is based on Goethe's poem 'Der Zauberlehrling', & displays rhythmic mastery & vivid orchestration. It was used in Walt Disney's film Fantasia. (compiled from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Maurice Ravel was an impressionist composer displaying instrumental textures. He started his studies with Gabriel Fauré, and was influenced by Stravinsky, de Falla & Debussy. Charles Koechlin also studied at the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied composition with Massenet. He was also a pupil of Fauré, where his fellow-pupils now included Ravel. Fauré had a major influence on Koechlin. Koechlin was a master of individual impressionism deriving less from Debussy than from Berlioz and Fauré.
Sorcerer's Apprentice is my favourite of the 3 compositions. It is an exciting performance with exciting buildup of tempo. Wow! Superlatives connot express how good this recording (Oct-08) really is; exceptional sound; lovely hall ambience; best sound ever listened to; lovely warmth in midrange; wide dynamic range; nice orchestral depth of sound & exceptional stereo spread; every instrument audible; nice sound due to warmer acoustics captured extremely well; trumpets recorded side on- don't blare at you; other recording companies take note- Pentatone has got it pretty right. Some slight congestion on full woodwind ensemble in Dukas; horns have slight echo chamber sound. Exceptional orchestral playing, high calibre performance; sensitive playing with feeling. Lovely string sound- high violins don't screech at you; lower violin harmonics captured adds to a warmer string sound. The contra-basssoon quacks to signify the broom slowly rising from the floor. Rising, soft, high strings whirl, signfying brooms out of control (Fantasia adaption). Although Ravel is not my favourite composer, Mother Goose Suite combined with excellent sound make this a good introduction to Ravel. Contra-bassoon segment is sensous sound; lovely oboe, clarinet playing; lovely harp solo interrupted by xylophone; inventive percussion orchestration indispersed with orchestral solos. The Koechlin is a more impressionist composition with strange intervals- not my favourite composition. Some high pitched are technically difficult to perform (strings slightly out of tune in one spot even for this exceptional orchestra). Excellent sound makes this a good hi-fi demo recording. low frequency tympani thuds throughout are nice, along with tuba and double bass solos. Tuba/contra-bassoon is interesting orchestration.
8.8/10 is highest score I have reviewed. This recording is worth it just for the Dukas. Well worth full price $US9.99more....
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DUKAS, P.: Apprenti sorcier (L') / RAVEL, M.: Ma m...