Music for the theatre has always formed a central part of Valery Gergiev s concert repertoire. His recent recordings have included an acclaimed performance of Prokofiev s Romeo & Juliet and on November 8 LSO Live releases a new recording of Ravel s score for the ballet Daphnis et Chloé. Ravel was commissioned by Serge Diaghilev in 1909 to write the music for Daphnis et Chloé. Although he subsequently prepared orchestral suites of the score, the complete work is a magnificent orchestral showpiece in its own right. Ravel described it as a symphonie choréographique and it is essentially an extended tone poem. Luscious orchestral colours run throughout the work, portraying the passion of the two protagonists for each other. By contrast, Pavane pour une infante défunte, composed by Ravel whilst he was still a student of Gabriel Fauré, harks back to the simplicity of the 18th-century music of Rameau. Boléro, one of his final works, highlights the Spanish influences and passion that pervade so many of his works. Gergiev s forthcoming LSO Live releases will include a disc featuring Debussy s La Mer, Jeux and Prélude à l apres midi d un faune.
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