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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legendary Ravel recording, 11 Aug 2005
By 
Marc Haegeman "Marc Haegeman" (Gent, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé (Audio CD)
One of the all-time greatest Ravel discs now comes in even superior sound quality. Fifty years after date Munch's 1955 reading remains nothing less than ideal by its drive, its unerring sense of colour and atmosphere; the virtuosic playing of the Boston Symphony is quite simply outstanding. The sound is most impressively rendered by the DSD technology.
A tru gem of the classical catalogue, not to be missed by any serious collector.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Performance (if a bit fuzzy times!), 20 Feb 2012
This review is from: Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé (Audio CD)
Fuzziness refers to the sound which is less than the usual stellar re-masterings we are used to from Mercury.
But the performance is well worth the trouble...

50 years down the line this Munch / BSO performance of Daphnis & Chloe remains a classic, and one of the reference renditions of the piece. I cannot say it's definitive in one sense or another but, rather, an excellent all rounder which IMO excels generally.
In this respect, very interesting readings, especially ones with a definite "point of view" can be had: Martinon (Orch de Paris, EMI) or Dutoit (O de Montreal, decca) or even Ansermet, to name a few (there are many others).

Here, the Munch / BSO combo creates an elegant & poetic result; however, it is neither flat, nor clinical, nor politically-correct -- the latter an aspect that drives me up & down the proverbial wall!
Munch does give way to passion and the BSO lets loose dynamic impulses and passionate outbursts that emphasize the subject. Munch's Daphnes & Chloe may have good manners -- but they are certainly far from being sterilised in any sense of the word.

To conclude on a previous thought: this is still the performance many people can rely upon to get introduced to this music. For many it will be their last version of this piece.
For others, this where they will start their journey, to branch out to more personalised readings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refined and dramatic recording from Boston in 1955, 27 Sep 2012
By 
Hywel James "Hywel James" (Devon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé (Audio CD)
I was curious to discover what this famous recording sounded like in its latest manifestion as a SACD Living Stereo compact disc. I had owned an earlier version of it, on a long-play 12" record, forty years ago. Well the new version is very good indeed. It's a beautifully refined recording; the musicians perform flawlessly throughout and the direction under Charles Munch is dramatic and highly expressive. This "Daphnis and Chloe" was, I think, only the third recording of the complete ballet at that time (1955), with Ernest Ansermet's being the first, in May 1953, and Desire-Emile Inghelbrecht's the second, in 1954.

It would be idle to pretend that nearly 60 years after it was made the RCA recording offers sound that can rival more recent versions of the ballet. The versions under Charles Dutoit, from Montreal in 1980, or Pierre Boulez, with the Berlin Philharmonic, from 1995, are clearly superior in respect of sheer hi-fi. But the Munch has and deserves the status of a classic, and this compact disc is astonishingly good, most especially in terms of musicianship.

If you want to irritate the neighbours with a wall of sound, look elsewhere; if you want Ravel writing at the top of his very considerable game, buy this disc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable improvement to a legendary performance, 16 Mar 2013
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé (Audio CD)
This disc presents a recording made in 1955. This famous Ravel recording is one that I have had in my collection for years but in its previous stereo format. Having tested the 'Spain' disc and two Heifetz recordings and been mightily impressed I then upgraded this disc from stereo to SACD.

So far I have heard four such discs and in each case the improvement has been marked with greater internal definition within the orchestra and with better balance within the orchestra. There is also a greater sonic depth from front to back and the whole tonal range is far fuller. All of this benefits such a score as Daphnis to a considerable extent.

The performance itself is, of course, so well known and famously so, that further comment on that score is hardly necessary. However I will comment that this is among the finest performances ever recorded of this work. The main rival to my mind comes from a similar era and is the one by Monteux and the LSO. That too is very well recorded, wonderfully played and also led by a Frenchman with an innate sense of how that piece should go. There is little to choose between these two outstanding recordings which have dominated the catalogue for about 50 years. I have a personal preference for the slightly less fulsome soprano tone on the Monteux disc and, having been taught the trumpet by Denis Clift, the first trumpet of the LSO at the time of this recording, I also have a bias towards his trenchant playing and tonal qualities. As previously stated though, these are personal responses which not all will share.

Whatever other performances collectors may have of this work, I would still strongly suggest that this one by Munch is really worth adding - and so, of course, is the one by Monteux. These are two very famous recordings that should never be out of the catalogues.

In conclusion, I would strongly suggest that this SACD version is considerably superior to the previous version and is well worth the price of upgrading. This is not something I would normally do myself so that makes this a particularly strong comment. Newcomers to this disc will simply be amazed at what the engineers could manage so many years ago. Fewer microphones placed accurately coupled with longer recorded 'takes' has a musical result hard to match with modern sophistications.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Considered by many as the definitive reference performance, 20 Feb 2011
By 
Mr. J. Lazzerini "Jonathan" (Quimper, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé (Audio CD)
This is one of the most celebrated Living Stereo SACDs. Charles Munch with the BSO was a specialist in the interpration of French romantic music and this performance is one of his best.

The recording is simple stereo (not 3 channels, unlike most of the others in the series) which is good if you don't have multi-channel playback equipment (as you are not missing anything and there is no 'hole in the middle' effect). This is not to be confused with SACD, which is rather a superior sound quality due to higher sampling rates etc.

The dynamic range of the excellent SACD sound quality is particularly helpful here because there are special sound effects, for example the use of a wind machine announcing the entry of the god Pan, which sound very realistic and add to dramatic atmosphere of the ballet.

The disc was a Penguin classical CD guide rosette winner, even before it's release on SACD. It is considered by many to be the definitive reference performance of Daphnis and Chloé.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuously colourful recording!, 26 Nov 2008
By 
Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé (Audio CD)
This is a masterly performance of Daphnis, wonderfully detailed and sumptuously colourful. Recored in 1955, but the sound is surprisingly rich and expanssive. Highly recommendable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars REVAMPED EPOCH MAKING PERFORMANCE IN SUPER HI-FI SOUND!, 25 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé (Audio CD)
IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE THIS VERY VERY FAMOUS PERFORMANCE IN HI-FI STEREO IS NOW NIGH ON
57 YEARS OLD,HEADING FOR 60!!!
SINCE THE SACD HIGH DEFINITION DGITAL RE-PROCESSING OF MANY, IF NOT ALL,OF THE EARLY RCA CLASSICAL ARCHIVE RECORDINGS HAVE TAKEN ON A NEW LEASE OF LIFE!
THERE IS SOMETHING VERY MAGICAL ABOUT THIS BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA/MUNCH RECORDING WHICH KEEPS ONE TOTALLY SPELLBOUND!
WELL IT IS A VERY MYSTERIOUS AND MYTHICAL TALE OF DAHNIS'S LOVE FOR CHLOE COUPLED WITH HIGH SEAS DRAMA,PIRATES , AND MYTHICAL BALLETIC SCENES.
AS THIS IS NOT A DVD ONE USES ONE IMAGINATION WHICH ,I MIGHT ADD, IS EASILY CONJURED UP IN ONES MIND BY LISTENING TO THE SENSUOUS BALLET SCORE SO BEAUTIFULLY PERFORMED BY CHARLES MUNCH AND THE B.S.0 AND CHORUS DIRECTED BY THE RENOWNED U.S CHORAL CONDUCTOR ROBERT SHAW.
"IT'S A MUST" RECORD COLLECTORS ACQUISITION, ESPECIALLY IN IT'S SACD FORMAT (IF ONE HAS, of course, THE SACD REPRODUCING EQUIPMENT!)
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly blown away!!, 10 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé (Audio CD)
Listen to this performance and you realise just how dreadful Dutoit is.

We are in the hands of master Munch and the amazing Bostonians. But of course we are really in the palms of Ravel.

This is my favourite performance of this stunning piece, and one of my favourites of all-time. The SACD sound is astonishing.

Listen to the Boston strings in Sunrise, track 17. You can't beat them.

il est étonnant!!
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