- Conductor: Tortelier
- Composer: Ravel, Debussy, Massenet
- Audio CD (1 Nov. 2010)
- Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
- Label: Chandos
- ASIN: B0044FEZD0
- Other Editions: MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,549 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Works By Ravel, Debussy & Massenet Hybrid SACD, SACD
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Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Yan Pascal Tortelier, direction
An all-too-rare outing for Debussy's luxuriant Fantaisie makes this a must. Gramophone recommended. --Gramophone,Dec'10
This is a disc of pure pleasure,with some revelations thrown in for good measure. Performance ***** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine,Jan'11
Top Customer Reviews
But the main dishes in this French repast are the Debussy and Ravel. The Debussy 'Fantaisie' is not often played in concert in my experience and it doesn't sound entirely like the Debussy we all know and love, largely because it is a very early work.Read more ›
When reviewing the (extremely) sub-par efforts of Roget on Oehms, I commented that we had to retrieve our vinyl and - even - RBCD to hear these works performed well. But we can now safely return these to the shelves.
Bavouzet, the BBCSO and Tortelier are clearly of one mind in these performances. Bavouzet's playing is refined, sophisticated and just has precisely the right degree of distanced Gallic passion. The pieces flow and are structured immaculately. In short, these are thoroughly engaging, exciting and idiomatic performances.
And the fill-ups? The Massenet solo piano pieces are tuneful, interesting and pleasant miniatures. However, the Debussy Fantasie which opens the disc is - frankly - inconsequential and eminently unmemorable IMO.
The sound quality is superb throughout - with one small proviso I will come to in a minute. The piano tone is liquid, focussed and refined. The whole recording is superbly crystalline and transparent, in the best Chandos manner. As a result, every strand of the delicate orchestration in these pieces is beautifully revealed.
Now the small proviso. The piano is nicely set in a mid-hall perspective. However, I then find the orchestra too close- in other words, the piano and orchestra are a tad too close together; I would have preferred greater distancing of the latter, in normal Chandos house style! That would also have produced more hall sound.
But let's not quibble over minutiae. Bottom line, this is a fine and wholly recommendable disc.
Marguerite Long's 1932 recording with the composer conducting clearly demonstrates how these pieces should be done, but that recording really sounds its age. From the stereo era, there used to be three really good recordings: the volatile, exuberant François with Cluytens (EMI), the incomparable Monique Haas with Paul Paray (DG) and as an outsider, the intensely poetic Moravec (Supraphone), endearingly accompanied by the characterful but not wholly idiomatic Prague Philharmonia under Belohlavek.
Bavouzet now joins this trio; to my ears, he finishes in second place just behind Haas. In the booklet notes, Bavouzet writes that he and Tortelier were both pupils of the great Ravelian Pierre Sancan, and they certainly know how to pace the music - in both movements, they are just seconds slower than Long or Haas. I do have some reservations, however, concerning the orchestral playing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This disc is an absolute delight. You have benchmark performances of three beatiful works for piano and orchestra beatifully recorded. Unmissable.Published on 4 Jun. 2014 by Ali Tigrel
The combination of pieces chosen here is wonderful. It is a delight and very relaxing, even if you are working hard at the computer and not paying too much heed to the music. Read morePublished on 17 May 2014 by Mrs. Geraldine H. Taylor