L’Heure espagnole* (The Spanish Hour
Don Quichotte à Dulcinée**
Libretti by Franc-Nohain* and Paul Morand**

Isabelle Druet, Mezzo-Soprano*
Luca Lombardo • Frédéric Antoun, Tenors*
Marc Barrard* • François Le Roux**, Baritones
Nicolas Courjal, Bass*
Orchestre National de Lyon
Leonard Slatkin
Listen to an excerpt from Ravel’s
L’Heure espagnole (The Spanish Hour)

Maurice Ravel’s stage works are as subtle and expressively poised as can be imagined. In the Spanish-tinged L’Heure espagnole he breathes new life into the Italian genre of the opera buffa, enhancing the comedy in the plot by giving it a gentle human poignancy and poetic presence. The clarity of Ravel’s vocal writing, and his signature harmonic magic and luminous orchestration, make this opera a delight for the ear. Don Quichotte à Dulcinée was Ravel’s last composition, imbuing Cervantes’s famous character with aristocratic Spanish swagger as well as a kind of heroic tenderness and vulnerability. Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges from Lyon can be found on Naxos 8.660336.


About Leonard Slatkin

Internationally renowned conductor Leonard Slatkin is currently Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and of the Orchestre National de Lyon and Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He is also the author of a new book entitled Conducting Business. He began his musical studies on the violin and studied conducting with his father, conductor-violinist Felix Slatkin, followed by training with Walter Susskind at Aspen and Jean Morel at The Juilliard School. His more than 100 recordings have brought seven GRAMMY® Awards and 64 GRAMMY® Award nominations. He has received many other honours, including the 2003 National Medal of Arts, France’s Chevalier of the Legion of Honour and the League of American Orchestras’ Gold Baton for service to American music.


About the Orchestre National de Lyon

Offspring of the Société des Grands Concerts de Lyon, founded in 1905, the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL) became a permanent orchestra with 102 musicians in 1969, with Louis Frémaux as its first musical director (1969-1971). From then on the orchestra was run and supported financially by the City of Lyon, which in 1975 provided it with a concert hall, the Lyon Auditorium. Since the Opéra de Lyon Orchestra was founded in 1983, the ONL has devoted itself to symphonic repertoire. Taking over from Louis Frémaux in 1971, Serge Baudo was in charge of the orchestra until 1986 and made it a musical force to be reckoned with far beyond its home region. Under the leadership of Emmanuel Krivine (1987-2000) and David Robertson (2000-2004), the ONL continued to increase in artistic stature and to receive international critical acclaim. Jun Märkl took over from him in September 2005 as musical director of the ONL. Leonard Slatkin has been musical director since September 2011.

Previous Releases in Leonard Slatkin and the ONL’s Ravel Cycle

“Whether child or adult, Leonard Slatkin’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges will leave you spellbound”
– ConcertoNet.com


“It is a delightful and assorted collection…presented in splendid performances by the Orchestre National de Lyon led by their music director, the venerable American conductor Leonard Slatkin.”
– Classical Net


“A performance that’s full of sweep and sparkling
color. …Slatkin and the orchestra play every note with a welcome degree of expression.”
– American Record Guide