“Many consider Daphnis et Chloé to be Ravel’s masterpiece, but that can be said of so many of this composer’s works. However, Daphnis stands as the exemplar of orchestral writing during the early part of the twentieth century. With its exotic story, incredible orchestration and concise musical ideas, this work is a joy from start to finish. Pairing it with the lesser-heard Une barque sur l’océan, we have a window into how Ravel utilizes his orchestral forces in a smaller-scale piece.”
Composed for Sergey Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, Ravel’s ‘symphonie chorégraphique’ Daphnis et Chloé is based on a classical Greco-Roman love story set on the island of Lesbos. He described the work as ‘a vast musical fresco’, and with its extraordinarily passionate music, lush harmonies and orchestration, is considered both his masterpiece and the epitome of Impressionism in music. Orchestrated from the third of his Miroirs for piano, Ravel’s Une barque sur l’océan is an evocative portrayal of the ever-changing moods of the sea.
Listen to an excerpt from Daphnis et Chloé: Danse suppliante de Chloé
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About the Artists
Leonard Slatkin is Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He also maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting throughout the world and is active as a composer, author and educator. Slatkin’s 100-plus recordings have received seven GRAMMY® awards and 64 nominations. His Naxos recordings include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Berlioz (with the ONL) and music by Copland, Rachmaninov, Borzova, McTee and John Williams (with the DSO).
Spirito was established in 2014, formed from two independent bodies, the Choruses and Soloists of Lyon (directed by Bernard Tétu) and the Britten Chorus (directed by Nicole Corti). Spirito is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Communication (Drac Rhône-Alpes), the Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, the city of Lyon and the Metropolitan Region of Lyon, and by the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SACEM), Spedidam, Adami and FCM.
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). The orchestra has been subsequently run and supported financially by the City of Lyon, which provided it with a concert hall, the Lyon Auditorium, in 1975. Leonard Slatkin has been musical director since September 2011.
Previous releases in Leonard Slatkin and the ONL’s Ravel cycle