The French composer Maurice Ravel, of Basque descent on his mother's side, was a master of orchestral effect. This is never more evident than in his Boléro, a work originally intended as a ballet for the company of Ida Rubinstein. It has in recent years formed a virtuoso element in the repertoire of the choreographer Maurice Béjart and has been used in the film "10". The works on our chosen disc start with Mother Goose Tales, including Sleeping Beauty, Hop-o'-my-thumb and Beauty and the Beast, delightfully portrayed. The world of the waltz and Schubert's Vienna is evoked in Valses nobles et sentimentales, followed by a suite from the ballet Daphnis et Chloé, a love-story from pastoral antiquity, couched in the unmistakable language of Ravel, with the voices of an invisible choir adding to the effect.
Ravel: Mother Goose, Valses nobles et sentimentales, Boléro & Daphnis et Chloé (Suite No. 1), with the Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra & Slovak Philharmonic Choir, directed by Kenneth Jean.