Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Stephen Estep
American Record Guide, May 2017

The Pays de la Loire group plays fairly well if rather bloodlessly in the big moments, especially in the last two movements of Mother Goose. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Jim Svejda
Fanfare, May 2017

Axelrod and company treat each of the movements like a gem that really deserves to be heard, while the Naxos engineering is splendidly natural and revealing. Don’t expect a better L’éventail de Jeanne to come along any time soon. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

David Hurwitz, December 2016

Axelrod’s is a sensitive performance, a touch on the slow side, perhaps, but well-proportioned and sensitively detailed. The orchestra plays quite well, with the many woodwind solos sweet and smooth, …Axelrod dwells lovingly on the concluding Fairy Garden, and when the music is so beautiful who can blame him? This disc, in short, is a joy. Don’t overlook it. © 2016 Read complete review

Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), November 2016

Ravel’s much-loved ballet Mother Goose vividly portrays familiar fairy tales and is heard here in its expanded version. The children’s ballet L’Éventail de Jeanne (Jean’s Fan) brought together composers, including members of Les Six, to create a joyous mélange of influence and individuality. This is the first recording of the complete balletto be made by a French orchestra. © 2016 WFMT (Chicago)

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, November 2016

L’éventail de Jeanne is a children’s ballet with 10 different dances composed by 10 French composers. It’s an absolutely charming piece, vividly played by the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire. John Axelrod opens the program with a very inspired Mother Goose music, which gets here the suggestiveness of a film score. © 2016 Pizzicato

Paul Driver
The Sunday Times, London, October 2016

Jean’s Fan (1927) is a children’s ballet whose 10 sections were written by as many composers, commissioned by, and honouring, the Parisian patroness Jeanne Dubost. Framed by Ravel’s inimitable Fanfare and the Kermesse-Valse by Florent Schmitt, the sequence is a likeable distillation of French neoclassicism. Notable are Ibert’s valse, Roussel’s piquant Sarabande and Poulenc’s catchy, two-minute Pastourelle. Another children’s ballet comes first: ravel’s Ma Mére l’Oye, in sumptuous contrast to the bright brittleness of the Fan. © 2016 The Sunday Times, London

David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2016

Jeanne Dubost, a fashionable Paris hostesses and patron of the arts, gave ten young composers a leaf from her fan with a request to compose music for a ballet. With eventual score was given the title, L’Eventail de Jeanne, and was intended for her young pupils, though in the event it received a stellar premiere at the Paris Opera, and featured the precocious young ballerina, Tourmanova. The composers took their task very seriously and produced ten charming cameos opening with Ravel’s Fanfare and ending with a big Valse scene from Florent Schmitt. In between we have a naughty Valse from Ibert; a gorgeous little Polka from Milhaud, and a gentle Pastourelle from Poulenc. You can almost see the young children dancing to such a glorious score. It is here coupled not with the usual orchestral suite, but the longer complete ballet, Ma Mere L’oye (Mother Goose), which is most welcome, particularly so in John Axelrod’s wonderfully atmospheric and detailed performance where pianissimos are just magically audible. Maybe we always read too much into the nationality of orchestras, but the National des Pays de la Loire has that sound of the French orchestras of yesteryear, before an international quality became the norm. The big question that remains is: ‘where has this disc been hiding since its recording in 2012?’ It is certainly one of the gems in the Naxos catalogue, though surely someone could have come up with the idea of balancing the sound levels between the two works recorded at very differing sessions. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group