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David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2019

The sixth volume of the orchestral works by Maurice Ravel comes from Lyon where they still retain those characteristic French orchestral sounds of yesteryear. As you will find in the opening of the Piano Concerto, the shades are delicate rather than the brazen ones we hear today from international orchestras, but then be prepared for a very exciting ride through the first movement, the soloist, Francois Dumont, dazzling with his awesome dexterity. The inner orchestral detail—even in moments only just audible—does owe something to the recording engineers, but more so to the conductor, Leonard Slatkin, and his outstanding orchestral soloists. More gorgeous sonorities in the following Adagio are a prelude to a display of Dumont’s agility in the finale. The grumbling orchestral opening to the Left Hand Piano Concerto prepares for a whole raft of pianistic colours from the soloist, the work’s final bars an outburst of sheer joy. Having, as a very young teenager, driven my parents to distraction as I struggled with the solo violin intonation in the unaccompanied opening to Ravel’s Tzigane, they would have been delighted with this fine account from Jennifer Gilbert, the leader of the Lyon Orchestra. It is a pity the microphone has been placed too close to her Guadagnini violin to obtain all of the nuances of tonal shades. Otherwise the recordings made in 2015 are very good, and I urge you to hear these uniquely French performances that stand beside Vlado Perlemuter’s legendary recordings of the two concertos. © 2019 David’s Review Corner



Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, August 2019

Slatkin’s pianist, François Dumont, plays the piano part in the accepted “dreamy” French style: appropriate for much of Ravel’s piano music…

Slatkin’s accents and phrasing here are quite good, however, giving real stature and some needed energy to the music, and as I said, I can accept Dumont’s playing in this work for what it is. © 2019 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review





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