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George Dorris
Ballet Review, August 2016

Leonard Slatkin’s is in their class, with a largely young cast of French singers and his excellent Lyon orchestra, well recorded in 2013. © 2016 Ballet Review



Paul E. Robinson
Musical Toronto, May 2016

…based on a libretto by Nobel Prize-winning French novelist, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954). …the animation—squirrels, frogs, cats, chairs and teapots—is irresistible. …Slatkin leads a lively and idiomatic performance with a fine cast headed by soprano Hélène Hébrard as the Child. The performance of the complete Ma Mere l’Oye (Mother Goose) is equally good. © 2016 Musical Toronto Read complete review



James Forrest
Fanfare, May 2016

…[disc] is not only one of the finest recordings of Ravel’s delightful masterpiece I know, but is also one of the finest recent operatic recordings I have heard.

The singing is of the highest level and is expressive in such a way that each inflection carries meaning. Casting such a soprano as Massis in three of the crucial short roles continues a tradition. Luxurious casting can produce a top-quality result.

This is a recording of a charming, sophisticated work which will, I can guarantee, provide listening pleasure for years to come. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review




Roger Pines
Opera News, April 2016

The Lyon Orchestra, under Leonard Slatkin, revels in every moment, beginning with the explosion of energy accompanying the Child’s first outburst. The score’s jazzier portions work delightfully, and the lengthiest of the instrumental interludes—the Frogs’ playing and dancing—has precisely the right breeziness. © 2016 Opera News Read complete review



Ronald E. Grames
Fanfare, March 2016

…Bass Nicolas Courjal provides a sonorous Chair, joined by the Louis XV Armchair of mezzo-soprano Julie Pasturaud, who brings insight to all of her roles… Tenor Jean-Paul Fouchécourt and contralto Delphine Galou…sing the foxtrot most amusingly. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review



Leslie Wright
MusicWeb International, January 2016

L’Enfant et les sortilèges is one of Ravel’s most delightful works with its colourful orchestration and indelible passages. …The choruses, as with the orchestra, are excellent whenever they get to sing.

With Ma Mère l’Oye there is much greater competition. …Slatkin and his orchestra capture the magic of this wonderful score as well as most other accounts I have heard. It is a lovely performance with sufficient attention paid to the dynamics. The gorgeous strings playing softly at the beginning of the last section, The Fairy Garden, rarely fail to create one of those spine-tingling moments that stay with the listener, and they don’t disappoint here. The delicious woodwind soloists also give their all. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Richard Lawrence
Gramophone, December 2015

…Slatkin and his orchestra are on top form: beautiful solo strings in the Prelude and a deft account of the Dance of the Spinning Wheel. This disc is a terrific bargain. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Christie Grimstad
ConcertoNet.com, November 2015

Whether child or adult, Leonard Slatkin’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges will leave you spellbound with less of an indelible footprint inside Mother Goose. © 2015 ConcertoNet.com Read complete review



Infodad.com, November 2015

The entire cast…takes to the music winningly, and both the adult and children’s choruses complement the individual singers to fine effect. Slatkin’s direction is just right: the opera unfolds seemingly naturally, for all its fantastic elements, and the increasing menace toward the end dissipates quickly, just as it should… © 2015 Infodad.com Read complete review



Roger Nichols
BBC Music Magazine, November 2015

Performance
Recording

The all-French cast articulate the text splendidly, with tenor Jean-Paul Fouchécourt doing his usual superb number (or numbers) as L’Arithmétique. Mezzo Hélene Hébrard as the Child sounds suitably young and fresh, soprano Annick Massis as the Fire negociates her high coloratura with accuracy and élan… © 2015 BBC Music Magazine



David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2015

Ravel’s opera L’enfant et les sortilèges captures the world of the child as viewed through the eyes of the adult, toys and wallpaper pictures taking on a living format. It is very difficult to stage as singers change between the very diverse characters, and, at around forty-five minutes length, it is also difficult to programme. Add its demands for a large orchestra—which is then sparingly used—eight soloists, children and adult choirs, and a staged performance requires a very large financial outlay. That is the reason we have come to know the work through recordings, and the catalogue is certainly not be short of outstanding performances, this new release, made in Lyon, joining that illustrious list. Opening in the child’s room doing her homework, there follows twenty cameos depicting everything from the inanimate chair to the animals and birds. The masterstroke is Ravel’s ability to bring these short sections together to form a cohesive whole, and whoever has cast this performance has found an absolutely perfect team to bring it to life. Hélène Hébrard, does not attempt the impossible task of creating a child’s voice, but sings the part as a normal soprano role, with some suitable fits of temper. Of the remaining cast, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt as The Teapot, Tree Frog and Arithmetic Man, is outstanding, while Julie Pasturaud and Marc Barrard are perfect as the white and black cats. The conductor, Leonard Slatkin, is obviously much in love with the score, extracting every small detail from the Lyon Orchestra. It is a refined ensemble never indulging in a gratuitous display of self-indulgent virtuosity, a feature that continues in a finely detailed and complete performance—rather than the orchestral suite—of Ravel’s ballet, Ma Mère L’Oye. Both works are beautifully recorded… © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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