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Sakari Oramo|Ravel: La Valse, M. 72 & Other Works

Ravel: La Valse, M. 72 & Other Works

Sakari Oramo - Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra

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What an incredible surprise. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is one of the most beautiful albums dedicated to Maurice Ravel’s orchestral music to be released in a long time. The sound recording is of such incredible quality, it’s almost unbelievable; the album truly does this legendary French composer justice.

Between 2014 and 2015, Sakari Oramo and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra recorded a complete collection of symphonies by Carl Nielson (1865-1931) for the record label BIS. The meticulous Finnish conductor then began to explore the sombre tones often used by the Swedes. This is an orchestra of great stylistic versatility; they almost seem to soak Ravel’s music in a soft light, like that of a warm evening sun. It’s impossible not to pass comment on what incredible instrumentalists they are too! You can just see their dedication to capturing Ravel’s orchestra’s harmonic arrangements in their full glory. There are some stunning moments in Le Tombeau de Couperin, especially in the Rigaudon and the central part of Menuet! As for the Fugue and Toccata, the two movements of the piano original of Tombeau de Couperin that Ravel never orchestrated, Oramo prefers the orchestrations of Kenneth Hesketh to those of Zoltán Kocsis. The former seems to include orchestras from Debussy, Rondes de printemps and even Stravinski in his interpretation of Ravel’s work; an undeniably strange combination, even if  Oramo’s brilliance also lies in his ability to clearly present the decisive influence of Ravel on subsequent generations.

The climax of this Ravel CD undoubtedly comes with the four songs in the middle of the album: Alborada del gracioso, Une barque sur l’océan, Menuet antique (which is quite similar to Debussy’s Berceuse héroïque) and Pavane pour une infante défunte, in which a beguiling horn solo really steals the show. Sakari Oramo remains decidedly attentive to the finer details of the orchestration, to its infinite textural variations as well as to Ravel’s signature melodic motifs. The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra is quite simply heavenly — and its woodwind section is just exquisite. As intriguing as it is enchanting, this Ravel volume ends with a perfectly arranged, sparkling rendition of Valse. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz

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Ravel: La Valse, M. 72 & Other Works

Sakari Oramo

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Le Tombeau de Couperin, M. 68a (Maurice Ravel)

1
I. Prélude
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
00:03:26

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Sakari Oramo, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2022 BIS (P) 2022 BIS

2
II. Fugue
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
00:03:51

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Kenneth Hesketh, Arranger - Sakari Oramo, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2022 BIS (P) 2022 BIS

3
II. Forlane
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
00:06:03

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Sakari Oramo, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2022 BIS (P) 2022 BIS

4
IV. Rigaudon
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
00:03:08

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Sakari Oramo, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2022 BIS (P) 2022 BIS

5
III. Menuet
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
00:05:05

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Sakari Oramo, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2022 BIS (P) 2022 BIS

6
VI. Toccata
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
00:04:07

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Kenneth Hesketh, Arranger - Sakari Oramo, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2022 BIS (P) 2022 BIS

Miroirs, M. 43 (Version for Orchestra) [Excerpts] (Maurice Ravel)

7
No. 4, Alborada del gracioso
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
00:08:09

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Sakari Oramo, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2022 BIS (P) 2022 BIS

8
No. 3, Une barque sur l'océan
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
00:08:43

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Sakari Oramo, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2022 BIS (P) 2022 BIS

Pavane pour une infante défunte, M. 19 (Version for Orchestra) (Maurice Ravel)

9
Pavane pour une infante défunte, M. 19 (Version for Orchestra)
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
00:06:38

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Sakari Oramo, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2022 BIS (P) 2022 BIS

Menuet antique, M. 7 (Version for Orchestra) (Maurice Ravel)

10
Menuet antique, M. 7 (Version for Orchestra)
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
00:06:41

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Sakari Oramo, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2022 BIS (P) 2022 BIS

La Valse, M. 72 (Maurice Ravel)

11
La valse, M. 72
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
00:12:28

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Maurice Ravel, Composer - Sakari Oramo, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2022 BIS (P) 2022 BIS

Album Description

What an incredible surprise. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is one of the most beautiful albums dedicated to Maurice Ravel’s orchestral music to be released in a long time. The sound recording is of such incredible quality, it’s almost unbelievable; the album truly does this legendary French composer justice.

Between 2014 and 2015, Sakari Oramo and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra recorded a complete collection of symphonies by Carl Nielson (1865-1931) for the record label BIS. The meticulous Finnish conductor then began to explore the sombre tones often used by the Swedes. This is an orchestra of great stylistic versatility; they almost seem to soak Ravel’s music in a soft light, like that of a warm evening sun. It’s impossible not to pass comment on what incredible instrumentalists they are too! You can just see their dedication to capturing Ravel’s orchestra’s harmonic arrangements in their full glory. There are some stunning moments in Le Tombeau de Couperin, especially in the Rigaudon and the central part of Menuet! As for the Fugue and Toccata, the two movements of the piano original of Tombeau de Couperin that Ravel never orchestrated, Oramo prefers the orchestrations of Kenneth Hesketh to those of Zoltán Kocsis. The former seems to include orchestras from Debussy, Rondes de printemps and even Stravinski in his interpretation of Ravel’s work; an undeniably strange combination, even if  Oramo’s brilliance also lies in his ability to clearly present the decisive influence of Ravel on subsequent generations.

The climax of this Ravel CD undoubtedly comes with the four songs in the middle of the album: Alborada del gracioso, Une barque sur l’océan, Menuet antique (which is quite similar to Debussy’s Berceuse héroïque) and Pavane pour une infante défunte, in which a beguiling horn solo really steals the show. Sakari Oramo remains decidedly attentive to the finer details of the orchestration, to its infinite textural variations as well as to Ravel’s signature melodic motifs. The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra is quite simply heavenly — and its woodwind section is just exquisite. As intriguing as it is enchanting, this Ravel volume ends with a perfectly arranged, sparkling rendition of Valse. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz

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