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At the time when Ravel set down Sheherazade, and although he had already
composed such works as Pavane pour une Infante defunte and Jeux d'eau, -
regarded today as excellent - the young composer was still struggling for
recognition. Five times he tried to win the prestigious Prix de Rome, France's
highest musical award, but barely achieved more than limited acclaim.
Ravel's provocative assertion that he didn't follow any particular musical
direction, but was an anarchist is reflected in his free, wonderfully interwoven
composition Sheherazade. A touch of the Orient is entwined with late-romantic
harmony and an impressionistic, modern brilliance, whose depth calls for and
merits repeated listening.
Ravel shares the lot of a misunderstood genius with Hector Berlioz. Written in
1832, his cycle Les Nuits d'Ete, with its pulsating and arietta-like but also
morbid and ghostly songs, provide a wonderful example of a composition from the
French Romantic era. The present superb performance was highly acclaimed by
producer and author G.A. Eckle, who stated "Regine Crespin is the embodiment
of quality when it comes to French repertoire in her category".
• 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
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L'Orchestre De La Suisse Romande
Ernest Ansermet, conductor
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
2. La flute enchantee
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
5. Le spectre de la rose
Nuits D'Ete (cont.)
2. Sur les lagunes
3. Au cimetiere
4. L'ile in connue
Recorded September 1963 at Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland.