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  Telarc -
  Ravel: Orchestral Works - Paavo Järvi
  Ravel: Suite No. 2 from Daphnis et Chloe, Pavanne pour une infante defunte, La Valse, Five Nursery Rhymes (Mother Goose), Bolero

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Paavo Järvi (Jarvi) (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Stravinsky - Paavo Järvi        

Reviews: 3

Review by beardawgs April 19, 2004 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is an unfortunate mixed bag, no time yet to get rid of your Dutoit or Karajan. Jarvi is concentrated on details throughout, but the sum of them doesn’t necessarily give a satisfactory musical unity. That approach works well with Daphnis and Chloe, which is in this recording a true and powerful orgiastic experience. His reading is vivid and precise, orchestra colourful with some great woodwind solos. Recording has all necessary transparency, dynamic outbursts are huge and voluminous in perfectly captured natural acoustics (in MC). This piece is a sum of its many incredibly detailed parts and Jarvi manages to keep them all together. But from this point onwards it’s all downhill.

Pavane is marked “lent” but Jarvi will take none of it – he shaves off a whole minute from Giulini’s version and for a 7 minutes piece that’s too much. He doesn’t treat Pavane as a lugubrious dance for a dead princess, IMO this piece requires more polished and smoother orchestral sound.

La Valse kicks off very well, it has a nice expressive build up towards the sinister last third with dark colours and dissonances perfectly judged. But then, at the very end, when the whole structure is to collapse under its own weight nothing happens. Final crescendo is loud, but there is no logical musical conclusion of what actually happens with that imaginatory Viennese gentlemen at his deathbed listening to his old waltz records.

Mother Goose on here is the original orchestration of the children’s piano pieces, not the extended ballet score and has the same problem as Pavane – too much concentration on details instead of unity. This performance left me totally cold and unmoved. Dynamic outbursts work well, with nicely painted Far East exotic music in Empress of the Pagodas, but that’s it.

And for the end a complete disaster – this must be the fastest Bolero ever to be recorded: 13:30. And it’s not just furious, there is no music in it at all. It doesn’t have a gradual dynamic crescendo, it is mezzo-forte most of the time, even with some rhythmic problems from the principal trumpet player. It doesn’t have any internal logic or structure, Jarvi presents just one thing after another with no expressive build ups and no tension. At the very beginning it has the most annoying harp sound ever recorded, in your face and too close, louder than the rest of the orchestra. And then after a few bars it is just switched off. What were they thinking? Things slightly improve once the full strings come in, but the final fortissimo is abrupt, out of the blue.

The recording is good throughout. There is a plenty of air around the instruments, the sound stage and dynamics are natural, but there seems to be pretty much spot miking too (that harp in Bolero is a complete disaster), otherwise the orchestral sound has appropriate weight and depth. If you’re buying this disc, buy it for Daphnis only.

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Review by lenw June 16, 2004 (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
“The brilliance of Berlioz’s orchestration is brought out in finely detailed sound with textures clarified,” Gramophone.

This is another fine recording by Telarc with Paavo Jarvi conducting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in a style somewhat reminiscent of the style of his tutor "Lenny". The Telarc soundstage is once again wide and deep.

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Review by Monteverdi July 5, 2004 (0 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
A generally good effort from Mr. Jarvi and his marvelous orchestra, while not particularly distinguished against the recordings of Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, or Jean Martinon and the Chicago Symphony.
There is no selection on this disc that has not been brought to greater life or more thrilling impact by Munch, Martinon, or some others.
The sound is generally good. The top is rolled-off, inhibiting the brilliance of sound. Try the old RCA recordings where there was so much more “air” to the sound.
So, if you want a MC/SACD, this is the current choice. If your processor offers Neo 6 Music, the older discs will get you to the heart of the music and still surround you.
©AE 2004

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Works: 5  

Maurice Ravel - Boléro, M. 81
Maurice Ravel - Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2, M. 57b
Maurice Ravel - La valse, M. 72
Maurice Ravel - Ma mère l'oye (Mother Goose), M. 60
Maurice Ravel - Pavane pour une infante défunte, M. 19