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  PentaTone Classics -
  PTC 5186 058
  Tour de France Musicale - Kreizberg
  Ravel: Boléro, Daphnis et Chloé (Suite No. 2), La Vallée des Cloches (The Valley of Bells), Fauré: Pelléas et Mélisande (Suite) Op. 80, Debussy: Prélude à laprès-midi dun faune

Leon Berendse (flute)
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
Yakov Kreizberg (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 2

Review by GoldenRedux January 27, 2006 (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I agree with Edvin's comments below about Kreizberg's handling of these pieces. I wrote a review of this SACD on another forum and rather than write another one, I'll post the same review here:

I listened to [this SACD and] my first impressions of these recordings is that I'm not impressed.

That's not to say that it is a bad recording; not at all. It's actually quite lovely. The sound is of typically high standards for PenaTone, and Kreizberg's interpretations are competent, but that's all they are.

This SACD contains recordings of the following pieces: Ravel - Daphnis et Chloé: Suite No. 2, Boléro and La Vallée des Cloches; Debussy -Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune; Fauré - Pelléas et Mélisande: Suite Op. 80.

IMHO, Kreizberg's timing and rhythm on the Daphnis et Chloé seem a bit plodding and clumsy, the Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune lacks the orgasmic, sultry qualities that define this piece, and the Boléro is just average.

The shining moment of this SACD is the Fauré - Pelléas et Mélisande: Suite Op. 80. Apparently Kreizberg is stronger with the less 'impressionistic' or 'symbolist' music. His take here is very moving and just 'right', IMHO. It's worth the price of admission for this disc.

Two faults I find with the sound of this recording are that a)There are slight balance problems, especially evident in the MC mix. Sometimes instruments 'escape' to the rears and sides or seem to move around the sound-stage and b) I think it to be a bit too dry for the Debussy and Ravel pieces. Contrast the former with the Paavo Jäarvi/Cincinnati Symphony's recordings of the Daphnis et Chloé and Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune for Telarc (SACD-60601 and SACD-60617) where the cavernous performance space of the Cincinnati Symphony and its wooden stage impart a lushness to the sound and warmth to the strings that really work to an advantage for these two pieces in particular. Also, Jäarvi's handling of the orchestra is exemplary. The impressionistic and visual aspects of the pieces shine in his hands. When you close your eyes and listen to his 'Lever du Jour' from Daphnis you can just imagine the sun sparkling up from over the horizon. In his
Prélude you can sense the calm and innocent playfulness practically erupt into a full-on orgy. These things are missing from this Kreizberg disc.

Also, for a more rousing rendition of Boléro on SACD, I would strongly recommend picking up the Mobile Fidelity release of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and the Minnesota Orchestra (UDSACD4002). This is an analogue recording from the 70's. The SACD contains the original quadraphonic and stereo mixes.

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Review by Edvin December 2, 2005 (3 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Three composers seriously under-represented in the sacd catalogue. So for that, thanks PentaTone. But what this music really need is a conductor like Serge Baudo and a first rate French (?)orchestra. This is a stop gap, a good one but still a stop gap.
Daphnis, suite No. 2. I thought the days were over when we were confined to the popular suite only. Some lovely playing and warm phrasing, but the Pantomine is too slow and the Danse Générale has some balance problems. I hate those shrieking clarinets, they are in the score but a conductor can balance them more discreetly. Good but not very imaginative playing. The competition is hard and the Netherlands Phil. is no Berlin Phil.

The Debussy Prélude is still a marvel. Have you ever heard a piece where the air is so full of bumble- and bees and anticipation? It is so hot that the sence is hightened and..well, everything stands still. For a moment we can enjoy being here and now instead of going somewhere. No other composer has depicted this..oh but there is one. Listen to Frank Bridge and his piece Summer. You wont get the exctasy of the faun, but you will get the general feeling of laziness and well being. Sorry, I´m wandering. But then, Kreizberg is no faun and I miss the voluptioness and "jump in the bush with the lovely fauness"-ness. More sheen on the violins please, more sensual exctacy overall.

The Valley of the Bells in an arrangement by Percy Grainger. Gorgeous music, heavily influenced by the Javanese and Balinese Gamelan orchestras. Not much competition here, but I still prefer Rattle on EMI Redbook. He takes more time making the music "pianistic", can´t be more specific than that, sorry. His cd also has the most sensational Schéhérazade ever wirh Maria Ewing as soloist. She is a woman through and through, not some prim little girl like Crespin. Ewing is not only sensual, she is sexual in this piece. I love the performance.

Boléro...what can I say. This is a crap review since I cannot be bothered to listen to it. I wish it was never written, or that they could have used the old agent series device...this score will destruct itself within ten seconds after being performed.

The Fauré is so incredibly lovely. The music is so sweet and heartfelt that no eye should be dry.
Here the competition is weak and these performances will do more than nicely for the time being. But compare with Baudo´s EMI-recordings and you enter a different world.

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Works: 5  

Claude Debussy - Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, L 86
Gabriel Fauré - Pelléas et Mélisande, Op. 80
Maurice Ravel - Boléro, M. 81
Maurice Ravel - Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2, M. 57b
Maurice Ravel - La vallée des cloches (The Valley of Bells), M. 43 No. 5