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Music for the theatre has always formed a central part of Valery Gergiev’s concert repertoire. His recent recordings have included an acclaimed performance of Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet and in November LSO Live releases a new recording of Ravel’s score for the ballet Daphnis et Chloé.
Ravel was commissioned by Serge Diaghilev in 1909 to write the music for Daphnis et Chloé. Although he subsequently prepared orchestral suites of the score, the complete work is a magnificent orchestral showpiece in its own right. Ravel described it as a symphonie choréographique and it is essentially an extended tone poem. Luscious orchestral colours run throughout the work, portraying the passion of the two protagonists for each other. By contrast, Pavane pour une infante défunte, composed by Ravel whilst he was still a student of Gabriel Fauré, harks back to the simplicity of the eighteenth-century music of Rameau. Boléro, one of his final works, highlights the Spanish influences and passion that pervade so many of his works.
Gergiev and the LSO perform in London during November before touring Japan. Gergiev has concerts in Paris with the Mariinsky Orchestra in December and tours again with the LSO in January and February, visiting Germany, Belgium and the US. His forthcoming LSO Live releases include a disc featuring Debussy’s La Mer, Jeux and Prélude à l’apres midi d’un faune.
‘a performance which carried the listener breathlessly into a dance of entirely spiritual dimensions. Both demanding and obtaining a control over his orchestra which only pianists should reasonably expect from their instruments, Gergiev has always aimed high with the LSO. With this concert, they hit the bullseye’ The Guardian
‘Gergiev must count himself fortunate in having a Rolls-Royce of an orchestra, with a well-nigh infallible energy ... the sun rose as gloriously as ever, and Gergiev leapt high as dawn swung into the final Danse générale’ The Times
‘The sultry, sensual score of Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe was handled stylishly, Gergiev and the excellent LSO properly holding something in reserve for the magnificent sunrise and exhilarating coda’ The Evening Standard
Daphnis Et Chloé: I. Introduction Et Danse Religieuse
Daphnis Et Chloé: II. Les Jeunes Filles Attirent Daphnis
Daphnis Et Chloé: III. Danse Grotesque De Dorcon
Daphnis Et Chloé: IV. Danse Légère Et Gracieuse De Daphnis
Daphnis Et Chloé: V. Une Lumière Irréelle Enveloppe Le Paysage
Daphnis Et Chloé: VI. Daphnis Se Prosterne Suppliant - Voix, Très Lointaines
Daphnis Et Chloé: VII. Danse Suppliante De Chloé
Daphnis Et Chloé: VIII. Lever Du Jour
Daphnis Et Chloé: IX. Chloé Réapparaît
Daphnis Et Chloé: X. Animé - Danse Générale - Danse Finale (Bacchanale)
Pavane Pour Une Infante Défunte
A short extract from Ravel's Bolero
“Those like me who enjoyed this conductor's Romeo & Juliet will not be disappointed with this new recording... the orchestral detail is impressive throughout... highly recommended”
7th January 2011
“Gergiev generates a frisson in everything he conducts, but it is only in French and Russian repertoire that his stylistic antennae seem secure...This Daphnis with the London Symphony Orchestra has everything one could want – atmosphere, languor, superb wind playing. Gergiev generates more high-voltage drama than rival versions”
“High voltage, but not high speed. Gergiev doesn't charge his way through the score. Indeed his measured 'Introduction et Danse religieuse' demonstrates his willingness to linger, but there's drama too. He is aided by superb playing...Boléro has precision and power”
“The most striking thing about these fine performances is their seductive combination of tonal warmth and sparkling virtuoso finesse...Gergiev conjures up an intoxicatingly languorous soundworld for Daphnis, fully indulging its glittering palette of orchestral colours”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.