Maazel: Ravel - L'Enfant Et Les Sortileges (FLAC)
Maazel: Ravel - L'Enfant Et Les Sortileges (FLAC)

Composer: Maurice Ravel
Performer: Francoise Ogeas, Jane Berbie, Jeanine Collard, Sylvaine Gilma, Camille Maurane, Heinz Rehfuss, Michel Senechal, Colette Herzog
Orchestra: Orchestre National de la RTF
Conductor: Lorin Maazel
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 257 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. ‘I don’t want to learn my lesson’
02. ‘Has mother’s boy been good?’
03. ‘I don’t care!’
04. ‘Your humble servant, Bergère!’
05. ‘Ding, ding, ding, ding’
06. ‘How’s Your Mug?’
07. ‘What the hell, Mah-jong’
08. ‘Oh! My lovely China cup!’
09. ‘Away! I warm the good but burn the bad!’
10. ‘Farewell, Shepherdesses!’
11. ‘Ah! ’tis she! ’tis she!’
12. ‘You, the heart of the rose’
13. ‘Two taps run into a tank!’
14. ‘Oh! My head!’
15. Cat’s Duet
16. The Music of insects, frogs & toads, the laughter of screech-owls, a murmur of breeze & nightingales
17. ‘Ah! What happiness to find you again, Garden!’
18. ‘Where are you?’
19. Round Dance of the bats: ‘Give her back to me…tsk, tsk…’
20. Dance of the frogs
21. ‘Save yourself, silly! And the cage? The cage?’
22. ‘The cage, it was to see better how nimble you were’
23. ‘Ah! It’s the Child with the knife!’
24. ‘He has dressed the wound…’
25. ‘He is good, the Child, he is wise’

Ravel at his best, with the best performers.

I have always admired Ravel’s works and his orchestrations. Although I am familiar with most of his piano works and his orchestral works, I didn’t even now this L’Enfant Et Les Sortileges opera existed at all. I found it delightful, and there is a little for everyone in it: Great arias, wonderful orchestral colors and effects, enchanting melodies, a charming and magical fairy tale story, and some delicious moments of humor. There are also some eerie musical moments, like the scene with the choir doing a languorous descending chromatic pattern. I think it’s the forest animals and the trees singing scene, if I’m not mistaken. It raises the hair in the back of your neck. They sound like angry ghosts, and I’ve never heard that effect so well achieved in any other vocal work.

The conducting and the performance are flawless in this recording. I haven’t heard the other ones that are supposed to be the match of this one yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were not as good. All the singers here are superb, their voices are ideal for every character they interpret. I also noticed that some lines on this score must be extremely difficult to sing, or that at least they require the best technical abilities to be sung properly and convincingly. The sopranos are all great, with lovely voices. I find that many celebrated opera voices often have flaws that are accepted by the public in general (for many reasons), but to me they are distracting, and sometimes quite annoying. Some famous sopranos have huge voices with huge unstable vibratos, and a voice color that comes near to the sounds a chicken might make. There is none of that in this recording. The tenor (the teapot’s and the math teacher’s role?) is also extraordinary, not also his voice and technique, but his dramatization and his potential for humor. The French is sung by a genuinely French speaking cast, and that can’t be said of all the other recordings in the market.

I have lately realized that my favorite works by Ravel are Daphne & Chloe and Ma Mere L’Oye. His creative power and his ability to transport you to a magical world are unparalleled in this works. Now I’m going to have to add L’Enfant Et Les Sortileges to the list.

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