RAVEL: Le tombeau de Couperin. Daphnis and Chloé -
Suite No. 2. DUTILLEUX: L'arbre des songes. Métaboles.
BACH: Gloria in Excelsis Deo
This LSO Live set offers a concert presented January 13, 2016 at the Barbican, an all-French program of Ravel and Dutileux, ending with a rarity. Maurice Deluge (1879-1961), whose music is virtually forgotten. There are only a few recordings extant of his music, mostly of his songs. A student and friend of Ravel, he wrote richly atmospheric music including the exotic four brief Hindu poems, here sung by soprano Julia Bullock, making her LSO debut. Sonically this is an odd release. Audio is stereo, not multi-channel. Encoding is UK region DVDs or Blu-Rays; it played fine on my OPPO unit. Performances are excellent, the stereo sound is surprisingly rich for the venue, and video offs many opportunities to watch Rattle on the podium. He has a long relationship with the orchestra and beginning September 2017 is their Music Director. Excellent music-making, but why was it issued on two separatete disks, and why not 5.1?
BIS a;ready has issued numerous Bach recordings by Bach Collegium Japan under their distingjuished directork Masaaki Suzuki, manhypraised on this site. They have recorded all of Bach's sacred cantatas, to international acclaim. TTo the limitd number of DVDvideos we can add this superb new issue of Bach's Gloria in EscExcelsis Deo, recorded in February 2013. First-class and memorable all the way, beautifully photographed and recorded with natural balances. A 25-minute bonus features interviews with performers. A major issue for those who love Bach choral music.
There are many fine videos of Wagner's final opera, Parsifal, and numerous audio-only historic versions by Knappertsbusch, Solti. Karajan and many others. For the historic check out the remarkable Karl Muck recording of excerpts recorded 1927/1928 in which we hear those amazing original huge "Parsifal bells," available from PRISTINE CLASSICS. This latest version was recorded June/July 201 2 at the Dutch National Opera, and offers little competition for the others. The cast is not exceptional—Wagner singers are rather scarce today.All involved in the production have some rather arbitrary ideas that diminish Wagner's masterpiece. The director is Pierre Audi, sets were designed by Anishj Kapoor, lighting is by Jean Kalman, costumes are by Christof Hertzer. The Du†ch choruses are excellent, and a major plus is the Rioyal Concertgebouw conducted by Iván Fischer. What a pleasure it is to hear this orchestra playing this glorious music! Audio is rich and full but little use is made of rear speakers. If you are looking for a powerful presentation of Parsifal, look beyond this.
R.E.B. (August 2017)