Les Siècles: Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé review: fresh take

Wed, Apr 5, 2017, 18:23


Ravel Daphnis & Chloé

François-Xavier Roth; Les Siècles; Maurice Ravel

Harmonia Mundi

Children's Music

Pierre Monteux, who conducted the first performance of Ravel’s ballet Daphnis et Chloé in 1912, lived long enough to make a much-praised recording of the work in stereo with the London Symphony Orchestra in 1959. François-Xavier Roth and Les Siècles can’t rival that kind of interpretative pedigree – Monteux also conducted the first performances of Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Rite of Spring and Debussy’s Jeux.

Roth offers instead a performance using period instruments, with timbres that are subtly different from those familiar today. He feels that his orchestra “tends more towards sweetness and intense sensuality”.

My own response would be towards freshness and directness. Either way, this is a fascinatingly different take on Ravel’s luscious scores. url.ie/55ay