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Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy & Jules Massenet (2010) [Re-Up]

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Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy & Jules Massenet (2010) [Re-Up]

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy & Jules Massenet (2010)
with BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 240 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 181 Mb | Artwork included
Genre: Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHSA 5084 | Time: 01:17:00

This stunning and generous collection belongs right at the top of the heap in its respective repertoire. The Debussy is still a comparative rarity in concert if not on disc, a remarkable fact given that it's wholly gorgeous from first note to last. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's excellence as a Debussy pianist already has been acknowledged by just about everyone who has heard him, and needs no further advertisement here. The performance is outstanding, sensitive to every nuance, but also very French in its clear-eyed sensibility and understanding that focused rhythm and supple tempos prevent the music from turning excessively sentimental or blandly pretty. And in Tortelier, Bavouzet has a conductor who seconds him every step of the way. A similar sensibility informs these swift, razor-sharp, and utterly thrilling accounts of the two Ravel concertos. That for the left hand seldom has sounded so exciting, or in its jazzy central march section, so sinister. Listen to the bite that both soloist and orchestra bring to that descending scale theme, and notice the way Bavouzet shapes his cadenza so as to preserve the illusion of multiple parts played by multiple hands–all without slowing down at the tough passages. It's really an amazing performance by any standard. Even the dark opening, often merely murky on other recordings, has shape and urgency, the buildup to the initial entry of the piano creating incredible tension.

Ulster Orchestra, Yan Pascal Tortelier - Francis Poulenc, Jacques Ibert, Darius Milhaud: Orchestral Works (1992) [Re-Up]

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Ulster Orchestra, Yan Pascal Tortelier - Francis Poulenc, Jacques Ibert, Darius Milhaud: Orchestral Works (1992) [Re-Up]

Francis Poulenc: Les biches, Suite; Jacques Ibert: Divertissement;
Darius Milhaud: Le Boeuf sur le Toit, La Creation du Monde (1992)
Ulster Orchestra, conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 295 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 156 Mb | Scans ~ 57 Mb
Genre: Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 9023 | Time: 01:08:10

This programme of 1920s French music is in the hands of a conductor who gets right into the spirit of it, and plenty of spirit there is too. Apart from the Ibert, this is ballet music, and that work too originated as a theatre piece, having been incidental music for Eugene Labiche's farce The Italian Straw Hat. Poulenc's unfailingly fresh and bouncy suite from Les biches is very enjoyable although Chandos's warm and resonant recording takes some of the edge off the trumpet tone that is so central to the writing. The geniality of it all makes one forget that this is remarkable music in which (as Christopher Palmer's booklet essay points out) the twentieth-century French composer evokes eighteenth-century fetes galantes through the eyes of that greatest of nineteenth-century ballet composers, Tchaikovsky.

BBC Philharmonic, Yan Pascal Tortelier - Ernest Chausson: Symphony in B flat; Viviane; Soir de fete; La tempete (1999)

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BBC Philharmonic, Yan Pascal Tortelier - Ernest Chausson: Symphony in B flat; Viviane; Soir de fete; La tempete (1999)

Ernest Chausson: Symphony in B flat; Viviane; Soir de fête; La tempête (1999)
BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 337 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 9650 | Time: 01:07:21

Ernest Chausson’s death in 1899 in a bicycle accident robbed French music of a major talent. Almost his entire orchestral output fits on this extremely fine CD. Yan Pascal Tortelier’s performance of the richly romantic Symphony is the best since Munch’s Boston Symphony recording. Like Munch, Tortelier knows how to keep the music moving along–he’s only an insignificant two minutes slower than Munch for the whole work–without overindulging the more luscious moments, which in Chausson’s opulent setting really do take care of themselves. Even better, rather than some overplayed encore piece by another composer, the symphony is coupled with two very attractive, rarely heard tone poems and two charming orchestral excerpts from the composer’s incidental music to Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The orchestra plays with conviction, Chandos’ sonics are gorgeous, and if you don’t buy this disc, you’re missing out on some marvelous stuff.

Yan Pascal Tortelier, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra - Lili Boulanger: Faust Et Helene, etc (1999)

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Yan Pascal Tortelier, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra - Lili Boulanger: Faust Et Helene, etc (1999)

Lili Boulanger: Faust Et Hélène; Psaume 24;
Psaume 130; D'un soir triste; D'un matin de printemps
Lynne Dawson, soprano; Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano;
Bonaventura Bottone, tenor; Neil MacKenzie, tenor; Jason Howard, bass
City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus; BBC Philharmonic; Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 320 Mb | Scans included | Time: 01:13:25
Genre: Classical, Vocal, Choral | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 9745

Lili Boulanger's setting of the 130th Psalm is a choral masterpiece. Tortelier and his forces deliver a vivid performance, recorded with tremendous presence. There is even more power in the old Markevich performance, done under Nadia Boulanger's supervision, but the superior Chandos recording makes a difference. Faust et Hélène is a somewhat immature student work (a strange qualification for music by a composer who died at 24), but it is also well performed. The remaining music represents Boulanger's visionary eloquence. This disc is highly recommended as an introduction to a great composer. After you hear it, try the Everest disc, despite the duplications. It contains Boulanger's deathbed Pie Jesu, a brief piece of such intense power that it will leave most listeners in tears.