One of the Best Ravel Collections
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 02/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I find it amusing that with all the classical CDs at our disposal stateside, we must look across the Atlantic for the best two-disc collections of Ravel's Orchestral Works. In my opinion, those are EMI's title in the "Rouge et Noir" series by conductor Andre Cluytens (see my review), and this Double Decca by Ernest Ansermet. While brilliant Ravel single-disc accounts are available stateside on offerings from Paray, Monteux, Inghelbrecht, Munch, and Bernstein (see my reviews of the last three), the only two-fer that stacks up is EMI's domestic "Double Forte" featuring Martinon. (Martinon's Ravel recordings are also presented with his accounts of Debussy's Orchestral Works on an EMI Box Set, which is the better buy -- see my review). Ansermet was best known for his interpretations of Debussy, Stravinsky and Ravel, ultimately because of his friendships with the composers and his personal knowledge of what these composers wanted out of their scores. Couple that with Ansermet's engineering background, and you have some of the best sounding recordings ever made in the golden-age of stereo. Sure this import costs a bit more, but Ansermet's Ravel performances are worth every penny."