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Ravel: L'Enfant et les SortilFges; Ma MFre l'Oye ()

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The conducting of Simon Rattle is the most compelling element in this recording of Ravel's L'Enfant et les SortilFges with the Berlin Philharmonic. Rattle draws playing of great delicacy and nuance from the orchestra, and the many sections that are scored as lightly as chamber music are played with especially loving attention to shaping the elegant and expressive phrases; the beginning of the second part of the opera is especially magical. The international cast, though, which includes a number of internationally acclaimed stars, doesn't have the easy fluency with the material of a French cast, such as the ones assembled for Lorin Maazel's or Ernest Ansermet's versions, where the droll wit of Ravel's sly text setting really sparkles. Magdalena Kozenß as the Child, and JosT van Dam and Jean-Paul FouchTcourt, each in an assortment of roles, are fully successful in putting the music across, but many of the remaining singers, fine as they are, come across as somewhat studied and miss the fun of Ravel's... Hide synopsis

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