Saturday, October 01, 2005

Classical Music Day 2

So I bought me some more Ravel (for the record that's Ravel: Bolero, Daphnis et Chloe (Suite No. 1), Mar mere l'oye, Valses nobles et sentimentales, performed by the Czechoslovak Radio Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Kenneth Jean), this disc in particular caught my eye mainly just because it contains his most well known composition Bolero, as well as some of the stuff off of the album I bought earlier in a more complete form.

Unfortunately it's a bit of a disappointment to me, I feel like a bit of a wank criticising this disc, since I know shit fuck all about classical music, but what the hey, if I can't spout my uninformed opinion onto my own blog, where can I do it? I've been meaning to get round to buying a performance of Bolero for some years, ever since I heard the whole thing on the radio one afternoon. I have no idea who was playing or conducting that version, but the orchestra built itself into such a frenzied, powerful climax that it's stayed with me all these years, despite my never having heard it again. However the performance on this disc is a little limp compared to that one.

I understand that the idea behind Bolero was that of a young Spanish girl dancing in front of a whole bunch of men and driving them to distraction with arousal. Its gradual build up and balance of upbeat and offkey phrases conveys the image perfectly, but it seems on this version they've played it straight and peppy and it doesn't convey the energy (and the hint of madness) of the performance I first heard. They do a good job of the rest of the songs on the CD though.

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