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CD Review: Slatkin's Ravel Double-Bill

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Ravel, L'heure espagnole / Don Quichotte à Dulcinée, L. Lombardo, I. Druet, F. Antoun, Orchestre National de Lyon, L. Slatkin

(released on February 12, 2016)
Naxos 8.660337 | 55'40"
Charles T. Downey, CD reviews: Slatkin turns to France
Washington Post, April 15

When Leonard Slatkin’s tenure at the National Symphony Orchestra came to an end in 2008, he became music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; in 2011-12, he also assumed the leadership position at the Orchestre National de Lyon. Almost immediately, he inaugurated a series of live recordings with his French ensemble, focused on music by French composers, for the Naxos label. The latest discs in his Ravel set are devoted to the composer’s two one-act operas, most recently his charming but rarely heard 1911 comedy “L’heure espagnole.”

The rich-toned mezzo-soprano Isabelle Druet is a seductive, sometimes acidic Concepción, the cheating wife of the clockmaker Torquemada, played by the light-voiced tenor Luca Lombardo. She schemes with Don Iñigo Gomez, sung with oily smoothness by the bass Nicolas Courjal, to get her husband the job of winding the municipal clocks, which gets him out of the house regularly...
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