Ravel : Bolero

Ernest Ansermet, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (1963)

Decca SXL 6065

Speakers Corner Records : LP 180 gram

Brand New and Sealed Record

  • Contents & Details

    Joseph Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937) :
    A1 - Boléro
    Arthur Honegger (1892 - 1955) :
    A2 - Pacific 231
    Paul Dukas (1865 - 1935) :
    B1 - L'Apprenti sorcier (The Sorcerer's Apprentice)
    Joseph Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937) :
    B2 - La Valse

    Among the innumerable recordings of Maurice Ravel’s Boléro, the present one made by DECCA with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Ernest Ansermet is of particular note. The impressive mounting crescendo over an ostinato bass, leading through the work from the very first bar right up to the last note, goes hand in hand with ever increasing intensity and excitement and hardly permits the listener to draw a breath. As in the Boléro, Ravel’s La Valse, a choreographed poem for orchestra composed in 1920, is based on a single rhythmic idea, the Viennese waltz, which lends the work increasing impetus throughout the course of the music.

    Although Arthur Honegger’s Pacific 231, composed in 1923 and dedicated to Ernest Ansermet, is more modern and has a more complex structure, here too a great arc of tension determines the progress of the music until shortly before the end. The orchestra accelerates in tempo and then decelerates – due to the motivic writing – towards the end thus evoking the sound of a locomotive: the Pacific 231 namely.

    The great success of the first performance of Paul Dukas’s L'Apprenti sorcier (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) in 1897, a scherzo composed in 1895 and based on a ballad by Goethe, certainly comes as no surprise when one listens to this recording by the OSR under Ansermet. The composition is filled with a wealth of surprising moments which are presented here with exactitude and subtlety in even the tiniest detail.F

    Recorded in February 1963 at Victoria Hall, Geneva by Roy Wallace

    The "golden age" of recordings was from 1955 to 1965, at the beginning of the LP and the stereo era, where pure vacuum tube amplification helped produce recordings demonstrating unparalleled fidelity and warmth, lifelike presence and illumination.

    This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head, and was pressed with virgin vinyl at Pallas. More information under http://www.pure-analogue.com

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