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Ravel - Cantates pour le prix de Rome

Composer Maurice Ravel
Performer Janina Baechle
Julien Behr
Chœur de l’ONPL
Clarisse Dalles
Veronique Gens
Jacques Imbrailo
Sophie Koch
Mathys Lagier
Vannina Santoni
Michael Spyres
Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire
Pascal Rophé, conductor
Period Romantic
Catalogue Number BIS-2582 SACD
EAN 7318599925820
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

  –  2 discs
Release date May 2022
Total time 102'11

Set of 2 SACDs
Between 1803 and 1968, the Grand Prix de Rome marked the zenith of composition studies at the Paris Conservatoire. In Maurice Ravel’s time the competition included an elimination round (a fugue and a choral piece) followed by a cantata in the form of an operatic scena. The entries were judged by a jury which generally favoured expertise and conformity more than originality and Ravel’s growing reputation as a member of the avant-garde was therefore hardly to his advantage, and may explain why he never won the coveted Premier Grand Prix, and the three-year stay at &&&Rome’s Villa Medici that went with it.

The present two-disc set brings together all the vocal works that Ravel composed for the Prix de Rome – five shorter settings for choir and orchestra and three cantatas, each with three characters taking part in a plot which followed a more or less fixed sequence of introduction, recitative and aria, a duet, a trio and a brief conclusion. First published more than half a century after Ravel’s death, these test pieces for the Prix de Rome have never acquired the popularity of his other early works, such as Pavane pour une infante défunte, Jeux d’eau or the String Quartet. They are worth more than their reputation as academic exercises might suggest, however, and deserve to be better known, especially when performed by Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and Pascal Rophé and a team of vocal soloists including Véronique Gens and Michael Spyres.
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Disc 1
  Maurice Ravel
  Alyssa (1903) 26'08
01 Prélude 3'29
02 Scène I. Braïzyl: Elfes légers, elfes errants 7'38
03 Scène II. Braïzyl: Alyssa ! ma beauté, ma lumière 6'11
04 Scène III. Braïzyl: Le Barde, porte-glaive ! 8'50
  Alcyone (1902) 26'42
05 Prélude 3'44
06 Scène I. Alcyone: À l'horizon, les blanches voiles 6'40
07 Scène II. Description symphonique 3'56
08 Scène III. Alcyone: Ah ! Dieux puissants ! 1'50
09 Scène IV. Alcyone: Mon aimé ! Mon aimé ! 5'45
10 Scène V. Sophrona: Ma fille, mon enfant ! 4'47
  Myrrha (1901) 24'25
11 Prélude 2'21
12 Scène I. Sardanapale: Me voici seul enfin ! 3'33
13 Myrrha: Ainsi qu'un signal 9'29
14 Scène III. Bélésis: Tu ne passeras pas, ô roi 9'02
Disc 2
01 L’Aurore (1905) 6'08
02 La Nuit (1902) 4'57
03 Les Bayadères (1900) 3'53
04 Matinée de Provence (1903) 3'54
05 Tout est lumière (1901) 3'52
  Album total 102'11
ComposerRavel, Maurice
OrchestraOrchestre National des Pays de la Loire
ConductorPascal Rophé
SopranoDalles, Clarisse
Gens, Veronique
Santoni, Vannina
TenorBehr, Julien
Lagier, Mathys
Spyres, Michael
BaritoneImbrailo, Jacques
Mezzo-sopranoBaechle, Janina
Koch, Sophie
ChoirChœur de l’ONPL

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