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From very early on in Maurice Ravel’s career it was clear that he was excited by the orchestra’s capacity for passion, exoticism and excess, and that strings, wind and brass, unlike the piano, sustain sounds. He was a master of orchestration and one of his favourite occupations was orchestrating his own piano music. Most of the works in this superb collection were originally written for the piano, with the exception of the three ballets.
Many of Ravel’s greatest works for orchestra are here, including pieces inspired by his Spanish background, Boléro, Alborada del gracioso, and his homage to Spain, the Rapsodie Espagnole. The collection also features one of Ravel’s most astonishing achievements, the Valses nobles et sentimentales: a set of seven sparing and dissonant waltzes, Daphnis et Chloé, the sumptuous full-length ballet he wrote for the Ballet Russes, and the dark and menacing portrait of the dance – La valse.
Alborada del gracioso (orchestral version)
Valses nobles et sentimentales
Daphnis et Chloé