L'eventail de Jeanne / Axelrod, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire
Here’s an interesting tidbit. Poulenc’s Pastourelle appears to be a nearly literal crib from the “Balalaika” movement that concludes Stravinsky’s Suite No. 1 for small orchestra (sound clips). I wonder if this was noticed at the time?
Ravel’s Mother Goose makes a logical coupling–another children’s ballet, composed and scored with a similarly light touch. Axelrod’s is a sensitive performance, a touch on the slow side, perhaps, but well-proportioned and sensitively detailed. The orchestra plays quite well, with the many woodwind solos sweet and smooth, if perhaps lacking the ultimate character that we hear from Martinon (EMI/Warner) or Ozawa (DG). Axelrod dwells lovingly on the concluding Fairy Garden, and when the music is so beautiful who can blame him? This disc, in short, is a joy. Don’t overlook it.
– ClassicsToday (David Hurwitz)
Catalog Number: 8573354
Composer: Albert Roussel, Alexis Roland-Manuel, Darius Milhaud, Florent Schmitt, Francis Poulenc, Georges Auric, Jacques Ibert, Marcel Delannoy, Maurice Ravel, Pierre-Octave Ferroud
Conductor: John Axelrod
Orchestra/Ensemble: Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire