Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe / Wilson, Sinfonia of London

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Ravel’s early masterpiece, Daphnis et Chloé, was commissioned by Serge Diaghilev for his Ballets Russes, and was premièred in the Théâtre du Châtelet in July 1912. Described by Ravel as a ‘symphonie chorégraphique’ (choreographic symphony), the work was performed just twice in that 1912 season, and was given only three more performances the following year. Press reaction was muted, and it is now much more often performed as a concert work than as a ballet. Daphnis, a shepherd, and Dorcon, a cowherd, dance for the privilege of a kiss from Chloé. Daphnis wins the contest and Chloé’s kiss leaves him in ecstasy. Chloé is kidnapped by a band of pirates; Daphnis prostrates himself before the god Pan. The pirates are celebrating their successful raid in their camp when Pan appears and frightens them all away. Some shepherds find Chloé (with Pan’s help) and reunite her with Daphnis.

This recording uses John Wilson’s new performing edition of the work, a project which Wilson took on during the pandemic lockdown in 2020. He writes: ‘The standard performing materials for Daphnis et Chloé have long been the subject of much discussion among orchestral players, conductors, and musicologists. Aside from a mass of errors in the 1913 published full score, the orchestral parts contain many hundreds of inconsistencies, omissions, and wrong notes. It became apparent that numerous changes made by Ravel in rehearsals were transferred directly into the parts but not carried over into the full score. I have tried to rationalise such (and other) inconsistencies as best I could to arrive at what is, I hope, a useful practical performing edition in which the parts match the full score in every detail and – crucially, for a work of such complexity – everything is carefully laid out and easy to read.’

Product Description:

  • Release Date: November 03, 2023

  • Catalog Number: CHSA 5327

  • UPC: 0095115532720

  • Label: Chandos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Maurice Ravel

  • Conductor: John Wilson

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Sinfonia of London Chorus, Sinfonia of London