RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloé (Ballet Suites 1 & 2); Mother Goose Suite; Valses nobles et sentimentales – Minnesota Orchestra/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski – Vox/Mobile Fidelity

by | Jun 30, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloé (Ballet Suites 1 & 2); Mother Goose
Suite (complete ballet version); Valses nobles et sentimentales –
Minnesota Orchestra/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski – Vox/Mobile Fidelity
multichannel SACD Original Master Recording, UDSACD 4008 *****:

We have here another of the audiophile-favored recording projects of
the Joanna Nickrenz and Marc J. Aubort team for Vox Records.  The
original LP was released in l975 and it was a QS quadraphonic
disc.  Actually it must have been two discs because the length of
this program would never fit on the two sides of a single LP – the
Mother Goose Suite alone is a half hour length. Mo-Fi’s mastering
expert Paul Stubblebine used their Gain 2 System, which stands for
Greater Ambient Information Network and includes both a custom analog
tape playback system and custom A-to-D converter and input drivers. The
original four channels were preserved in the transfer, with no attempt
to mix to 5.0 or 5.1.

Marc Aubort contributes some of the liner notes for the reissue and the
notes from the original release are also reprinted.  There have
been several hi-res Daphnis and Chloes lately.  The Boston
Symphony version of 1955, just reissued by RCA on SACD, is only two
channel but benefits from the glorious and rich sonic picture provided
by the BSO, choruses and conductor Charles Munch. It is also the
complete 55-minute ballet rather than the half-hour combo of the two
suites.  Although the Minnesota Orchestra is obviously not the
BSO, the clean and skillfully-deployed surround field involves one in
the performance more than the RCA version.  The chorus on the
Mo-Fi version is completely uncredited, but seems to be heard in some
sections of the music where there is no chorus heard on the complete
ballet score version. It is strongly on the surround channels and
therefore brings more attention to itself as it contributes to the lush
and fantastical mood of Ravel’s masterful impressionistic score. 
The Ma Mere l’Oye Suite is also a delight, coming not that long after
the original two-piano version on one of our recent Multichannel Discs
of the Month (Argerich and Pletnev). 

– John Sunier

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