String Quartet/ Ransom Wilson, flute/ David Shifrin, clarinet / Los
Angeles Chamber Orchestra/ Gerard Schwarz – EMI Angel 7243476978
2 1, ****:
A dollop of creme fraiche upon the finest chocolate fudge, served
carefully in elegant crystal, approximates the sensual effect created
by this beautifully wrought disc.
Nancy Allen, a harpist with luscious tone and prodigious technique,
renders this music jewel-like clarity. In the lovely Ravel Introduction
and Allegro, she is ably abetted by the Tokyo String Quartet with
Ransom Wilson, flute and David Shifrin, clarinet. The result is a
finely etched and gossamer performance. The stately Debussy Danses
Sacree’ et Profane finds the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra joining with
Ms. Allen to provide a most luminous listening experience. Of
particular delight are the transcriptions for unaccompanied harp of the
Debussey Suite Bergamasque, Reverie and Two Arabesques and two
excerpts from the Ravel Ma Mere L’Oye, which are performed with a
tenderness seldom achieved by the piano solo version.
Recorded with appropriate delicacy of ambiance by EMI, this disc is
warmly recommended to lovers of the Harp, and of course of Ravel and
Debussy. N.B.! The CD is highly caloric; small servings advised for
fear of over indugence.
– Ronald Legum