Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Another excellent Daphnis from Haitink

May 1, 2012:


Bernard Haitink recorded this score more than a few times, with orchestras in America and Europe. Besides this live London recording from 1979 (from the BBC archives), I was very impressed with another more recent live recording, with the Chicago Symphony on CSO Resound in 2007. This newly-remastered CD from the London Philharmonic Orchestra's own label is welcome. The concert recorded at Festival Hall shows the orchestra and the John Alldis Choir in fine form, and the engineers have captured both the music itself and the excitement of a special live performance. This version is a bit more expansive than the tighter Chicago version, and the sonics don't quite compare. But in this instance Haitink and his musicians make a strong case for slowing this gorgeous music down just a bit.

I agree with Amazon reviewer Daniel Coombs that the Montreal Symphony version of Daphnis Et Chloe with Charles Dutoit is very special. It's both my favourite version of this great music, and one of the outstanding CDs I own. But Ravel's masterpiece has many facets, and Bernard Haitink is an outstanding guide, whether the journey starts in London or in Chicago.

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