LABELS: Decca Legends
WORKS: Daphnis et Chloé; Pavane pour une infante défunte; La valse
PERFORMER: Montreal SO & Chorus/Charles Dutoit
CATALOGUE NO: 458 605-2 Reissue (1981-4)
Dutoit’s is the original and best digital Daphnis. This electrifying performance offered an astounding experience, musically and sonically, when first released on LP in the early Eighties. With the introduction of CD, it quickly became the demonstration disc par excellence, giving many of us our first insights into the potential of the new medium back in 1983.
Since then, I’ve listened to Dutoit’s thrilling account, one of the most seductive and hedonistic records ever made, countless times. Having heard Decca’s 24-bit reissue, my conviction that this is one of the great sound recordings of all time is only strengthened – a matchless interpretation, beautifully played and engineered. Only Yoel Levi’s Atlanta Symphony recording from Telarc approaches the realism and brilliance of Decca’s engineering, but Levi’s performance is never in contention beside Dutoit’s. The expected Ravel fillers are also benchmark material. No-one with ears and a CD player should be without this disc! Michael Jameson