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It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.

I have his whole Ravel set cobbled together on plain old CD's

And I had Cluytens' Daphnis et Chloé very early on in my LP days. At that time, I was somewhat disappointed that the performance seemed so laid back compared to Munch and (in the second suite) Paray, but over time, I grew to appreciate the Cluytens performance more and more. I still like these performances - they're slower, and, as you say, more evocative than some of the higher-powered recordings of this repertoire. They also feature those piquant tones of the old style of French wind and brass playing which was shortly to disappear. (There was already much less of this individual tone quality in the Martinon set recorded a few years later - nevertheless, I still have Martinon's Daphnis too (on a quad DVD-Audio). I'd say that if you like the woodwinds and brass on the old Suisse Romande recordings, you'd like the Cluytens set too.

BTW, I just got that Praga re-master of the Monteux/LSO performance (originally on Decca/London) and I'm really pleasantly surprised by what a great job that Czech guy did in the re-mastering. I wonder if Praga licensed a copy of the master from Decca or if they used a commercial reel-to-reel tape as the basis for their own reissue (à la HDTT). Whatever they did, it sure turned out well!



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