Album: Berlin Philharmoniker, Simon rattle, Ravel: L'Enfant et les Sortilèges (EMI Classics)

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The Independent Culture

Simon Rattle and the BPO follow last year's masterly Symphonie Fantastique with a more light-hearted excursion into French phantasmagoria.

The fairy ballet L'Enfant et les Sortilèges is the cautionary tale of a child who wrecks his room in a tantrum, then is tormented when the furniture and crockery magically come to life, before finding redemption by ministering to an injured squirrel. It's delightfully realised, from the woodwind motif establishing the magical realm, through the outbursts of the broken clock and the duet – in miaows – of two cats, to the bucolic impressionism of the later garden scenes.

Pick of the album: 'Votre serviteur humble, Bergère'

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