Mid-price CD competition is fairly healthy (Pierre Monteux and Charles Munch being Mata's strongest rivals), but none quite matches this Navigator CD for joist-shaking impact. Munch offers a succulent makeweight in Mother Goose, a full-bodied offering with silky plumage and very little in the way of a true pianissimo. Here the sound is constricted and the "Fairy Garden" fussily tended, although the music is magnificent and the playing extremely accomplished. Great value, albeit with paltry annotation.Reuse content
First, there's the 1979 Dallas sound picture, a lustrous "close- up" job, rather like those endearingly aggressive Mercury recordings from the 1960s. In fact, it's something of a sonic tour de force, with velvety string lines, pin-point instrumental positioning and a powerful bass response - although not everyone will take to the airless acoustic. Eduardo Mata was a master of timing and texture; he stalks Ravel's sensual climaxes with panther-like cunning, mesmerises his (uncredited) chorus for an aromatic Scene 2 prelude, then shifts to a top-gear "Orgiastic Dance of the Pirates". Passages such as Chloe's "Dance of Supplication" and the celebrated "Pantomime" from the so-called Second Suite evoke a hedonist's paradise, but the "Danse generale" - which Mata takes at a potentially effective slow tempo - veers towards excessive caution.