Ravel's exquisite one act Spanish opera about marital farce is one of the joys of opera. The story lasts exactly one hour, and takes place in a watchmaker's shop while he is away setting the town clock. His ignored wife, the concupiscent Concepcion, spends the hour struggling to find a noontime lover worthy of her passion. For this light divertisement Ravel wrote a glittering score, drawing on his love of Spain, and produced one of those treasures conductor's dream of leading.
Here it is available in full orchestra score through the benificent largesse of Dover reprints, and we too can enjoy the same delights conductor's enjoy as they turn the pages. The paperback is effortlessly easy to follow, and it's a genuine work of art, with page after page of beautiful engraving displaying Ravel's unique and inimitable mastery of the orchestra. Boulez credited Ravel with the finest ear in music, but as you peruse this wonderful work you quickly discover Ravel also enjoyed one of the most beautiful eyes in music, for the visuals are nearly as dazzling! The pure and limpid classical balance of the composer's certainty in writing for instruments can actually be seen as you turn from page to page. (Indeed, so distinctive is Ravel's musical signature it once graced as decoration the walls of a public building in Minneapolis!)
Among the special highlights is the famous long opening as all the clocks in the clockmakers slowly build to a wondrous twelve o'clock climax, made all the more special when following the immacualte detailing with this full score. Ravel has a field day with an unceasing extravaganza of Spanish melodies, and on several occasions the full orchestra bursts out in tremendous displays of unparalleled color and passion. There are so many great moments to this short score - and the Dover reprint represents an astonishing deal!
Without doubt the best CD currently available to enjoy with your score is from DG, with excellent now restored sound and BOTH Ravel's wondeful one act operas. Ravel, Rimsky-Korsakov & Stravinsky: Orchestral Works Don't let the title confuse you - this CD does indeed include BOTH Ravel operas -the Russian music is merely nice fillers. At the price of one CD this is a GREAT buy!