Robin Ticciati & DSO - Ravel & Duparc: Aimer et mourir - All Music
Since his debut recording on Linn Records of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique in 2012, and his subsequent releases of Les nuits d’été, La mort de Cléopâtre, L’enfance du Christ, and Roméo et Juliette, Robin Ticciati has demonstrated a strong affinity for the refined sonorities of French music, and his attention to vibrant orchestral colors and transparent textures is especially well-suited to accompanying the human voice. His 2017 album of works by Debussy and Fauré with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená and the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin reflected his strengths and sensitivity, so this 2018 release with the same artists, featuring works by Maurice Ravel and Henri Duparc, effectively recommends itself to knowledgeable listeners. Ticciati’s handling of the orchestra in the Suite No. 2 from Daphnis et Chloé and the Valses nobles et sentimentales is consistently controlled and admirable for its effortlessness, and one is hard pressed to think of many French conductors who can match him for refinement and balanced sound. But the real gems of this album are the mélodies by Duparc, which Kožená sings with passion, warmth, and luscious tone, giving them the feelings of nostalgia and longing that have made them Duparc’s most beloved works. Linn’s sound is clear and detail-oriented, and Kozena’s central placement in the sound field gives her an intimate presence. Highly recommended.