Ravel: Intimate Masterpieces

CD Cover

With heartfelt thanks to David H. Stull, dean of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, for his extraordinary leadership and generous support of this recording. We are honored to be part of this flagship project of Dean Stull’s vision of creating a widely released commercial record label that has only one mission: making great music.

1.
INTRODUCTION ET ALLEGRO (1905)
Yolanda Kondonassis, harp
Alexa Still, flute
Richard Hawkins, clarinet
Jupiter String Quartet
Length: 11:25
STRING QUARTET IN F MAJOR (1903)
Jupiter String Quartet
2.
I. Allegro moderato—Très doux
Length: 8:31
3.
II. Assez vif—Très rythmé
Length: 6:05
4.
III. Très lent
Length: 8:57
5.
IV. Vif et agité
Length: 5:33
CHANSONS MADÉCASSES (1926)
Ellie Dehn, soprano
Daniel McDonough, cello
Spencer Myer, piano
6.
I. Nahandove
Length: 5:50
7.
II. Aoua!
Length: 4:00
8.
III. 
Il est doux
Length: 4:25
CINQ MÉLODIES POPULAIRES GRECQUES (1906)
Ellie Dehn, soprano
Yolanda Kondonassis, harp
9.
I. Chanson de la mariée
Length: 1:38
10.
II. Là-bas, vers l’église
Length: 1:54
11.
III. Quel galant m’est comparable
Length: 0:59
12.
IV. Chanson des cueilleuses de lentisques
Length: 2:58
13.
V. Tout gai!
Length: 1:00

 

When I first brought the idea of an all-Ravel album to Dean David Stull at the Oberlin Conservatory, I was enthusiastic about the prospect of recording the music, but I must admit I had an ulterior motive: I wanted this album for my own listening library. I have always had a bit of a Ravel obsession, and not just because he wrote one of the most luscious pieces ever composed for the harp, but because his music takes me places I’ve never been. Even the string quartet, which I have heard on countless occasions, transports me with every hearing—like a recurring dream that leads to a familiar but differently surreal place each time.

One of my very first records (and I mean record—the vinyl
 kind) was an album of Ravel transcriptions for small ensemble.

I listened to it almost every night at bedtime when I was a kid. It was exotic and comforting all at once, transforming my small childhood room in Norman, Oklahoma, into a magic carpet of sorts. I must have been about eleven when I heard Introduction and Allegro for the first time. I was bowled over by its lush, rhapsodic waves of sound and vowed silently to tough it out with 
the harp until I was good enough to play it. That turned out to be a rather firm promise to my young self back in 1975.

This disc is especially meaningful because I was able to make 
it with such wonderful players (who are also terrific friends) and 
to celebrate the wealth of artistry and musical opportunity that lives 
at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Each performer on this album is connected to Oberlin in some way—as faculty, alumni, or resident artist. I am struck by how truly unique it is to assemble a recording of this kind on a college campus, in a world-class recording facility, and with incredible artists who share a common bond.

I hope you enjoy this music as much as we enjoyed the process of recording it and that it takes you somewhere you’ve never been, but of which you might have dreamed.

—Yolanda Kondonassis