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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Ravel: L'Enfant et les Sortilèges Shéhérazade'
Artist - Saito Kinen Orchestra

For those not in the classical know, the Saito Kinen Orchestra is an orchestra formed annually during the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto held every August and September in Matsumoto city, Nagano, Japan. The orchestra is managed by the Saito Kinen Foundation.

Also, Conductor supreme, Seiji Ozawa is a Japanese conductor, known for his advocacy of modern composers and his work with the San Francisco Symphony and the Boston Symphony. He is the recipient of numerous international awards and rightly so, on all accounts, trust me!

As for the man in question here, Joseph Maurice Ravel (7 March 1875 – 28 December 1937), he was a French composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and '30s Ravel was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer.

In celebration of Ozawa's 80th birthday, these new recordings (as it was originally released on CD back in 2010) affirm his lifelong affinity with Ravel, whilst showcasing two of the world's leading mezzo-sopranos: Susan Graham in 'Shéhérazade' and Isabel Leonard as The Child in the Laurent Pelly production of 'L'enfant et les sortilèges'.

1. L'enfant et les sortileges, opera-ballet in 2 parts (2:16)
2. Sheherazade, poems (3) for soprano (or tenor) & orchestra (or piano) (15:29)
3. Miroirs, M. 43: 4. Alborada del gracioso (8:02)

Oh, and on a personal note, if you've never heard the phrase "Armchairs and a grandfather clock offset a pastoral tapestry wall-covering, and a hanging cage containing a pet squirrel," well, you need to get some culture in your life, my friend!