Les bayadères, cantata for soprano, chorus, and orchestra
Brigitte Desnoues, soprano
Chorus and Orchestra of the Sorbonne
Jacques Grimbert, cond.
It is not known who wrote the text for Les bayadères, the very brief cantata which was the first of Ravel’s five unsuccessful attempts to earn the Prix de Rome. It is an example of the orientalism so fashionable at the time, as evidenced in works by Saint-Saëns especially. But the music, only the second work by Ravel to involve the full orchestra (after the overture Shéhérazade), deserves wider attention.
(photo by shapeshift)