Robert Trevino conducts Ravel, with the Basque National Orchestra, out April 2nd (26.03.2021)

The fast-rising American conductor follows his successful Beethoven symphonies cycle for Ondine with a very Basque view of Ravel


Following his extremely successful Beethoven symphony cycle for Ondine, Robert Trevino's second release on Ondine is also his first alongside the Basque National Orchestra (BNO). Trevino has been Music Director of the Basque National Orchestra since 2017 and, appropriately enough, their first recording together is a survey of the most celebrated Basque composer, Maurice Ravel - and is rooted in a very Basque view of his music.


Trevino, who has contributed a booklet essay explaining what 'a Basque view of Ravel' means, summarises it thus: "There are many passages in Ravel's music that you can point to as specifically Basque - this rhythm or that form - but it also goes deeper, to do with the Basques' age-old resilience and realism. Ravel was French-Basque, and while there is plenty of French colour in his music, there is also Basque directness and determination."


The Basque National Orchestra, widely recognised as one of the premier ensembles in Spain, has a long association with Ravel's music. Most recently, last year, they toured Ravel works to the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, for the orchestra's Paris debut. Since Trevino arrived, he says, he has made it a particular project to explore this repertoire with this orchestra. The works on the recording include both storied favourites and less-often performed masterworks. The full line-up comprises:


La Valse

Alborada del gracioso

Rapsodie espagnole

Une barque sur l'océan

Pavane pour une infante défunte



The album's producer, as for the Beethoven symphonies, is Ingo Petry. The album was recorded at San Sebastian's landmark Kursaal concert hall.


Says Trevino, "It has been pure joy to make this recording with my beloved Basque National Orchestra for Ondine," says Trevino, "Ravel's music has always been a deep love of mine, and this orchestra has such a tradition of performing his music, which is of course of their homeland. Together we dived into the music and have re-thought this masterful composer, finding truths to him that are perhaps less apparent to non-Basque orchestras. It has been a great experience."


Praise for Robert Trevino's Beethoven cycle on Ondine:


"These are performances that deliver such freshness and vitality. (There is) so much to enjoy in this five-disc set, from the fierce animation of storms in the Pastoral Symphony to wonderful expressive detail in the adagio of Number Four...(and a) decisive performance of the Ninth." - BBC Radio 3, Record Review


"Robert Trevino (is) rapidly ascending as one of the world's most exciting young conductors. And as a calling card, these Beethoven symphonies make quite a statement...(they) pack quite a punch...The cycle builds naturally to No. 9, and it doesn't disappoint. A genuinely thrilling end point to an impressively hard-won journey." - Apple Music (ranked top of Apple's monthly classical chart)


"Fresh, urgent, buoyant and caringly shaped impressive accomplishment." Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News


"(In the Seventh Symphony) the last movement really does seem inspiredly mad, more than any performance I have ever heard. The Eighth has the mischief and the lurking menace which it rarely receives...all told, this set is very well worth having, and in excellent sound." Michael Tanner, BBC Music Magazine


"The playing is absolutely brilliant...I've been listening to loads of cycles of Beethoven symphonies lately and among modern versions I would rate this one highly." - Rob Cowan, Presto Classical Podcast


Notes for editors:


Robert Trevino is approaching the fifth season of his successful tenure as Music Director of the Basque National Orchestra. He is also Chief Conductor of the Malmo Symphony Orchestra, and during this past COVID year has led extensive live-streamed series with both orchestras. In addition to the Basque and Malmo ensembles, Trevino has conducted many of the world's leading orchestras, among them the London Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Tonhalle Zurich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Vienna Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra and the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Toronto and Detroit.


The Basque National Orchestra (Euskadiko Orkestra) is the national orchestra of the Basque Country, Spain. Established in 1982, an international ambassador for Basque culture yet strongly rooted to its community, it routinely tours the major Basque cities and internationally (the past two years have seen successful tours to Austria and Germany, as well as to Paris and Istanbul). The orchestra has 7,000 subscribers and around 150,000 spectators each year.

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