Since its formation in 1982 Maurice Ravel’s spectacular showpieces have been a vital part of the Basque National Orchestra’s DNA, and it shows in the performances on this album under their American chief conductor Robert Trevino.


The band’s links to Ravel go back to the beginning. It was Enrique Fernandez Arbós, chief conductor and founder of its predecessor the Orquesta Gran Casino San Sebastián, who suggested Ravel should write an original theme for Boléro, rather than a variation on Albéniz as he had planned.

Although he is considered one of the 20th century’s quintessentially French composers, Ravel owes much to Spain, and the Basque Region, and not just musically. “Without Madrid, I probably wouldn’t have existed,” Ravel said on his first visit to the Spanish capital at the age of 49. This is where his parents met – Joseph, a successful French railroad engineer and inventor born in Switzerland, and Marie, the daughter of a fishmonger from Ciboure, a fishing village where Ravel would be later be born, in the French part of the Basque Region. His stay there would...