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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Music review

BSO revels in an all-Ravel performance

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s tradition with French music runs both wide and deep, though the actual repertoire through which that tradition is routinely showcased can sometimes seem narrower. Michael Steinberg captured this spirit when, writing as the Globe’s classical music critic, he once recalled living in New York in the 1950s and imagining Symphony Hall “as the scene of a more or less perpetual performance of the Berlioz ‘Symphonie Fantastique,’ relieved now and again by ‘Daphnis and Chloe’ and ‘La Mer.’ ”

Of these three iconic French works, it’s “Daphnis” that has glided to the front spot in recent BSO seasons, with Ravel’s complete ballet or the Second Suite returning almost yearly to Symphony Hall or Tanglewood. BSO conductor emeritus Bernard Haitink is back this week on the BSO podium, and on Thursday he led the complete ballet score as the culmination of his all-Ravel program.

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