Abbey Simon. For Boléro I used Boulez's 1970s recording on Sony. Others may prefer Munch's famous 1956 recording on RCA-Victor Living Stereo, but it sounds too fast to me. According to Ravel, it runs about 17 minutes when played at correct tempo. Boulez brought out the fierce quality in this deceptively straightforward piece, and his timing is almost identical to Ravel's own. In playlists like this, one of my main aims is to offer a list of great recordings of a particular composer, I recommend serious listeners to listen to the full albums, not just the playlists themselves.
Here's the Spotify playlist: Maurice Ravel: Complete Chronological Catalogue (183 tracks, total time: 13 hours) All tracks are available on Spotify UK and USA. Press Ctrl (CMD)+G to browse in album view. More on Spotify: a new Music and Arts album of historic recordings conducted, supervised or approved by the composer, and a Naxos Classical Explained audiobook on Boléro and Mother Goose.
Over the next few days or weeks I will be posting a series of French composer playlists, and (warning: shameless teaser follows) the last one will be the greatest French composer of all time.
By the way, to help new visitors browsing, I added a drop-down menu for the site. Please take a look, your feedback is much appreciated.