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Debussy: La Mer, Etc; Ravel: Bolero, Etc / Karajan, Et Al


Release Date: 02/12/2008 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001050902   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Claude DebussyMaurice Ravel
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Eat your heart out, Simon Rattle. Just listen to the quality of the orchestral playing in the Prelude, or La Mer, and compare this to what Abbado started and Rattle finished--turning a magnificent orchestra into a miscellany of players devoid of any characterful corporate identity. Granted, Karajan's performances aren't perfect. La Mer is a bit too smooth and fuzzy. The opening of the finale lacks menace, not to mention bass, but the Faun is pretty stunning, and the Second Daphnis suite features some diaphanous string textures that have to be heard to be believed. This Boléro, on the other hand, never was one of the best. It's brittle, shallowly recorded, and seriously lacking in collective bravura. It was added to the content of the Read more original LP release in order to fill out the CD, an LP that made Gramophone's list of "100 greatest recordings of all time." Aside from the silliness of putting together such a list in the first place, it's kind of hard to make this claim next to the likes of Munch, Martinon, Paray, Boulez, Stokowski, and perhaps half a dozen other conductors in one or the other of these pieces. Still, there's no denying the superb results that Karajan obtains, or what has been lost since his passing. If there are flaws, they lie in his conception, not in the quality of the execution.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
La mer by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
Date of Recording: 1965 
Length: 22 Minutes 39 Secs. 
2.
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1894; France 
Date of Recording: 1965 
Length: 9 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: France (1892 - 1894). 
3.
Boléro by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; France 
Date of Recording: 1966 
Length: 16 Minutes 5 Secs. 
4.
Daphnis et Chloé Suite no 2 by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
Date of Recording: 1965 
Length: 15 Minutes 15 Secs. 

Sound Samples

La Mer: 1. From Dawn Till Noon On The Sea (De l'aube à midi sur la mer)
La Mer: 2. Play Of The Waves (Jeux de vagues)
La Mer: 3. Dialogue Of The Wind And The Sea (Dialogue du vent et de la mer)
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Daphnis & Chloë - Suite No.2
Boléro

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