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Debussy: Orchestral Works, Vol. 5 / Markl, Orchestra National De Lyon

Debussy / Markl / Lyno
Release Date: 02/22/2011 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572568  
Composer:  Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Jun Märkl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

DEBUSSY La Boîte à joujoux. 6 Épigraphes antiques. Estampes: Pagodes; La Soirée dans Grenade. L’Isle joyeuse. Le Triomphe de Bacchus • Jun Märkl, cond; Lyon Natl O • NAXOS 8.572568 (73:04)

"It does not appear that Debussy would have objected, in principle, to transcriptions of his music, since he accompanied the violinist Arthur Hartman in the latter’s transcription of La Fille aux chevaux de lin and permitted others to orchestrate the Petite Suite (Büsser), Childrens’ Corner (Caplet), Read more style="font-style: italic;">Khamma (Koechlin), and La Boîte à joujoux . Actually, Debussy began orchestrating La Boîte à joujoux (The Box of Toys) but, with the outbreak of World War I making a performance unlikely in the near future and the drain on his strength from the cancer that eventually killed him in 1918, he delegated the job of completing the orchestration to André Caplet, who had been helpful on other occasions. The problem with the score is that the music, which deals with a day in the life of the inhabitants of a toy box, is so scenario-driven, so obviously intended to accompany stage action, that it doesn’t work all that well as a concert piece. There might even be difficulties with a staged version, for it is difficult to imagine adult dancers cavorting about for 30 minutes dressed as toys to this simple, tuneful music (the far more sophisticated Nutcracker is in another world). Debussy thought it could be performed as a pantomime by (talented) children, and I think it could work quite charmingly if performed that way. Trying to keep the light touch, Debussy throws in music-box effects; quotes from folk songs, Faust , and Mendelssohn’s Wedding March ; and uses Leitmotifs for some of the toy characters. He wrote to his publisher, “I have tried to be clear and even amusing, without any kind of pose.” What fool would own five other recordings of this piece? You’re looking at his review and since I owned them, I had to A-B them with Jun Märkl’s. For the record, they were by Ansermet, Froment, Martinon, Perlea (a Remington LP!), and Tortelier. Märkl, whose performance is the slowest of the bunch (though not by much), also seems the most attuned to the obvious sentiment of the music and, although they’re all good, if I had to live with one recording (and I wish I could), it would be his.


The same situation occurs with respect to Ernest Ansermet’s transcription of Debussy’s Six Épigraphes antiques , originally a piece written for piano duet that was, mostly, derived from incidental music Debussy composed for a mimed recitation of a dozen poems called Chansons de Bilitis . Supposedly written by a sixth-century poet, they were actually composed by Debussy’s friend Pierre Louÿs. Debussy arranged the six for solo piano, too, and intended to orchestrate them but never got around to it. It’s hard to believe that he wouldn’t have approved of what Ernest Ansermet accomplished, using modern instruments to create an oddly sparse, evocative, vaguely Middle Eastern set of six short pieces with the scent of antiquity about them. Debussy ties it all together with cyclical form, returning to the opening theme of the first Chanson as he closes the sixth one. Once again, I find myself with several alternative recordings of Ansermet’s Épigraphes plus alternative arrangements by Rudolf Escher and Jean-Francois Paillard! Escher’s is similar to Ansermet’s while Paillard’s emphasizes the strings."


FANFARE: James Miller
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Works on This Recording

1.
La boîte à joujoux by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Jun Märkl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
2.
Epigraphes antiques (6) by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Jun Märkl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; France 
3.
Estampes (3) for Piano: no 1, Pagodes by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Jun Märkl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
4.
Estampes (3) for Piano: no 2, La soirée dans Grenade by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Jun Märkl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
5.
L'isle joyeuse by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Jun Märkl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; France 
6.
Le triomphe de Bacchus: Allegro by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Jun Märkl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1882; France 

Sound Samples

La boite a joujoux (arr. A. Caplet): Prelude: Le sommeil de la boite (The Toy-box Asleep)
La boite a joujoux (arr. A. Caplet): Tableau 1: Le magasin de jouets (The Toy Shop)
La boite a joujoux (arr. A. Caplet): Valse: Danse de la poupee
La boite a joujoux (arr. A. Caplet): Tableau 2: Le champ de bataille (The Field of Battle)
La boite a joujoux (arr. A. Caplet): Tableau 3: La bergerie a vendre (The Sheepfold for Sale)
La boite a joujoux (arr. A. Caplet): Tableau 4: Apres fortune faite
La boite a joujoux (arr. A. Caplet): Epilogue
6 Epigraphes antiques (arr. E. Ansermet): I. Pour invoquer Pan, dieu du vent d'ete
6 Epigraphes antiques (arr. E. Ansermet): II. Pour un tombeau sans nom
6 Epigraphes antiques (arr. E. Ansermet): III. Pour que la nuit soit propice
6 Epigraphes antiques (arr. E. Ansermet): IV. Pour la danseuse aux crotales
6 Epigraphes antiques (arr. E. Ansermet): V. Pour l'egyptienne
6 Epigraphes antiques (arr. E. Ansermet): VI. Pour remercier la pluie au matin
Estampes: No. 1. Pagodes (arr. A. Caplet): Estampes: No. 1. Pagodes (arr. A. Caplet for orchestra)
Estampes: No. 2. La soiree dans Grenade (arr. H. Busser): Estampes: No. 2. La soiree dans Grenade (arr. H. Busser for orchestra)
L'isle joyeuse (arr. B. Molinari): L'isle joyeuse (arr. B. Molinari for orchestra)
Le triomphe de Bacchus (arr. M.F. Gaillard for orchestra)

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