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Debussy: La Mer, Nocturnes; Ravel: Alborada, Daphnis & Chloe Suite 2 / Giulini


Release Date: 04/06/2004 
Label:  Emi Great Recordings Of The Century Catalog #: 62759   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Claude DebussyMaurice Ravel
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraPhilharmonia Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Careful remastering certainly makes the Debussy items sound fresher and more vivid than ever before, and the performances are terrific. La Mer was a Giulini signature piece, and this is his finest recording of it, capturing the music's capricious sense of flow, perfect in transitions, and with climaxes that preserve the music's clarity and balance without ever sounding excessively restrained. The Three Nocturnes share similar virtues, provided the somewhat acid-toned Philharmonia oboes in Nuages don't bug you. Fêtes, in particular, has great verve, though the women in Sirênes aren't always together and sound about as alluring as a brood of low-class London hookers (which is still better, I might add, than Maazel's recent version Read more for RCA with a low-class brood of Viennese hookers).


The Debussy items date from 1963 and sound a bit better than the two Ravel pieces, recorded three years earlier in less impactful, bass-shy sound. But the performances are just as good. Alborada del gracioso has real elegance and never comes across as a couple of climaxes at either end with a five-minute wasteland in the middle. The second Daphnis Suite may enjoy more exciting interpretations elsewhere (particularly in the final dance), but few more successfully reveal the music's sensuous curves, thanks in part to a generous indulgence of the harps. It's gorgeous. A wonderful disc, very minor reservations notwithstanding. [3/31/2004]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. La mer by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
Date of Recording: 1962 
2. Nocturnes (3) for Orchestra by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1897-1899; France 
Date of Recording: 1962 
3. Miroirs: Alborada del gracioso by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904-1905; France 
Date of Recording: 1959 
Notes: Orchestrated: Maurice Ravel 
4. Daphnis et Chloé Suite no 2 by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
Date of Recording: 1959 

Sound Samples

La Mer (2004 Digital Remaster): De l'aube à midi sur la mer
La Mer (2004 Digital Remaster): Jeux de vagues
La Mer (2004 Digital Remaster): Dialogue du vent et de la mer
Nocturnes (2004 Digital Remaster): I. Nuages
Nocturnes (2004 Digital Remaster): II. Fêtes
Nocturnes (2004 Digital Remaster): III. Sirènes (with women's choir)
Alborada del gracioso (Assez vif) (1993 Digital Remaster)
Daphnis et Chloé - Suite No.2 (1993 Digital Remaster): Lever du jour -
Daphnis et Chloé - Suite No.2 (1993 Digital Remaster): Pantomime -
Daphnis et Chloé - Suite No.2 (1993 Digital Remaster): Danse générale

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