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Debussy: Prelude A L'apres-midi D'un Faune, La Mer, Jeux, Khamma

Ansermet/L'orchestre De La Suisse Romande
Release Date: 10/23/2009 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 470255  
Composer:  Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here's an old friend, back sounding better than ever. Ansermet's Debussy always boasted a robust clarity and energy that belied the fuzzy, impressionistic stereotype that dogs this composer's music. In fact, no French performances--not Munch's, Boulez's, Martinon's, Inghelbrecht's, or Paray's--subscribe to this theory, which actually is more characteristic of the German or English approach (think Barenboim, Barbirolli, Rattle, or Karajan). And so we find a sparkling La Mer that surges with vital force, swiftly flowing from its calm opening on to a really exciting finale. Ansermet reinforces his hard-edged sonorities by using the glockenspiel in the percussion section rather than the optional and softer sounding celesta, and by keeping the Read more harps in natural balance with the rest of the orchestra. Similarly, the Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun proceeds far more boldly (and colorfully, it must be said) than usual, but without ever sacrificing its diaphanous textures.


Even the Suisse Romande orchestra's famously strident wind section makes a positive contribution to this interpretive aesthetic, which works particularly well in the two late works, Jeux and Khamma, where clarity of texture enhances the composer's daring harmonic palette. The excellently remastered sound quality (simply incredible for the earliest sessions here which date from 1957) only enhances the timeless value of the performances themselves. A must for Debussians!
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1894; France 
2.
La mer by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
3.
Jeux by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; France 
4.
Khamma by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1912; France 

Sound Samples

Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
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)
Jeux (Poème dansé)
Khamma

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Classic Performances from the Source June 24, 2015 By Paul R. (Hollywood, FL) See All My Reviews "Ernest Ansermet was one of the great conductors of the Twentieth Century who knew many of the French and Russian composers whose music he did so well, and even if his Suisse Romande Orchestra was not one of the most brilliant ensembles, many of his recordings are classics everyone should own, and this disc is certainly one of these, especially since it includes a very interesting rarity, Debussy's last work, the ballet "Khamma." Arranged in chronological order of their composition, the works on this disc give us a clear view of Debussy's transition from late Nineteenth Century to early Twentieth Century harmonic experimenter, from the sinuous sensuality of the Faun's Prelude to the much thicker chromaticism of "Khamma." First, listening to the Faun, and then on to "La Mer", to "Jeux," and finally to "Khamma," Debussy's constant growth as a modernist is very clear; in fact, "Jeux" sounds like an advanced version of "La Mer," while "Khamma" goes beyond "Jeux," but the family resemblance is there. In addition, since each piece here, except for "La Mer," has its basis in dance, each develops in a similar way. Decca has brilliantly remastered these recordings, which were already among the best of their time, in striking 24 bit sound which shows what a great conductor Ansermet was for balancing inner parts in such a natural way that you may feel you've never heard this music before, which, in the case of "Khamma," may be true. An essential disc which belongs in every music collection." Report Abuse
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