Notes and Editorial Reviews
The 'Debussy, Music and the Arts' exhibition, organised in Paris at the Musée d'Orsay, evokes the musician's major encounters with artists and poets of his time. This 3 CD box set draws from the music presented. The exhibit also features paintings, drawings and pastels, along with first editions of literature by Mallarmé, Gide, and Louÿs which recall the musician's admirations and friendships. Debussy's music is presented in major autograph scores and rare editions. Displays of sets and costumes for Pelléas et Mélisande, the ballets of Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Jeux, and music for The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian is also exhibited. A selection of rare historic recordings proposed by Jean-Michel Nectoux, curator of this exhibition, allows for listening to the conductors, pianists - (including Debussy himself) - and singers who were his first interpreters, and carried his music forward into the future. In the exhibit as well as within this 3 CD release, featured artists include Ninon Vallin, Jane Bathori, Claire Croiza, Mary Garden and Hector Dufranne, the latter two singing the roles of Mélisande and Golaud in the Pelléas et Mélisande of 1902, Ricardo Viñes, Camille Chevillard as well as Arturo Toscanini, who made suggestions to the composer early on for the scoring of his masterpiece, La Mer. This exceptionally rare historic document in sound allows us to enter the composer's musical world. It is nothing less than a treasure trove!