Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Debussy, Jun Markl, Orchestre National de Lyon|
Debussy: La Mer; Prelude à l'Apres-midi d'un faune
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Very Near the Top Tier of 'La Mer' Recordings
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 06/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I truly didn't know what to expect with this recording, having never heard anything conducted by Jun Markl, a Bavarian conductor who took over the Orchestre National de Lyon in 2005. I was pleased, generally, with what I heard. There is, of course, intense competition in the field of recordings of 'La mer' and 'Afternoon of a Faun', and somewhat less so for Debussy's late orchestral masterpiece 'Jeux'. By far my favorite recordings (in reasonably modern sound) of the first two are those by Haitink and the Concertgebouw Debussy: Orchestral Music. Haitink's 'Jeux' is one of the finest recordings of any sort that I know, a real classic. (And it is available on a low-price Philips twofer.) Still, Markl and his Lyon forces do themselves proud and as the previous reviewer says, the sound is really first rate. There are indeed some moments of dicey ensemble in the 'Jeux de vagues' movement of 'La mer.' But overall there is a 'French sound' -- it's those French wind players -- and delicacy that one can admire.
'Afternoon of a Faun' is excellent and the unnamed flutist is a joy to hear. 'Jeux' is just a tad pallid for my taste. This ballet score is one of the more piquant of Debussy's output and there needs to be a bit of an edge in its performance. (Written for Diaghilev's ballet company, its subject matter is quite modern for 1914: a 'badinage a trois' which features a tennis ball, a tennis player and two 'contemporary' girls.)
Andre Caplet's orchestration of Debussy's piano suite, 'Children's Corner', is simply brilliant and the execution of the Lyon orchestra is brilliant, too. One doesn't hear this arrangement too often -- I've never heard it in a concert hall -- and it hasn't been recorded all that often, either. It's worth hearing, even if you know and love the piano original.
Amazing clarity and balance
pseudonym | Northeast USA | 06/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Atypically for me, I am writing this review on the basis of a single hearing, and that via an FM broadcast, no less! I was struck by the clarity and balance of this recording of La Mer. The ensemble is as close to being flawless as I can imagine, and I've heard at least a dozen different recordings of the piece. Certain "continuities" and harmonies that I've never noticed before are illuminated.
I look forward to hearing the other works as well when the CD arrives.
Kudos to Markl and the Orchestre National De Lyon!"