Search - Debussy, Matthews, Elder :: La Mer

La Mer
Debussy, Matthews, Elder
La Mer
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Debussy, Matthews, Elder
Title: La Mer
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Asv Living Era
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 3/27/2007
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Forms & Genres, Short Forms, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830), Modern, 20th, & 21st Century, Instruments, Keyboard
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 743625751321

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CD Reviews

A Masterpiece !
Alan J. Stedall | Birmingham, UK | 07/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD is undoubtedly the favourite my collection. A true gem.

Clearly Debussy was a musical genius and an iconoclast of his time. This recording does him full justice. Adjectives that I would use to describe the performance of "La Mer" on this recording would be: subtle, powerful, delicate, majestic, evolving, intriguing.

Each of the fifteen Preludes arranged by Colin Mathews is a jewel in itself; each different in its own colour and feel, but all compelling in their own particular way.

One of my favourites is "Canope", the weaving melody of which evokes the mystery of ancient Egypt.

In "Les sons et les parfums tournent dans L'air du soir"; the arrangement is heady with the perfume from the succulent blooms at Debussy's elbow, hanging sensual and heavy in the evening air. The end of this piece, trailing off into time and distance, is enchanting.

Possibly my favourite piece is "La fille aux cheveux de lin", which seems to shimmer and waver in aching nostalgia of the remembrance of a lost love.

I have listened to this CD repeatedly and never grow tired of it. On the contrary, on each occasion I detect a new subtlety, a new thrill. I have bought no less than four copies of the CD for friends. Their expression of enjoyment mirrors my own.

Highly recommended. A musical poem of the first order.
Mixed Bag
CD Maniac | Nashville, TN | 10/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The orchestrations of 12 the 24 preludes by Debussy by Colin Matthews are part of his project to orchestrate the entire two-dozen set. He is the third person to orchestrate all of them (among countless many others who have orchestrated individual movements). Although there are a couple of gems in his set, I'd have to say overall he is the least successful of the three.

Matthews seems intent on trying to imitate the piano sustain pedal, and orchestrates in many held notes that blur the music. This certainly can't be what Debussy intended. And the simplest of all the preludes "The Girl With the Flaxen Hair" is totally ruined with a disasterously slow tempo that tries to make the piece into something that it is not.

However, he does an admirable job on a couple of the preludes; "Canope" is given a remakably simply treatment, which it deserves, and makes a beautiful impact. "Vent dans la plaine" is exceptionally well-scored. Matthews decides to add an extra return of parts of the music, which Debussy did not write. I believe his job was just to orchestrate the music, not re-write Debussy.

The most beautiful is "Les Sons Et Les Parfums Tournent Dans L'air Du Soir" which Matthews changes the key on to great effect.

All of the Debussy orchestrators get some of the movements right, and others wrong. It's worth checking them all out to find the best of the best."