Debussy Extravaganza! Giulini's 'La Mer' Resurrected
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At last someone has had the foresight to gather these fine individual performances of Claude Debussy's masterworks for orchestra and released them at an unbelievably low price! And while the entire album is a treasure, the reason to obtain this recording as fast as you can is that finally Carlo Maria Giulini's definitive performance of 'La Mer' with the Los Angeles Philharmonic is once again available after years of deletion from the catalogue.
But back to this CD release. The opening work is 'Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune' as performed by Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra and this performance finds Tilson Thomas subtly restrained in the best sense of the word. He allows the short work to simply unfold naturally. He is graced with the famous flautist Doriot Anthony Dwyer from the Boston Symphony who will always be considered as one of the foremost artists of the flute.
'Petite suite (4) En Bateau' is floated with the inimitable charm that supports Ernest Ansermet as a Debussy interpreter par excellence and here he is in fine mettle with the L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Michael Tilson Thomas returns with 'Trois Images' again with the luxurious sound of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
But the piece de resistance of this superb release is the incomparably magnificent 'La Mer' as sculpted by Carlo Maria Giulini and his Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, a recording made when he was Music Director of the orchestra. Though Giulini is far better known for his Bruckner, Schubert, Mahler, Haydn etc, here he demonstrated the pivotal importance of this great Debussy orchestral tone poem. Giulini is famous for asking his orchestra never to give sound more than what is beautiful. In his vision of 'La Mer' the huge climaxes rise and fall as grandly as the ocean itself. Ever in control of the architecture of the work, Giulini brings grandeur to this piece that startles even the most devoted aficionados of Impressionist music. It is a performance to treasure and at last it is available once again. Highly Recommended. Buy it while you can. Grady Harp, March 06
A golden album!
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 04/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Debussy' s Prelude performed by Michael Tilson Thomas not only is superb performance of this well known Opus. I would rather to remark we are in front of the most luxuriant version ever made until now in all the musical story. Tilson Thomas sealed his name with Boston in four historical performances; the legendary and unexplainably out of print version of Stravinsky `s Rite of Spring; Carl Ruggles Sun trader, the majuscule version of Tchaikovsky `s First Symphony and this one.
Debussy ` La Mer in hands of Giulini is sumptuous, imaginative and profoundly engaging. Maybe if not for Toscanini magisterial interpretation with the NBC orchestra in the early Fifties, This would be securely, the most pyramidal performance of this magnum selection.