A good collection, with the greatest "Images" of all time.
Nicholas Fox | 09/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection is a fine overview of Debussy's greatest orchestral works in mostly excellent performances. Tilson Thomas' Nocturnes and Afternoon of a Faun are excellent, but his Jeux is dull as can be. With his La Mer, Szell proved that he could be a persuasive conductor of French music. Though it may not be as "atmospheric" as other versions, you hear things in it that you won't hear anywhere else. The biggest letdown is the cheesy, schmaltzy arrangement of Clair de Lune, a PIANO PIECE, here done to nauseatingly sentimental effect by Ormandy and the Philadelphia String Orchestra. (Did they even have a wind or brass section?) But if there is any reason to get this collection, it is for Pierre Boulez' 1967 Images with the Cleveland Orchestra, an absolutely stunning interpretation and performance. If there is any recording that disproves Boulez' reputation as 'cold and cerebral' (whatever that means), it is this--an electric, moving, stirring performance of a still underrated Debussy work. The Spanish rhythms are inflected naturally and beautifully, the Cleveland Orchestra plays just like what they were in the 60's--the greatest orchestra in the world--and the overall effect is magical. One of the great Debussy recordings of the century. (And it outshines by a comfortable margin Boulez' recent remake with the same orchestra) Don't miss it."