An essential collection for Debussy enthusiasts
R. J. Claster | Van Nuys, CA United States | 06/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Inghelbrecht was both a friend and close musical associate of the composer. In particular, he prepared and gave the concert premiere of Le Martyre de Saint-Sebastien, one of the works in this collection. All of the performances included here are taken from live concert broadcasts, and all but two selections are in very good quality stereo sound. Inghelbrecht's performances here are distinguished by their idiomatic style and by the extent to which he brings out the orchestral details in these scores. His performances of La Mer, the Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faune, and the complete opera of Pelleas et Melisande (all in stereo) are, I feel, particularly notable in this respect, partly due to his practice of using divided violins and in La Mer, of bringing out percussive detail of drums and cymbals to an extent not heard in most other recordings of this piece (only Jean-Claude Casadesus comes close in this respect). Some may find that the Orchestra National of the French Radio (an ensemble he founded in the 1930s) lacks the tonal beauty and sheen of orchestras like the Berlin, Boston or Cleveland, but Inghelbrecht's priority appears to be to bring out everything in the music rather than to create a glossy, smoothly blended surface sound, an approach which reveals the true range of orchestral colors, and expressive variety and depth of these great works. Furthermore, the singers in Pelleas are quite idiomatic in style, more so than in most modern recordings. I would fault only Inghelbrecht's perfomance of the three nocturnes as being a shade earthbound, lacking in mystery compared to accounts such as those by Haitink, Monteux or Stokowski.
This is not a widely available collection, so if you are serious about getting it, do not wait too long."
My second favotire Pelleas
paul best | new orleans | 01/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Read Claster's right on review.
Ingelbrecht understood the inner details of the opera , where most every conductor fails to grasp. Ingelbrecht no doubt heard Roger Desormiere many times conduct Pelleas and so had the finest tecaher.
Though my first choice in Pelleas is the 1941 Desormiere recording, this 1960 (yr. I believe) recording is very close in all the nuances in conducting and casting. Of course the sound is better than the 1941 Desormiere. Ingelbrecht gives very interesting notes to the scoring and intentions of Debussy.
The other works are well conducted as well as a bonus, however there I suggest Martinon. Still just for the Pelleas, the ticket is worth the price.
Of the 7 recordings of Pelleas I owned, only prefer to hear these 2 master recordings.
Yes Jacques Jansen here is the same legendary tenor as on the Desormiere,