Valery Gergiev

Debussy: La mer, Jeux, Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

LSO0692 SACD

Debussy La mer, Jeux, Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

Debussy La mer, Jeux, Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

Valery Gergiev conductor

***** Multichannel Disc of the Month Audiophile Audition (US)
 
Recording ***** ‘a superlative SACD recording’ BBC Music Magazine (UK)

'The recording captures its mesmerising force, its atmospheric languor and exceptional beauty' Financial Times (UK)

‘phenomenal playing throughout and it’s so well recorded’
BBC Radio 3 CD Review (UK)

‘Jeux turns out to be Valery Gergiev’s game, set and match' International Record Review (UK)

'This is my new favourite La Mer' American Record Guide (US)

One of the twentieth century's most innovative and influential composers, Debussy was a musical impressionist (a term he disliked). Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune draws inspiration from a poem by Stéphane Mallarmé, whilst La mer, a set of symphonic sketches, vividly depicts the relationship between the waves and wind of the open sea. Jeux, one of Debussy's final orchestral works, was written for Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes.

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Reviews

***** Multichannel Disc of the Month ‘this one shows Gergiev to be a top-flight conductor in the French repertory … Gergiev’s version of La mer displays the carefully-controlled power and impact of his approach, which fits this wonderfully impressionistic score like a glove. The dynamic range is wide and abetted by the top-rate LSO surround sonics … hearing this superb Gergiev performance in state of the art hi-res surround takes the La mer experience to an entirely new level’ Audiophile Audition (US)

****
'When Gergiev conducted this performance of the Prélude 12 months ago at the Barbican, I described it as “a luscious mirage of pointilliste detail”. The recording captures its mesmerising force, its atmospheric languor and exceptional beauty. La mer and Jeux are scarcely less exalted, suggesting Gergiev’s partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra still has honeymoon qualities' Financial Times (UK)

‘Debussy’s three most celebrated orchestral works sit well together especially in the hands of a great orchestra in great form. And the disc proves Gergiev to be a fine Debussy conductor ... there is a certitude as well as subtlety even in the subtle textures of the Prélude, while in La Mer, one can almost taste the salt spray’ Sunday Times (UK)

‘phenomenal playing throughout and it’s so well recorded’ BBC Radio 3 CD Review (UK)

‘From the shimmering picture of sea rippling over pebbles to the cataclysmic force of crashing waves, this has to be the most graphic picture of La Mer placed on disc. For conductor, Valery Gergiev, the LSO a display of detailed virtuosity, before moving to a whole spectrum of subtle sounds in the playful Jeux ... A demonstration in the art of orchestral recording’ Yorkshire Post (UK)

‘delicate, crystalline Debussy performances by the LSO … The combination of the Impressionist groundbreaker Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune with the quasi-symphonic La mer and the dance-inspired Jeux is as all-embracing as it is exquisite. Gergiev fills them with all manner of silken touches, succulently realised by the LSO’s many fine solo contributions. The crashing wave power of La mer is majestic, even awesome at times, but never rough. The lesser-played Jeux introduces more sinister hues, but is again driven by a delicious, multicoloured finesse’ The Scotsman (UK)

***
‘un joyeux mélange d'influences, un étonnant festival de couleurs et de nuances, dont la musique sort revivifiée’ Point de Vue (France)

***
‘Valery Gergiev est un authentique magicien des notes… il sculpte le son, lui donne du galbe et malaxe la "pâte debussyste" avec une dextérité admirable’ Valeurs Actuelles (France)

Performance **** Recording *****
‘the brass entries in the climaxes to the first and last movements of La mer have rarely sounded so good on disc: superlative SACD recording’ BBC Music Magazine (UK)

Jeux turns out to be Valery Gergiev’s game, set and match. The ambiguity and transience of the music are captured with fleet-footed energy, wit and real piquancy’ International Record Review (UK)

‘This is a fiery and exciting performance of Debussy’s masterpiece, and may not be to every taste. But if you’re open for a muscular approach to La Mer, Gergiev gives a characteristically dramatic and impassioned reading. Perhaps the real gem here is a wonderfully atmospheric (and kinetic) Jeux; the composer’s late dance masterpiece sounds stunning in the full and wide-ranging LSO Live sound’ Barry Forshaw, CD Choice (UK)

**** ‘If someone asked me to recommend a recording of Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune,I would point them to this. Gergiev plays on color and atmosphere to achieve a calm tension, a rare degree of sensuality. What a beautiful picture!’ Pizzicato (France)

'Principal flutist Gareth Davies is enchanting in every moment of the long flute solos. The clear and spacious SACD recording reveals beautiful layers of detail in the music...Gergiev brings a real sense of mystery and raw energy to the finale that is fresh and exhilarating...This is my new favorite La Mer' American Record Guide (US)

 

Artists

Valery Gergiev conductor
London Symphony Orchestra 

Recording Details

James Mallinson producer
Jonathan Stokes and Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineers

Jonathan Stokes and Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineers
 
Recorded live at the Barbican Centre September - December 2009
A high density DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
 
Notes and synopsis in English/en français/auf Deutsch
 
SACD
Catalogue number  LSO0693 
UPC 822231169321

Recorded September & December 2009 and May 2010, Barbican, London
DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording

Notes and synopsis in English/en français/auf Deutsch

SACD
Catalogue number - LSO0692
UPC - 822231169222

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