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Debussy: Jeux, Preludes; Matthews: Postlude / Elder, Hallé Orchestra

Album Summary

>Debussy, Claude : Jeux
>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book I, L. 117
>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book II, L. 123
>Matthews, Colin : Postlude
Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The second installment of new releases from the reinvigorated Halle label presents a dramatic and fresh interpretation of Debussy's well-loved tone poem 'Jeux' coupled with world premiere recordings of Colin Mathew's stunning orchestrations of the Debussy 'Preludes'.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
The diaphonous atmospheric detail from the strings and subtle wind colouring in Jeux, Debussy's poème dansé, require great delicacy of feeling and sensuous caressing from the violins in the moments of restrained ecstasy, which are exquisitely realised here. The transparent acoustic of the Bridgewater Hall and the balancing skill of producer Andrew Keener add to the allure of this miraculous score, with the violent climax superbly graduated and the closing pages returning spontaneously to the opening mood.

The programme is completed by 12 more of Colin Matthews's highly imaginative orchestrations of Debussy's piano Préludes, and these, to my ears, have even more distinction than the first group, which came in harness with Mark Elder's compelling Hallé account of La mer (see above). The shimmering textures Matthews creates from the 'Danseuses de Delphes', 'Des pas sur la neige' and 'Les fées sont d'exquises' are even more translucently exotic, balanced by the luxuriance of 'Bruyères'. If not quite matching Stokowski's famous over-the-top transcription, 'La cathédrale engloutie' produces a splendidly expansive, watery spectacle, tolling bell included, which is sonorously moving. However, 'S Pickwick Esq', with its side drum and mock-solemn national anthem snippet on the brass, feels rather too heavily pompous, not witty enough, and 'Feux d'artifice', too, is a bit of a damp squib - it sounds much more effective in its barer piano original. Moreover, Colin Matthews's own Monsieur Croche makes an exuberantly brilliant postlude, even if its helter-skelter progress obviously includes very few crochets. Altogether this is a fascinating and rewarding disc and is well worth aquiring to make a pair, alongside its illustrious companion.

The Times
Matthews's creative finesse is remarkable: the pieces aren't simply dressed in orchestral clothes, rather sensitively re-imagined for an expanded palette of refined colours by a gifted contemporary composer.



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Works Details

>Debussy, Claude : Jeux
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1912-1913

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book I, L. 117 :: Danseuses de Delphes (Book 1, 1)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1907-1910

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book I, L. 117 :: La sérénade interrompue (1, 9)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1907-1910

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book I, L. 117 :: Des pas sur la neige (1, 6)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1907-1910

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book II, L. 123 :: Les fées sont d'exquises danseuses (2, 4)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1910-1912

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book I, L. 117 :: Voiles (1, 2)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1907-1910

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book II, L. 123 :: Hommage à S. Pickwick, Esq., P.P.M.P.C. (2, 9)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1910-1912

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book II, L. 123 :: La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune (2, 7)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1910-1912

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book II, L. 123 :: Bruyères (2, 5)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1910-1912

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book II, L. 123 :: Ondine (2, 8)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1910-1912

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book I, L. 117 :: Les collines d'Anacapri (1, 5)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1907-1910

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book II, L. 123 :: Feux d'artifice (2, 12)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1910-1912

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book I, L. 117 :: La cathédrale engloutie (1, 10)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1907-1910

>Matthews, Colin : Postlude :: Monsieur Croche, for ensemble
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Notes: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England (06/20/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary