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Debussy: Orchestral Works, Vol. 7 / Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Album Summary

>Debussy, Claude : Fantaisie for piano & orchestra, L. 73
>Debussy, Claude : Premiere Rhapsodie for Clarinet and Orchestra
>Debussy, Claude : Rhapsodie for Saxophone and Orchestra
>Debussy, Claude : Danse sacree et danse profane
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

An important marker in Debussy's compositional development, the Fantaisie reflects something of the influence of César Franck's Symphonic Variations yet embodies his own new aesthetic. Unpublished in Debussy's lifetime, it is heard here in its 1968 revision. The delicately evocative Rapsodie for saxophone is an exotic work with an 'oriental' atmosphere and Spanish or Moorish associations. Although composed as a Conservatoire test piece, the Première Rapsodie for Clarinet has long since entered the repertoire as an important addition for the instrument. The glittering Danses for harp and strings recall Satie's Gymnopédies, with the Danse profane in particular calling for a degree of virtuosity. Volume 6 of this much admired series (8.572583) was praised for its 'subtle and sensitive readings'. (Gramophone) Hailed as 'one of the best pianists in the world,' Jean-Yves Thibaudet is sought after by today's foremost orchestras, festivals, conductors and collaborative musicians for his enlightened interpretations and charisma. Jun Märkl took up his job as musical director of the Lyon National Orchestra in September 2005, and in 2007/8 he became Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the MDR Sinfonieorchester.

"We've reached Volume 7 in Naxos's superb Lyonnaise exploration of Debussy's orchestral works with the thrilling Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra, superbly played here by Jean-Yves Thibaudet. It's a grand showpiece, reminiscent of César Franck's Symphonic Variations but painted in Debussy's inimitable palette." -The Observer

American Record Guide
This is impressionism at its best... the sound... is smooth and rich with a firm bass, the four soloists are all stellar, and MSrkl and his orchestra are simply superb... The best-engineered recordings "travel well", i.e., are just as effective whether heard on a huge sound system, a cheap one, headphones, or in a car...

[Jun MSrkl's] performance is lovely: ripely romantic, rhythmically vital, and a joy from beginning to end... Naxos' engineering is consistently fine. A very enjoyable release.

It is... interesting to have several of the composer's pieces for soloist and orchestra on a single CD - all of them receiving excellent performances. These are works firmly embedded in their era and in the sensibility of such turn-of-the-century composers as Erik Satie, but they also carry faint suggestions of ancient times and require both sensitivity and virtuosity in interpretation - and receive both qualities here.

Culture Catch
What is most striking about these performances is the magical lightness of the orchestra... a very French touch to the playing here, a graceful elegance that makes points clearly without insisting too forcefully. And although Naxos is a budget label (THE budget label), its sonics are audiophile quality. This is Impressionism at its best.

Gramophone Magazine
There is virtue in the disc's programme, with a lovely, supple performance of the clarinet Rapsodie from Paul Meyer, fully equal to the technical and expressive demands...Doisy plays with a nice mix of spice and smoothness in the saxophone Rapsodie, and the wonderful Emmanuel Ceysson brings both enchantment and spirit to the two harp Danses.

Soloists Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Paul Meyer, Alexandre Doisy, and Emmanuel Ceysson all take their star turns with the wonderful Orchestre National de Lyon in Debussy works that feature various instruments. Perhaps the most grand and impressive piece on the album is the Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra. Thibaudet's piano is recorded with crystal clarity, and his performance sounds very bright and clean. Paul Meyer's clarinet is so liquid and technically flawless, when playing both legato or with rapid agility, that it is a delight to hear. The same could be said for Alexandre Doisy's solo, the Rapsodie for Saxophone and Orchestra; the saxophonist is smoothly integrated into the orchestra, even amidst the powerful brass. Ceysson's harp builds in intensity and acceleration so perfectly, accompanied by an orchestra that follows with perfect synchronicity. ... enjoyable, and the excellent musicians deserve to be heard.

The Northern Echo
Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet gives an exquisite rendition of Debussy's Fantasie, while saxophonist Alexandre Doisy plays the delicately evocative Rapsodie for saxophone. The glittering Danses for harp and strings features Emmanuel Ceysson. Highly recommended.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Auditorium de Lyon, France (2010-09-30&2010-10-02&2010-).


A fine disc of Debussy for solo instruments & orchestra
This is the seventh volume in the very useful Naxos series of the complete orchestral works of Claude Debussy, containing works for solo instrument and orchestra.

The Fantaisie for piano and orchestra is a relatively early work, though Debussy made revisions to it later in his life. We hear the composer's latest version here. It's a slight but appealing work. I like the way Thibaudet swings this music, and Markl keeps things light and frothy and moving ahead.

The other works on the disc represent the mature composer's greatness in creating beautiful and dramatic soundscapes. Though Debussy had to be dragged kicking and screaming into writing a piece for saxophone, you couldn't tell from the Rapsodie that the composer wasn't completely attuned to the sonorities of this instrument, which contributed so much to the special sound of French modernist music. The works featuring the harp and the clarinet similarly present new sounds that would be taken up by generations of composers who made their way to Paris in the 1920s: George Gershwin, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and so many others. With standout solo work by saxophonist Alexandre Doisy, harpist Emmanuel Ceysson, and especially clarinetist Paul Meyer, and strong support from Markl and the musicians of the Orchestre Naqtional de Lyon, this disc is very highly recommended.
Submitted on 01/11/12 by Dean Frey 
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Works Details

>Debussy, Claude : Fantaisie for piano & orchestra, L. 73
  • Performer: Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
  • Conductor: Märkl, Jun
  • Ensemble: Orchestre National de Lyon
  • Running Time: 7 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1889-1890

>Debussy, Claude : Première Rhapsodie for Clarinet and Orchestra
  • Performer: Paul Meyer (Clarinet)
  • Conductor: Märkl, Jun
  • Ensemble: Orchestre National de Lyon
  • Notes: Auditorium de Lyon, France (09/30/2010/10/02/2010)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1909-1910

>Debussy, Claude : Rhapsodie for Saxophone and Orchestra
  • Performer: Alexandre Doisy (Saxophone)
  • Conductor: Märkl, Jun
  • Ensemble: Orchestre National de Lyon
  • Running Time: 10 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1901-1911

>Debussy, Claude : Danse sacrée et danse profane
  • Performer: Emmanuel Ceysson (Harp)
  • Conductor: Märkl, Jun
  • Ensemble: Orchestre National de Lyon
  • Notes: Composition written: 1904.
  • Running Time: 9 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1904