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Debussy: La Mer; Jeux; Prélude à l'apres-midi d'un faune / Gergiev

Audio Samples

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

Album Summary

>Debussy, Claude : Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
>Debussy, Claude : La mer
>Debussy, Claude : Jeux
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Valery Gergiev has been performing Debussy's music regularly with the LSO since he became Principal Conductor in 2007. For his latest LSO Live release, he presents his first recordings of three Debussy favorites, including a sensational performance of La mer. Widely considered one of the twentieth century's most innovative and influential composers, Debussy was a "musical impressionist," although it was a term he disliked. Despite running to little over ten minutes in duration, the sublime Prélude à l'aprèsmidi d'un faune is regarded as one of the most important and revolutionary of musical works. La mer was completed ten years later whilst Debussy was living in England and is a spectacular orchestral showpiece. Jeux, one of Debussy's final orchestral works, was written for Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes.

International Record Review
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... This degree of contrast and continuity add real backbone to the work without compromising its intrinsic unpredictability, turning the musical argument into more of an enigmatic conversation-piece as well as highlighting its genesis as a ballet.

Sunday Times
The disc proves Gergiev to be a fine Debussy conductor, knowing instinctively how much of his large personality he can impose on this music. His is a muscular rather than a fragile view, so there is certitude as well as subtlety even in the subtle textures of the PrTlude, while in La Mer, one can almost taste the salt spray. There is a luminous reading of the exotic-erotic Jeux to end.

Yorkshire Evening Post
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.

The Arts Desk - Graham Rickson
Gergiev clearly loves this music, and he's aided by pin-sharp orchestral playing and the clarity of the Barbican acoustic - I've never heard so many details emerge so clearly yet so naturally. And the unexpected final payoff is great. The PrTlude a l'aprFs-midi d'un faune is played just right, not too languid and with a beautiful, limpid flute solo from Gareth Davies.

BBC Music Magazine
Among the slowest of accounts [of the PrTlude], it briefly seems as if the flute's intoxicating gestures have left the orchestra in a torpor - though Gergiev's reluctance to break the spell is understandable... Not that there is any lack of energy elsewhere, with delectably nuanced woodwind in 'Jeux de vagues' and Jeux driven by an inner energy.

Gramophone Magazine
This PrTlude a l'aprFs-midi d'un faune is a reading which distils an almost indecently sultry languor and is marked by felicitous solo work from the LSO wind principals... The most successful item turns out to be Jeux, a less diaphanous, more sensual and hot-blooded beast than usual, pungently characterised, always alive and always sure of its destination.

Classic FM Magazine
From the spine-tingling opening of the Prelude, through all the colours and moods of La Mer to the enigmatic pace and enticing phrasing of Jeux, Gergiev brings out both the lucidity and the detail required... [He] loves the drama and tension of La Mer, but never allows the dynamic tension to overshadow the delicate subtlety of Debussy's revolutionary, evocative music.

london24.com
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.

Financial Times
The recording captures [the PrTlude's] 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.

The Scotsman
Delicate, crystalline Debussy performances by the LSO à The combination of the Impressionist groundbreaker PrTlude a l'aprFs-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

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Barbican, London.



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Works Details

>Debussy, Claude : Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
  • Performer: Gareth Davies (Flute)
  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Barbican, London (05/12/2010/05/19/2010)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1894
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Debussy, Claude : La mer
  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Barbican, London (09/20/2009/09/24/2009)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1903-1905
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Debussy, Claude : Jeux
  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Barbican, London (12/13/2009/12/18/2009)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1912-1913
  • Studio/Live: Live