Valery Gergiev’s 1st recording of French music on the LSO Live label, Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé, Boléro, Pavane – Gergiev was characterised by an unexpected affinity for this music & a warmth of expression not usually associated with this conductor. This follow-up issue confirms Gergiev’s credentials as a Francophile conductor (as do his recent meticulous performances of the music of Henri Dutilleux at the Barbican.
After discs devoted to Ravel and Poulenc (ZZT060901 & ZZT110403 - critical and popular successes, the latter measured in sales), Jos van Immerseel returns to French music, tackling Debussy and his most famous orchestral works.
Leonard Bernstein bestrode the musical scene in the second half of the 20th century like few others. For the last decade of his life he recorded exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon, having also made several recordings for the label in the 1970s, starting with his celebrated Carmen in 1973.
VOLUME ONE comprises Bernstein's complete recordings of composers from Beethoven to Liszt, and includes all of Bernstein's recordings of his own works, those of Brahms and Haydn, and individual CDs of Bruckner, Debussy, Dvorak, Elgar, Franck, Hindemith and many American composers.
A superb box-set. Karajan set the bar high, paid great care and attention in monitoring the recording process and correcting any "mistakes" that recording engineers or producers might make. Of course, producers and recording engineers would correct Karajan's "corrections"! The recording studio - in which he thrived - and the end product were just as important to Herbert von Karajan as his live concert performances.
Charles Munch's Debussy performances always have been treasured for their color, vitality, and seeming oneness with the composer's conception. It's hard to imagine finer performances of Images or the two Nocturnes. Munch's rhythmic sense and timbral distinctiveness vividly render Debussy's multi-layered textures and subtly varied moods. Then there's the Boston Symphony, captured at the height of its glory, offering vibrant, virtuoso playing from all sections. (…) As it stands it's a great–and essential, if supplemental, collection.
“In recording you can get to a point of perfection and precision not possible elsewhere, and, more important than anything, of real untrammelled music-making.” – Herbert von Karajan
'I truly admire this orchestra and hope it becomes better known abroad,' confided Leonard Bernstein in 1989 to the audience in Rome's Auditorio Pio before his concert of works by Claude Debussy (1862-1918) with the prestigious 'Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia.' In the words of Rome's 'Il Giornale,' Bernstein served up a 'Debussy that is neither ethereal nor shapeless, but uncommonly vital, caught in the full light of noon.' The concert begins with 'Images,' Debussy's last orchestral work and one of his most colorful scores. It consists of three separate pieces: the rather doleful 'Gigues,' the 'Rondes de printemps,' which incorporates a French nursery tune, and 'Ibéria,' a vibrant homage to Spain, complete with tambourines and castanets.