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

  • Catalogue Number LSO0692
    UPC 822231169222

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

    Recorded September & December 2009 and May 2010, Barbican, London

    DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
    Notes in English / en français / auf Deutsch

  • Audiophile Audition’s 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.’

    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

    **** '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

    **** ‘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 colour and atmosphere to achieve a calm tension, a rare degree of sensuality. What a beautiful picture!’
    Pizzicato

    ‘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

    ‘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

    ‘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

    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

£5.00 £7.99

Valery Gergiev
London Symphony Orchestra


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.


Composer   Debussy
Conductor   Valery Gergiev
Performers   London Symphony Orchestra

Track list
1. Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
2. La mer: I. De l'aube a midi sur la mer
3. La mer: II. Jeux de vagues
4. La mer: III. Dialogue du vent et de la mer
5. Jeux

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