DEBUSSY: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun; Nocturnes; La Mer; Berceuse heroique

by | May 17, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

DEBUSSY: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun; Nocturnes; La Mer;
Berceuse heroique – Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi – Telarc
multichannel SACD-60617, 64:15 ****:

The
earlier standard CD issue of this album was excellent, so I was looking
forward to the SACD release, and was not disappointed. Järvi won awards
with an earlier all-Ravel album, and the all-Debussy was a natural
followup. The three standard Debussy works are well-presented and the
rarely-heard Berceuse is a good choice to wrap up the program. The
atmospheric aspect of these works is aided tremendously by surround
sound reproduction. I find it especially captivating in the Sirens
final section of the Nocturnes due to the chorus coming in with their
wordless vocalise (which I seem to prefer to sung words). Järvi’s Sea
in La Mer strikes me as calmer than that on some competing recordings,
but the surround field involves the listener more fully and I’m sure
some would prefer his interpretation (perhaps those more prone to
sea-sickness…).
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