Author Topic: Debussy's Corner  (Read 58971 times)

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Offline Josquin13

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #500 on: May 14, 2018, 12:55:52 PM »
I agree with Mandryka, the "Pelléas et Mélisande" from Serge Baudo (originally on Eurodisc, then later on RCA) is one of the finest in the catalogue, & arguably the best modern recording of the opera.  As much as I admire Abbado, Dutoit, Haitink, & Boulez in Debussy, they're no match for Baudo & his all French cast in this score, IMO.  I haven't heard Armin Jordan's Pelléas, but did hear him conduct "La Mer" in concert years ago, and it was excellent, so I'm not surprised to hear that his Pelléas is very good.




Among older mono recordings of the opera, conductor Andre Cluytens' Pelléas with soprano Victoria de los Angeles as Mélisande is a special favorite (as she's probably my favorite Mélisande).  Ernst Ansermet's Pelléas is very fine, too.


https://www.amazon.com/Debussy-Pell%C3%A9as-M%C3%A9lisande-Vol-1/dp/B004B5VT4G/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1526334003&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=debussy++pelleas+cluytens



I confess I'm not quite as big a fan of the famous EMI References recording from conductor Roger Désormière.

https://www.amazon.com/Debussy-Pelleas-Melisande-Claude/dp/B000EF5MHW/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1526334448&sr=1-1&keywords=debussy++pelleas+roger
https://www.amazon.com/Pelleas-Melisande-Melodies-Claude-Debussy/dp/B000026GCZ/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1526334448&sr=1-2&keywords=debussy++pelleas+roger

I've yet to hear the Pelleas recording by Debussy's friend, conductor Désiré-Émile Ingelbrecht, but would like to:

https://www.amazon.com/Debussy-Melisande-Suzanne-Danco-soprano/dp/B009GG4B8G/ref=pd_sbs_15_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B009GG4B8G&pd_rd_r=KDPGZ0ZZ6F5G8H4367XZ&pd_rd_w=Y8yNl&pd_rd_wg=bz010&psc=1&refRID=KDPGZ0ZZ6F5G8H4367XZ

EDIT: One very notable Pelléas et Mélisande that I forgot to mention on my list of favorites yesterday is the 1953 recording from conductor, Jean Fournet, on Phillips:
https://www.amazon.com/Debussy-Pelleas-Melisande-Maurane/dp/B00000E51A/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1526409836&sr=1-1&keywords=pelleas+et+melisande+jean+fournet
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=150065


« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 09:50:00 AM by Josquin13 »

Offline Moonfish

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #501 on: May 14, 2018, 02:20:50 PM »
Hmm, it sounds like one needs to check out the Baudo performance of "Pelléas et Mélisande" with all these glowing recommendations!
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #502 on: May 14, 2018, 03:57:55 PM »
... the "Pelleas et Melisande" from Serge Baudo ... is one of the finest in the catalogue.  Among older mono recordings of the opera, conductor Andre Cluytens' Pelleas with soprano Victoria de los Angeles as Melisande is a special favorite.  Ernst Ansermet's Pelleas is very fine, too.

I confess I'm not quite as big a fan of the famous EMI References recording from conductor Roger Desormiere.  I've yet to hear the Pelleas recording by Debussy's friend, conductor Desire-Emile Ingelbrecht, but would like to:

One could say I am a P&M nut.  I own all those recordings that you mention and a few others.  But the ones I come back to the most are the Robert Wilson DVD (Michael Boder, Conductor; Jean-Sébastien Bou, Pelléas; Mélisande is sung by Maria Bayo), Boulez and Abbado.  Ansermet is among the best, as well, imo.

I don't think one can talk about this opera without mentioning Karajan.  His recording was one that drew deserved attention to the opera and I think encouraged other conductors to take it up.  And despite using an international cast devoid of any native French singers (American Richard Stilwell as Pelléas; Frederica von Stade as Mélisande; Belgian José van Dam as Golaud; and Italian Ruggero Raimondi as Arkel) they are very good and his Berlin Philharmonic was at their best in this work.

My most recent recording is this DVD:



Quote
Staged in Essen's Aalto Theatre, this pioneering work of early modern times was a landmark. 'Conductor Stefan Soltesz knows how to highlight these sensualists Debussy colours, let melody blossom, enthral with the magic of sound. And when these seraphic tones ring out from a stage flooded with light, we cannot help but leave the world far behind', wrote the critics. The consummately precise staging by veteran stage director Nikolaus Lehnhoff has a cast to match these wondrous sounds. The characters seem to float through the scenes, bringing to the stage the unspeakable, the negation and extinction of their feelings, showing the people of this story in inescapable solitude. This production stars the young South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo as Pelléas and Michaela Selinger as Melisande, as well as Vincent Le Texier and Doris Soffel.

But I haven't had a chance to sit down and watch it in entirety.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 04:25:31 PM by San Antone »

Offline Josquin13

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #503 on: May 15, 2018, 08:29:08 AM »
What I like about Baudo's conducting is that he finds more human feeling in Debussy's score than other digital era conductors (Dutoit, Boulez, Haitink, etc.).  He doesn't overly modernize the score.  Right from the opening overture, the emotional content is more palpable in Baudo's reading than with other modern conductors (though Abbado gets closest).  In comparison, Dutoit is cooly detached in this overture (though I'm normally a fan of Dutoit's Debussy--finding his Nocturnes, for example, to be among the finest & most insightful readings I've heard).  Critic Jeffrey Sarver at MusicWebInternational writes that Dutoit's Pelléas is as "dry as dust" and "completely analytical and free of poetic nuance".  (Nevertheless, I'd say it has its place!)

I can't find Baudo's opera recording on You Tube, but did find him conducting Marius Constant's Suite from Pelléas, played by the Czech Philharmonic.  It is a gentle, nuanced, and detailed reading, and should give people some idea about why I like Baudo's conducting of the opera (& other music by Debussy):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-egazHf7aQ

With that said, of course there are many things I enjoy about the other modern era recordings--such as the textural clarity of Boulez's reading on DG (I've not heard his early CBS reading), Anne-Sofie von Otter's Mélisande for Haitink (she's excellent in French music, for example: https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Sofie-von-Otter-Chanson/dp/B000001GRC/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1526405027&sr=1-1&keywords=von+otter+french+songs), the amplitude and warmth of the Vienna strings for Abbado and his greater sense of drama, yet attention to delicate shadings, etc..  I even find Dutoit's ultra cool reading to be of great value--as an alternative view of the opera--since Dutoit has essentially stripped the opera of its romantic gestures and mannerisms, firmly placing the score in the 20th century.  Indeed, my 5 favorite Debussy conductors of the modern era are Dutoit, Abbado, Boulez, Haitink, and Baudo (though Baudo's Pelléas is admittedly from the late analogue era--1978). 

(The only other conductor I might put in their league, based upon his Ravel, is Eliahu Inbal.  But unfortunately Inbal didn't record much Debussy, & he has recently retired from conducting.  Yan Pascal Tortelier can be good too, but generally speaking, I don't find his Debussy to be quite as interesting as those 5.  Admittedly, I need to get to know Armin Jordan's Debussy better than I do.)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 10:11:20 AM by Josquin13 »

Offline Josquin13

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #504 on: May 15, 2018, 10:09:17 AM »
One notable Pelléas et Mélisande that I forgot to mention on my list of favorites yesterday is the 1953 recording from conductor, Jean Fournet, which was recorded around the same time as Ansermet's, & is well worth hearing.  Among conductors that worked (& recorded) into the digital era, Jean Fournet was, I believe, along with Manuel Rosenthal, the last surviving link with Debussy & Ravel and the great French tradition.



http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=150065

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #505 on: May 20, 2018, 11:13:36 AM »
Hmm, it sounds like one needs to check out the Baudo performance of "Pelléas et Mélisande" with all these glowing recommendations!

YES! I haven’t finished listening to this performance, but what I’ve heard thus far has been exquisite.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline kyjo

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #506 on: May 22, 2018, 06:52:28 PM »
A fantastic recent discovery of mine was Debussy's early-ish Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra. Why isn't this work played/discussed more often? It's absolutely gorgeous! I listened to this excellent recording:

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline milk

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #507 on: October 09, 2018, 03:28:46 AM »

I'm quite interested in this one...I'm waiting for some reviews here or elsewhere...anyone?

Offline Ainsi la nuit

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #508 on: October 10, 2018, 05:43:43 AM »

I'm quite interested in this one...I'm waiting for some reviews here or elsewhere...anyone?

Very enjoyable recording! The Violin Sonata in particular was quite a revelation for me, but the rest of the performances are equally arresting. Recommended!

Offline milk

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #509 on: October 10, 2018, 01:52:00 PM »
Very enjoyable recording! The Violin Sonata in particular was quite a revelation for me, but the rest of the performances are equally arresting. Recommended!
Thanks!

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #510 on: October 31, 2018, 12:10:05 AM »

I'm quite interested in this one...I'm waiting for some reviews here or elsewhere...anyone?

Very good recordings - with some of my favorite musicians - of repertoire that I very, very rarely warm up to.

Offline milk

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #511 on: October 31, 2018, 12:13:38 AM »
Very good recordings - with some of my favorite musicians - of repertoire that I very, very rarely warm up to.
I'm very glad I bought this.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #512 on: November 20, 2018, 03:51:49 AM »
Went for a walk on the Sussex Downs on Sunday which ended up on the coast in Eastbourne. Of course I had 'La Mer' going through my head before remembering that Debussy had completed the work at the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne!  :)
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