3rd Jul 2020
CD HLL 7554
Sir Mark Elder
Katherine Baker, flute
CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
- Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut + (orch. Colin Matthews)
- La plus que lente
- Prélude a l’après-midi d’un faune ^
+ world premiere recording
^ Katherine Baker, flute
“Debussy, whose music Mark Elder and the Hallé orchestra have made something of a speciality in a series of top recordings”
Stephen Pritchard, the Observer Nov 2019
The Hallé and Sir Mark Elder follow their previous highly acclaimed Debussy albums, with a stunning orchestral collection including a world premiere recording. Album includes the hugely popular Prélude a L’après-midi d’un faune, alongside the orchestral tour de force Images, a work which fully displays the composer’s mastery, and the world premiere recording of Colin Matthew’s orchestration of Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut, from the 2nd Book of Images for piano.
- Debussy took seven years to produce Images, following the success of La mer, and the resulting work, which was hailed by Ravel, displays the composer’s mastery in varied material which is at times strident, eschewing any hint of ‘Impressionism’ (a term he disliked), lush and evoking feelings of loss and alienation.
- Pierre Boulez claimed that “modern music was awoken” by Debussy’s response to Mallarmé’s poem L’après-midi d’un faune and the work, with its sumptuous opening flute line, certainly established the composer’s credentials and has rightly become a cornerstone of orchestral repertoire.
- The album features a world premiere recording of Colin Matthew’s orchestration of Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut, from the 2nd Book of Images for piano. This arrangement follows Matthews’ universally acclaimed orchestrations of the Debussy Préludes and of Les soirs illuminés par l’ardeur du charbon featured in the recent Nocturnes release.
- Debussy himself arranged his piano waltz La plus que lente, said to have been inspired by a fiddler at the New Carlton Hotel in Paris. Delicately orchestrated it is a delightful piece characterised by a constantly changing tempo.
Previous Debussy albums from Hallé won numerous accolades including:
‘Yet more ravishing Debussy from Sir Mark and his revitalised Hallé.’
Music Web International
‘Rarely have I heard the hostility of the sea evoked as eerily as in [Mark Elder’s] polished account of Debussy’s “La Mer”.’
‘…more than orchestrations, they are recreations achieved by entering into the mind and thought of the original composer. Beautiful performances.’
The Sunday Telegraph, of Matthews Préludes orchestrations
Prélude a l’après-midi d’un faune recorded 1 August 2018 in The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; all other works recorded 10 and 11 May 2019 in BBC Studios, Salford.
Producer Jeremy Hayes
Engineer Steve Portnoi