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Volume 6 in Naxos’s popular series presents five highly diverse works in gorgeous orchestrations by Debussy’s colleagues or later admirers. Indeed, pieces such as Clair de lune and Printemps may even be better known in these seductive guises than in their original forms. Of particular interest is Debussy’s sole attempt at composing a symphony, a youthful work imbued with the spirit of French Romanticism, only the first movement of which he completed.
Jun Märkl’s exemplary interpretations of Debussy’s orchestral music have been praised for their “subtle and sensitive readings” (Gramophone). “This is bewitching music-making that should on no account be missed … One of the finest discs Naxos has ever released” Classic FM on Volume 1 (8570759).
Claude Debussy: Suite bergamasque (arr. G. Cloez, A. Caplet for orchestra)
III. Clair de lune
Claude Debussy: Petite suite (arr. H. Busser for orchestra)
I. En bateau
Claude Debussy: Printemps (arr. H. Busser for orchestra)
I. Tres modere
Claude Debussy: En blanc et noir (arr. R. Holloway for orchestra)
I. Avec emportement
II. Lent. Sombre
Claude Debussy: Symphony in B minor (arr. T. Finno for orchestra)
I. Allegro ben marcato
II. Un poco lento, cantabile
III. Primo tempo
19th May 2011
“The latest disc in Naxos’s survey of Debussy’s orchestral music is one for a sunny day when you haven’t a care in the world... The Suite bergamasque with the Clair de lune movement, the charming Petite Suite and a movement from the B minor Symphony are all idiomatically played.”
“Some of the orchestral versions in Vol 6 are probably just as well known as their keyboard originals, particularly Busser's of the Petite Suite, done with the utmost finesse...Robin Holloway's 2002 version of En blanc et noir breathes Debussian air, as does Tony Finno's realisation of the early Symphony”
“If trying to rethink Debussy's sublimely idiomatic piano writing in orchestral terms isn't challenging enough, to make it sound like an orchestral original borders on the impossible. Yet miraculously, this is just what Jun Märkl achieves...He makes En blanc et noir sound even more alluring than in its two-piano original, while an early symphonic movement that originally never got beyond piano-duet scoring emerges like liquid gold.”
19th June 2011
“They capture perfectly the flash and dazzle of the Suite bergamasque, particularly in the high-voltage opening and closing movements, and charm us with the graceful Petite Suite and Printemps.”
“Jun Märkl treats [the piano] as a secondary percussion instrument and the result is surprisingly effective. [En blanc et noir] sounds not merely like Debussy, but like late Debussy, and Holloway's few additions consistently enhance the spirit of the original.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.