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CHAN 5102M
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CHAN 5102
(multiple CD Set)

Stephane Deneve conducts Debussy

The Classical Shop
release date: May 2012

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2011


Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Stephane Deneve


Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow


Brian Pidgeon


Ralph Couzens

Jonathan Cooper


Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 144:26
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Images (1905-12)

  pour Orchestre  
1 1. Gigues 7:33
  Katherine MacKintosh oboe d'amore  
  2. Ibéria  
2 I. Par les rues et par les chemines 7:22
3 II. Les Parfums de la nuit - 8:28
4 III. Le matin d'un jour de fête 4:22
5 3. Rondes de printemps 7:54

Jeux (1912-13)

  Poème dansé  
6 Prelude. The curtain rises… 2:12
7 Two timid, curious girls… 1:01
8 One of the girls dances… 1:15
9 The young man can be seen… 1:28
10 They dance together. He asks… 2:15
11 The young man follows… 2:21
12 Wrapped up in their dance,… 1:41
13 However, the young man… 1:39
14 Now all three of them… 2:52
15 A tennis ball falls at… 0:44

Nocturnes (1897-99)

16 I Nuages 7:27
  Modéré - Un peu animé - Tempo I - Plus lent - Encore plus lent  
17 II Fêtes 6:22
  Animé et très rythmé - Un peu plus animé -  
18 III Sirénes 10:15
  Women of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus  
  Timothy Dean chorus master  
  Modérément animé - Un peu plus lent -  

La Mer (1903-05)

  Trois Esquisses symphoniques  
19 I De l'aube à midi sur la mer 8:37
  Très lent - Animez peu à peu -  
20 II Jeux de vagues 6:46
  Allegro (dans un rythme très souple) - Animé -  
21 III Dialogue du vent et de la mer 8:26
  Animé et tumultueux - Cédez très légérement  

Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune (1891-94)

  D'après une églogue de Stéphane Mallarmé (1876)  
  Katherine Bryan flute  
  Très modéré - En animant - Toujours en animant -  

Marche ecossaise sur un theme populare (1890)

  (marche des anciens comtes de Ross)  
  Work for piano, four hands  
  Orchestrated before 1910 by the composer  
  Allegretto scherzando - Calme. Meno tempo -  

Printemps (1887)

  Suite symphonique  
  Orchestrated 1912 by Henri Büsser (1872-1973)  
24 I Très modéré - Animando poco a poco - Chaleureux - 9:22
25 II Modéré - Allegro moderato poco agitato - 5:44

Two movements from 'L'Enfant prodigue' (1884; revised 1907-08)

  Scène lyrique  
  À mon Cher Maître Ernest Guiraud  
26 Prélude 2:50
  Andante, très calme - Très expressif et un peu animé -  
27 Cortège - 0:45
  Moderato - Retenu  
28 Air de danse 3:25
  Tempo quasi Andante rubato -  

Berceuse heroique (1914)

  pour rendre Hommage à S.M. le Roi Albert 1er de Belgique et à ses Soldats  
  Modéré (sans lenteur) - Au Mouvement -  
 Stephane Deneve
  10-12 October 2011 and 7-9 February 2012  

Recognised internationally as a conductor of the highest calibre, Stéphane Denève took up the post of Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in 2005, and has since attracted attention from audiences and critics alike. This May, the conductor bids a fond farewell to Scotland and the RSNO with a series of ‘Au Revoir’ concerts, and of course, this disc of orchestral works by Debussy.
 After the impact made by the production of Pelléas et Mélisande in 1902, the next orchestral work by Debussy was awaited with intense interest. La Mer did not disappoint, and is today widely considered to have been crucial in its influence on twentieth-century music. After completing this work, Debussy spent no fewer than seven years wrestling with what were to become Images for orchestra. Some critics were puzzled by the work and suggested that Debussy’s talent might have dried out. They were promptly put right in an article by Ravel, who accused them of ‘slowly closing their eyelids before the rising sun amid loud protestations that night is falling’.
 With a sultry flute solo, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune opened an astonishing new world for western music. Debussy based this composition on a poem by Mallarmé, who wrote to the composer: ‘I have come from the concert, deeply moved: A miracle! that your illustration of L’Après-midi d’un faune should present no dissonance with my text, other than to venture further, truly, into nostalgia and light…’
 The three Nocturnes feature some of Debussy’s most imaginative orchestral writing. In the words of the composer, ‘the title Nocturnes is… not meant to designate the usual form of a nocturne, but rather all the various impressions and the special effects of light that the word would suggest’. Debussy provided descriptions of the three movements. ‘Nuages’, for example, depicts ‘the slow, melancholy procession of the clouds, ending in a grey agony tinged with white’, and also the experience of standing ‘on the Pont de Solférino very late at night. Total silence. The Seine without a ripple, like a tarnished mirror’.

                  Diapason D’or de l’Année


Diapason Magazine - 2012

 "... I must say, I find Denève’s set completely addictive.... It doesn’t get much better than this."

Steven Kruger - Fanfare - November/December - Fanfare - November/December 2012

                 Album Choice

Christopher Breunig - HiFi News 2012 Year book

                           **** - Good

Pierre-Jean Tribot - Pizzicato magazine - September 2012


"...It seems that the muse magically landed at these sessions, for they were certainly blessed, and Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall seems to have an equally hallowed acoustic.
It’s been no hardship to listen to these discs right through, and to return to them - for these wonderful performances, gloriously captured, of music of infinate variety, confirm the genius of Achille-Claude Debussy."

Colin Anderson -  The Classical - 1 September 2012

          Gramophone Choice
“...During his seven concert seasons in Scotland he [Denève] has instilled in the RSNO an idiomatic sound and attitude for the French repertoire, as is strikingly evident from this two-CD set of Debussy... There is nothing vague about these performances; rather they convey both the dynamism and delicacy of the music with understanding and stimulating freshness...”

Geoffrey Norris – Gramophone magazine – August 2012

                          Recording of the Month
"...Throughout the set Denève and his team get help from the tremendous quality of the recorded sound, captured with outstanding clarity by Brian Pidgeon and his Chandos engineers, and giving a real sense of space to the sound, allowing each instrument to be picked out and enjoyed in its own right, as well as relishing its contribution to the whole. This sets the seal on an outstanding release, a praiseworthy contribution to the Debussy anniversary year, and a memento of what has become one of the most distinguished musical partnerships of recent years. Invest with confidence."
Simon Thompson - - 27 July 2012

“...the excellence of the playing of the Scottish orchestra and the splendid Chandos SACD engineering makes this two-disc collection a highly desirable memento of Denéve’s tenure.”

Mark Pullinger – International Record Review – July/August 2012

       ****    Excellent
“ exciting album.”

Franck Mallet – Classica magazine – July/August 2012

           Performance *****      Recording *****
“...These are especially sensuous accounts, luxuriating in not only Debussy’s wondrous orchestral colours, but also his love of sound itself... What makes this set notable is the sense of a coherent vision lighting the music from within, a partnership of conductor and orchestra working intensively to make the whole more than the sum of the parts. Praise should be heaped on Chandos for maintaining its commitment both to fulsome, eloquent booklet notes and to SACD... for a set with essentially all of the completed purely orchestral pieces, including a couple of rarities, this is heard to beat.”

Christopher Dingle – BBC Music magazine – August 2012

                    CD of the Week

"...All are performed with finesse and with a combination of energy, discretion and colour that give them a luminous quality."  ****

Geoffrey Norris - The Telegraph - 23 June 2012

                    Recording of the Month

"Sumptuous sonic bathing: thrillingly superb."

Dominy Clements - - 25 June 2012

“...Deneve believes that Debussy, should be played not as a blur, as of Monet, but with clarity and this superbly recorded set brings this out admirably...”

Peter Spaull – Liverpool Daily Post – 7 June 2012

“... These are among the most seductive Debussy performances I have heard in years.” ****

Andrew Clark – The Financial Times – 9 June 2012

            CD of the Week
“... The RSNO’s playing has moved up a notch under his baton, with luscious string sounds an superb wind soloists. Even that symphonic warhorse La Mer sound freshly reimagined by the young Frenchman, whose sense of the music’s ebb and flow, with surging climaxes, is unerring.  On this two disc-set – an ideal way to aquire Debussy’s orchestral masterpieces – even the makeweights are compelling and the rare Marche Ecossaise is an apt souvenir of Denève’s Scottish sojourn.”

Hugh Canning – The Sunday Times – 3 June 2012

                Album Choice
“...this is a marvellous compendium, with performances to equal the classic Debussy recordings ...”

Christopher Breunig – HiFi News – August 2012

              Performance  *****      Sound *****
“...The superb playing of the RSNO throughout this set is indicative of the affection and respect and respect with which these musicians hold Stéphan Denève, and this outstanding release is a fitting testimony to the completion of this conductor’s impressive tenure with the RSNO.”

Castor – – 30 April 2012

“...In each of these performances the RSNO, keenly responsive to Denève after his seven seasons as chief conductor, confirm the absolute precision, transparency and in Jeux as much as anywhere – passion required for these scores. The detail in Images is exquisite (with lovely oboe d’amore solo by Katherine Mackintosh). The Nocturnes, especially Fêtes, achieve a shimmering, decidedly un-Monet-like glaze, and la Mer erupts and glistens.”

Fiona Maddocks – The Observer – 13 May 2012

F Leykam

I have recently downloaded this album in 24/96 format. The music is great but unfortunately there are several instances of segue tracks with very anoying interruptions. I thought this would only ocurr in MP3 but apparently it also happens in high defic=nition formats. A SHAME!!!

This is an excellent release. Deneve, during his tenure introduced the RSNO to French music especially the Roussel symphonies. Roussel apparently came from Deneve's home town. My reason for not buying the whole set is that Debussy is far from my favourite composer and I already have all these pieces. However, I wanted a souvenir postcard of his departure. This is perfect both in performance and sound quality. The Chandos engineers also achieve miracles. The Royal glasgow Concert Hall does not have a warm, immediate acoustic. It is more like the dry one from London's Barbican or Royal Festival Hall. I have spent years trying to find the best place to listen to live concerts in there. It is totally eclipsed by the acoustic in the Glasgow City Halls which is world class. I can pay no greater compliment than that this disc sounds as if it had been recorded there. The performance itself is very beautiful and I wish Deneve well in, I believe, Stuttgart. Good luck in teaching the stolid Germans to play idiomatic French music. I do not hesitate to give this a full 5 star rating. I would urge listeners to seek out the previous Chandos issues of the RSNO under Neeme Jarvi. He truly transformed the orchestra and Chandos captured it brilliantly. Thank you.
t kent

This generous coupling - in characteristically fine Chandos sound - is a very happy reminder of what Deneve and the RSNO have achieved together. Although there may arguably be finer individual versions elsewhere, this set more than holds its own, both in terms of interpretation and the playing of the orchestra. It is certainly the best recorded Debussy I think I've ever heard. Hugely enjoyable
D Mackie