Debussey, Ravel - La Mer, Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Fawn; Pavanne For A Dead Princess

Tuesday 1st June 1993
Debussey, Ravel - La Mer, Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Fawn; Pavanne For A Dead Princess

STYLE: Classical
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
LABEL: Word 2076

Reviewed by Dave Massey

It is impossible to talk about Debussy without reference to paintings as he was heavily influenced (as were many composers) by the art of his time, and is known as an 'Impressionist' composer, influenced as he was by the likes of Monet and Van Gogh. His lifestyle was very much a symptom of his time too, with ailing love affairs and threats of suicide. In keeping with the rejection in the art world of accurate portrayal of the subject, Debussy rejected forms like the 'Symphony', preferring to write 'Sketches' instead like the ones included on this disc. The first is an impression of the sea and is a masterpiece in its own right played here by the London Festival Orchestra with the kind of airy mystique that it needs, and flawed only by what I hope is a glitch on the disc I was sent in which the opening few seconds sound like a mild case of stretched tape. The Ravel piece, "Pavanne For A Dead Princess" is in keeping with the composer's ethos that "Music should always be first emotional and only after than, intellectual", and a debt of thanks is owed to the editor of the collection for resisting bunging the "Bolero" in instead.

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