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Debussy: Images / Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune / Printemps

Claude Debussy , Pierre Boulez , The Cleveland Orchestra Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Price: $16.51 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 8 Songs, 1993 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1993 $16.51  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, L. 86The Cleveland Orchestra 8:54Album Only
listen  2. Debussy: Images For Orchestra, L. 122 - 1. GiguesThe Cleveland Orchestra 7:24Album Only
listen  3. Debussy: Images For Orchestra / 2. Ibéria, L. 122 - 1. Par les rues et par les cheminsThe Cleveland Orchestra 6:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Debussy: Images For Orchestra / 2. Ibéria, L. 122 - 2. Les parfums de la nuitThe Cleveland Orchestra 7:30Album Only
listen  5. Debussy: Images For Orchestra / 2. Ibéria, L. 122 - 3. Le matin d'un jour de fêteThe Cleveland Orchestra 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Debussy: Images For Orchestra, L. 122 - 3. Rondes de printempsThe Cleveland Orchestra 7:43Album Only
listen  7. Debussy: Printemps, L. 61 - 1. Très modéréThe Cleveland Orchestra10:23Album Only
listen  8. Debussy: Printemps, L. 61 - 2. ModéréThe Cleveland Orchestra 6:24$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Debussy: Images / Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune / Printemps + Debussy: La Mer / Nocturnes / Jeux / Rhapsodie pour Clarinette et Orchestre + Ravel: Boléro, Ma Mère L'Oye, Rapsodie Espagnole, Une Barque sur L'Océan, Alborada del Gracioso
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Conductor: Pierre Boulez
  • Composer: Claude Debussy
  • Audio CD (February 16, 1993)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GGI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,507 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Pierre Boulez recorded all of Debussy's major orchestral works for Sony, and those generally excellent performances are still available at mid-price. Like so many conductors Boulez has mellowed somewhat with age--and unlike most conductors, he is the first to admit it. His earlier performances were characterized by an analytical clarity that some found fascinating and uniquely compelling, and which left others cold. These new versions preserve the precision of his earlier ones, but find room for an extra measure of warmth and flexibility. The result is stunning Debussy, and DG's sumptuous recording captures it all in panoramic sound. --David Hurwitz

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Debussy December 6, 2000
Format:Audio CD
If your idea of Debussy is lush orchestration, sensuous moods and seeing a Monet or a Renoir behind every note, then Boulez's interpretations of Debussy won't be for you. Although Boulez first recorded Debussy in the 1960s for Columbia (now Sony and still available; get the 2-CD set if you can find it), his way with Debussy hasn't really changed much. It might not be as detached, but it's wonderful just the same. Basically, Boulez sees Debussy as a great COMPOSER, not just a "Master of Impressionism." Boulez's legendary ear for sonority and balance decongests Debussy's music into something that is more commonly known as the cool, clear Boulez sound. You HEAR every note, every phrase, every progression. So instead of being coaxed into benign sublimity by other conductors when it comes to Debussy, the listener is forced to realize the enormous inventiveness Debussy had to get his musical ideas across. You discover Debussy is not just another cleverly skilled orchestrator, e.g., Rimsky-Korsakov, but one of the greatest composers who ever lived. The DG recording process, of course, is without peer, and the Cleveland Orchestra, naturally, plays superbly. But Boulez's way with his fellow Frenchman is simply uncanny. It might not be as beautfilly done as say Toscanini, Reiner, Karajan or Stokowski would. But if Boulez's real aim is to present Debussy clearly, effectively and without distorted tempis, he has succeeded immensely. Boulez's other recent DG recording with the Cleveland Orchestra with La Mer and Jeux is just as fine.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonic splendor. January 6, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Debussy's orchestral works provide some of the most alluring and luscious sounds in all music. Sonority and textual clarity are wonderfully impressive in this recording of three of them conducted by Pierre Boulez. The Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune - occupying from eight to eleven minutes in the various versions in my collection - runs for nearly nine minutes here. Alert listeners might recognize the English folk song "The Keel Row" darting in and out of the dance that opens Images. I especially like Printemps, the earliest known Debussy orchestral work, dating from his 25th year. In this work, the orchestral forces include a piano.

The Cleveland Orchestra under the French conductor was recorded by the German DGG technicians in Cleveland in March 1991.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I'm not surprised that Boulez's Debussy is greeted with utmost praise by a circle of critics, including Amazon's, who barely seem to have listened to it. Are they really in love with such cool, detached performances? Boulez has a relationship with the Cleveland Orch. that goes back decades, and the precision and clarity of these readings is beyond reproach. So is DG's detailed sound, which applies x-ray vision to Debussy's very beautiful orchestrations.

But this version of Afternoon of a Faun couldn't be less erotic. The solo flute follows Boulez's lead with a straitlaced reading that doesn't remotely evoke the awakening of a pagan creature on a sultry day. It's more like the ice cream truck moving slowly down the street. The expansive canvas of Images has always been a tough sell when performed as a whole. The first two parts are by far the most popular. Gigues vaguely evokes jigs from the British Isles and is based on Debussy's memories of England. Iberia, in three movements, is Spanish filtered through Debussy's very un-Spanish imaginaiton, with delicate evocations of lingering perfume, nights in the garden, and dances heard from a distance. It's the third section if Images, Rondes de printemps, that taxes the listener, its three parts being amorphous, although two are based on actual French folk songs. Even when isolated and programmed on its own, this section offers no real anchor, either to spring or round dances.

In the best performances these impressionistic "images" are fleshed out with drama, color, and strong rhythms. Compared to the superlative James Levine account on Sony with the Berlin Phil., Boulez's England and Spain are too neutral and lack color.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Too Seldom Recorded 'Printemps' April 13, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Pierre Boulez may not be everyone's ideal of an impressionist conductor (think Charles Münch) but when it comes to allowing the inner ear to appreciate the intricacies of why Debussy was such a profound influence on contemporary music, Boulez (and Esa-Pekka Salonen) are the maestros to address.

After experiencing a performance by Salonen and the LA Phil of the 'Printemps' (perfection!) the question arises 'why are there so very few recordings of this early work by Debussy?'. While there are many recordings of the other two works on this CD, there are only a few worthy samples of 'Printemps'. The work is a suite in two parts: though Debussy loathed the idea of putting word descriptors for his tone poems, he claimed this work was not about 'Spring' but instead about the creation of life and then a celebration of that creation. The first movement opens with a piano four-hands melody that is slowly absorbed by the entire (large) orchestra. Once the melody has bloomed into full embodiment of life, the second movement uses the motifs to create a sensuous dance.

Boulez finds the subtleties in this youthful work, pointing out how Debussy's gifts were present from the beginning and what better way to make his point than to join the 'Printemps' with the later 'Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune' and 'Images'. The Cleveland Orchestra responds to Boulez in a fluid and otherworldly sound. This is a fine recording and given the paucity of other examples of 'Printemps' it is one of the best. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, April 07
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of what we hear today.
This is a great recording to keep you listening. The harmonies that we hear in Debussy are very much a part of modern music of all types, not only classical. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Steven A. Blomerth DC
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifly Played Impressionistic Music
No one can interpret French Impressionistic music like Pierre Boulez. You can hear the smallest of expressions of the orchestra as demanded by Mr. Boulez. Read more
Published 10 months ago by aardvark
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, precise Debussy by Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra
Pierre Boulez is known as a conductor who emphasizes precision and a certain level of detachment in his interpretation. Read more
Published on November 22, 2011 by jt52
5.0 out of 5 stars Debussy: Images
Debussy: Images is a 1992 Deutsche Grammophon recording featuring the Cleveland Orchestra being led by Pierre Boulez. Jeremy Noble has written the music notes. Read more
Published on October 28, 2011 by Bjorn Viberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Debussy's innovative music in rich sound and transparent conducting
This Deutsche Grammophon CD represents Pierre Boulez's early 1990s approach to conducting the music of Claude Debussy. Read more
Published on September 6, 2011 by Christopher Culver
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Debussy recording
Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra deliver another top shelf performance. Having purchased Boulez other Debussy recording on DG with the Cleveland Orchestra (which i... Read more
Published on May 18, 2011 by Alexandre Dufresne
5.0 out of 5 stars REAWAKENING
Spring is the world reborn according to an exuberant mediaeval Latin poem the Pervigilium Veneris - ver renatus orbis est. Read more
Published on February 3, 2010 by DAVID BRYSON
4.0 out of 5 stars Debussy Through the Magnifying Glass
One is immediately impressed with the recording quality here -- vivid, up-close and intimate -- combined with precise ensemble playing which allows the various shimmering colors of... Read more
Published on June 1, 2008 by Moldyoldie
5.0 out of 5 stars A great item to add to your collection
This is a lovely album and the Deutsche Grammopon label are of wonderful quality with always great orchestral arrangements. Read more
Published on April 23, 2008 by Amanda J. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars love this CD
I used it in the hospital for the birth of my second child. Its that uplifting, magical, transporting and inspiring. Now I use it in the nursery for naptimes.
Published on February 2, 2007 by JKW
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