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  • Le Livre de la Jungle (The Jungle Book)
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Le Livre de la Jungle (The Jungle Book)

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Audio CD, August 8, 1994
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$18.49 $14.00

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Product Details

  • Performer: Charles Koechlin, Leif Segerstam, Rheinland-Pfalz Philharmonic
  • Audio CD (August 8, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B0000045ZG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,351 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G.D. VINE VOICE on March 13, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Charles Koechlin's Jungle Book is a work of striking originality and impact, and the reason it is so rarely performed is probably due more to its scope, the large forces it requires and the enormous demands for virtuosity it puts on the players than doubts about the quality. Even Marco Polo cheats - and this is the main drawback of this recording - by eschewing the choral scenes; that makes the maimed work fit on a single disc, but also makes it uncompetitive compared to, say, Zinman's recording for RCA (the work consists of four symphonic poems and three songs - what we have here is, in other words, the symphonic poems). That said, the work still retains its impact, intoxicating colors and a harmonic and melodic profile that doesn't quite sound like anything else. It is a complex work and not an easy one for the listener with Koechlin's complex impressionism (short snippets of melody and rhythm emerging from a subtly morphing background tapestry of sound, then receding, is a recurring impression of the music), and forays into free atonality, sounding at times almost like Webern, but always with warmth, brilliance lushness and opulence.

So how does the performances fare? Really well, in fact. The Rheinland-Pfalz Philharmonic is one of the best orchestras Marco Polo has used with some regularity - they are generally clearly up to the task (a few moments of insecurity apart) and capture the subtly variegated textures and delicate sonorities very impressively. Segerstam leads a sensitive and compelling performance with full attention to the organic growth of the music. I cannot say that I have heard many competing versions of this work, but performancewise this one seems very competitive. The sound quality is pretty good as well, and overall I don't think anyone could possibly be disappointed by this release - if they know in advance that the songs are cut. And that is my main reason for withholding one star from this impressive performance of this intoxicating work.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harry Rolnick on February 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a music critic, I hear Koechlin rarely in New York, yet he was an exceptional orchestrator with some very delicate good writing, so well worth the price
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