I could paste Mandryka's above post for my own here, as I totally agree with him. After Inghelbrecht (& Ansermet), I too find Baudo's conducting of this score to be more insightful than Desormiere, Abbado, Haitink, Dutoit, Karajan, and Boulez--who are nevertheless very fine Debussy conductors. If one compares how Baudo handles the opening of the score, it becomes immediately apparent that he has a deeper emotional understanding of the music than the other conductors, who in comparison seem to gloss over the orchestral opening more matter of factly. Among modern recordings, Abbado is probably closest to Baudo in this regard, but even he doesn't find the same depth of feeling.
Which is not to say that I can't also sometimes find Dutoit's icy cool approach to be fascinating as well. Dutoit's austere view of the score produces an orchestral clarity that can be very mysterious at times. Yet ultimately, I prefer the Baudo's greater warmth & emotional impact.
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