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Reviews: Debussy: La Mer, Dutilleux: L'arbre des songes, Ravel: La valse - Sitkovetsky, Jansons

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Review by willemvoorneveld June 28, 2012 (9 of 12 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
A new release of Debussyís La Mer and Ravelís La Valse is not a daring undertaken for a label, but adding a relatively new and unknown work from Henry Dutilleux deserves praise. This SACD issue contains Dutilleux's semi violin concerto LíArbre des Songes (Finished in 1985). Different from a normal Violin Concerto, the violin part is fully integrated in the structure of the overall orchestral structure. Furthermore the inclusion and frequent use of chimes, antique cymbals, celesta and harp and cimbalom create a very special atmosphere. Dutilleux does not belong to a certain school or style group, but I had little difficulty to determine his French roots. This music is full of colour and variation and intellectual and at the same time not difficult to appreciate.

From the very first bar it is clear that Mariss Jansons believes in this music. He kept me nailed to my preferred listening seat for the full 27 minutes. Also La Mer from Debussy gets a very intense and intelligent reading and the Concertgebouw orchestra provide for a very warm tonal balance.

The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is my home-base symphony hall so listening to this SACD recording is like coming home. In general I believe that SACD Multichannel is currently the best possible audio format to recreate a live performance experience at home and this recording is proof of that statement. The Hall acoustics sound very familiar to me, low end is never dry and violins sound clear and never harsh. Low end and dynamic range on this recording are impressive. A Polyhymnia top production.

Wv.

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