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Discussion: Debussy: Nocturnes, La Mer, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun - Järvi

Posts: 3

Post by csuzor May 30, 2005 (1 of 3)
This Debussy release on Telarc is wonderful, but I don't understand the opening track "Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune", where the 2 url links below suggest that the opening flute is in solo, or almost, and to me the sound is a mix with a violin... Is this purely a flute? What type of flute? I expected the flute to sound more "windy" than this somewhat "stringy" sound...
This album will take some time to fully understand, it's all about emotions rather than melodies.

Post by ramesh June 2, 2005 (2 of 3)
I don't have the Jarvi SACD, having bought the Haitink SACD of his 1976 recording, which I plan to review later.
The score is marked for solo flute, nothing else till clarinets, oboes, horns and harp enter later. The review of the SACD in the International Record Review didn't mention any tampering with the score. It's possible the richer harmonic content of the SACD layer suggests another instrument in the mix. The May 2000 issue of "Gramophone" has a nice succinct 2 page article on the Prélude, as well as correctly pointing out that Debussy's orchestral music is inspired more by the Symbolist movement (especially in literature), rather than painterly Impressionism, as is so often lazily mentioned.

Post by csuzor June 2, 2005 (3 of 3)
Yes, thanks, I understand now that the flute is solo only for 20s, then the harp comes in, and other instruments join to complement the flute (I can't distinguish which of clarinets oboes horns, but they're there). Maybe some strings a little later as well?
This album really does provide an enjoyable moment, in hirez surround.