Stéphane Denève / Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Stéphane Denève Conducts Debussy

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Stéphane Denève has established himself as a versatile maestro with a highly varied repertoire, from concert fare to operas, but his recordings have revealed him to be a specialist in French orchestral music, notably in his coverage of works by Albert Roussel and Guillaume Connesson. This double hybrid SACD from Chandos offers Denève's interpretations of the orchestral works of Claude Debussy, and the lavishly detailed and expressive performances by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra show a conductor and an orchestra in complete sympathy with the music. Because the presentation by Chandos is first-rate from an audiophile perspective, with spectacular reproduction and close-up, credible presence, the listener is immersed in Debussy's dazzling colors from the opening of Images, and surrounded by fully dimensional sonorities throughout the album, which includes such other masterpieces of impressionist music as Jeux, Nocturnes, La Mer, Printemps, and Prélude à l'après-midi d'une faune. When the clarity of the notes, the richness of the timbres, and the depth of the orchestra's sound are appreciated altogether, it's truly a seductive experience, and Debussy's lush and atmospheric music achieves its potential in this impressive package. Indeed, it's difficult to pull away from these gorgeous performances, so prepare to listen to both SACDs in one long, leisurely sitting. It's that good.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Images, pour orchestra
1 7:39
2 7:25
3 8:28
4 4:28
5 8:04
Jeux
6 2:12
7 1:01 Amazon
8 1:15 Amazon
9 1:27
10 2:15 Amazon
11 2:21
12 1:41
13 1:39 Amazon
14 2:52 Amazon
15 0:54
Nocturnes
16 7:31
17 6:26
18 10:17
blue highlight denotes track pick