Formed in 1974, the Junge Deutsch Philharmonie is one of the longest-standing and most successful youth orchestras in Europe. Going far beyond merely assembling a body of talented young artists for performances purposes, the ensemble's members receive hands-on experience learning about a professional orchestra's inner and behind the scenes workings. Made up of musicians aged 18-28 years, the JDP puts forth polished performances that can easily match or rival many of the world's orchestras. This OEHMS Classics disc finds the ensemble tackling three sophisticated early 20th century works with close ties to ballet. The program is filled with contrasts, and so too are the performances by the JDP. The group delivers a suave, fluid, almost weightless sense to Debussy's Prelude à l'après-midi d'un faune. The playing is technically superb, and under the leadership of conductor Andrey Boreyko, the interpretation is mature and rewarding. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the gratifying moments of vehemence found in Bartók's suite from the Miraculous Mandarin. The JDP produces rhythmically tight, precise playing, a big, well-articulated sound, and an energetic drive that makes this recording of Bartók's work as satisfying as virtually any other. OEHMS' sound is a bit timid, requiring some cranking to hear some of the softer moments, but is otherwise clear and detailed.
AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell