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La Mer / Ma Mère l’Oye

Het Gelders Orkest / Antonello Manacorda

La Mer / Ma Mère l’Oye

Price: € 20.95
Format: SACD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917275728
Catnr: CC 72757
Release date: 03 November 2017
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917275728
Catalogue number
CC 72757
Release date
03 November 2017

" It’s a good performance. It’s moderately paced and clearly recorded."

Fanfare, 02-7-2018
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Artist(s)
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About the album

The bulk of La mer was composed during a visit to Burgundy – a long way from the nearest sea – although the work was completed in the English seaside town of Eastbourne. The composer himself argued that his inspiration was drawn from a range of ocean view paintings and from literature in which the sea played a major part. Debussy described the work as 'Three symphonic sketches for orchestra' (Trois esquisses symphoniques pour orchestre), thus avoiding the term 'symphony', which would have imposed a specific musical structure, as well as the expression 'symphonic poem', which would imply that the music was descriptive in nature. 'Sketches' was a wise choice, precisely because it neatly conveys that the music is meant to do no more than provide an impression.

Whereas Debussy occupied himself spontaneously and intuitively with looking for new sounds, Ravel placed much more emphasis on the effect that the sounds could have in the context of a musical story.

One of these dazzling impressionist tales was the suite Mother Goose (Ma mère l’Oye). Between 1908 and 1910, he wrote a simple suite of piano pieces for four hands for the children of some friends, inspired by a few fairy tales that he took in part from the Tales of Mother Goose by Charles Perrault. Albeit the music was not technically difficult, the subtlety of the sound and melodies imbued the work with extreme refinement. This became clearly evident when he subsequently arranged to work for orchestra, refining the music even further with the larger orchestral sound palette. Ravel used this orchestral version in 1912 for a ballet.
Twee hoogtepunten uit het Franse impressionisme
Debussy componeerde het grootste gedeelte van La Mer tijdens een bezoek aan Bourgondië - een flink eind weg van de dichtsbijzijnde zee - maar de componist zelf stelde dat zijn grootste bron van inspiratie een serie schilderijen van de zee was. Debussy beschreef het werk als drie symfonische schetsen voor orkest, om ze de term 'symfonie' te vermijden, aangezien daar een specifieke muzikale structuur aan verbonden is. Ook vermeed hij de term 'symfonisch gedicht' omdat dat een afbeelding van de natuur zou implicieren, terwijl Debussy slechts een impressie wilde achterlaten.

Daar waar Debussy zich richtte op een spontane en intuitieve compositie van nieuwe geluiden, legde Ravel meer de nadruk op het effect van de compositie binnen de content van een muzikaal verhaal. Eén van die geweldige impressionistische verhalen was de suite van Moeder de Gans (Ma mère l’Oye). Ondanks dat de muziek op technisch gebied niet heel complex is, maakt de subtiele bewerking van klankkleuren en melodiën het werk bijzonder verfijnd.
Der Großteil von La mer entstand während eines Besuches in Burgund – weit entfernt vom Meer – und wurde in der englischen Küstenstadt Eastbourne abgeschlossen. Der Komponist selbst erklärte, dass er von einer Reihe Gemälde mit Meerblick sowie von Literatur zu diesem Werk inspiriert wurde, in der das Meer eine gewichtige Rolle spielt. Debussy beschrieb es als „drei symphonische Skizzen für Orchester“ (Trois esquisses symhoniques pour orchestre) und vermied somit den Terminus der Symphonie, der eine spezifische musikalische Struktur vorgegeben hätte. Ebenso vermeidet er den Begriff der symphonischen Dichtung, die implizieren würde, dass die Musik deskriptiver Natur sei. „Skizzen“ war dahingehend eine weise Wortwahl, besonders da sie verdeutlicht, dass die Musik lediglich einen Eindruck verschaffen soll.

Wo Debussy sich spontan und intuitiv mit der Suche nach neuen Klängen beschäftigte, legte Ravel mehr Gewicht auf die Wirkung, die diese Klänge im Kontext einer musikalischen Geschichte haben konnten. Einer dieser umwerfenden, impressionistischen Erzählungen war die Suite Mutter Gans (Ma mère l’Oye). Zwischen 1908 und 1910 schrieb er eine einfache Suite für Klavier zu vier Händen für die Kinder eines befreundeten Paares, inspiriert von Märchen, die er teilweise aus Charles Perraults Mutter Gans hatte. Obwohl die Musik technisch nicht sehr anspruchsvoll war, verlieh die Subtilität des Klangs und der Melodien dem Werk äußerste Eleganz. Dies wurde vor allem deutlich, als er die Komposition im Folgenden für Orchester arrangierte und die Musik mit größerer orchestraler Klangpalette verfeinerte. Ravel nutzte seine Orchesterfassung 1912 für ein Ballett.

Artist(s)

Het Gelders Orkest

Firmly rooted in Gelderland and Dutch society Het Gelders Orkest (HGO) gives a large number of concerts per season on the important stages in the Netherlands. In addition, the orchestra likes to showcase touring and concerts abroad. The Gelders Orkest is one of the most active Dutch orchestras and fulfills an ambassador role at home and abroad. This makes Het Gelders Orkest one of the top orchestras in the Netherlands. Passion is a key concept for Het Gelders Orkest. It invests in the development of creativity and dynamism and knows how to bind young and talented musicians. Conductors who regularly visited HGO from the nineties are, among others, Bernard Klee, Hans Vonk, Jaap van Zweden, Roy Goodman and Reinbert de...
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Firmly rooted in Gelderland and Dutch society Het Gelders Orkest (HGO) gives a large number of concerts per season on the important stages in the Netherlands. In addition, the orchestra likes to showcase touring and concerts abroad. The Gelders Orkest is one of the most active Dutch orchestras and fulfills an ambassador role at home and abroad. This makes Het Gelders Orkest one of the top orchestras in the Netherlands. Passion is a key concept for Het Gelders Orkest. It invests in the development of creativity and dynamism and knows how to bind young and talented musicians. Conductors who regularly visited HGO from the nineties are, among others, Bernard Klee, Hans Vonk, Jaap van Zweden, Roy Goodman and Reinbert de Leeuw. The Gelders Orkest works frequently with young conductors such as Antonello Manacorda, Sascha Goetzel, Jakub Hrusa and Damian Iorio. Also soloists like Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Leif Ove Andsnes, Zoltán Kocsis, Nikolaj Znaider, Akiko Suwanai, Maxim Vengerov, Natalia Gutman, Quirine Viersen, Christian Lindberg and Radovan Vlatkovic like to perform with Het Gelders Orkest. The symphonic concerts make the versatile classical repertoire accessible, while the intimate chamber concerts bring musicians and audiences closer together. The orchestra also wants to pass on the passion for live classical music to a young audience. That is why it organizes a large number of family concerts, educational concerts and special participation projects for amateurs every season. In addition, it records several (live) CDs annually. The orchestra feels supported in its mission by a loyal audience and an ever-growing group of Friends, Partners and Patrons.

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Antonello Manacorda (conductor)

Antonello Manacorda is currently Artistic Director of Kammerakademie Potsdam, a position he has held since 2010. He has been Principal Conductor of the Het Gelders Orkest in the Netherlands since 2011 – a position he bids farewell to in the 2018-19 season. He was Principal Conductor of I Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan from 2006-10. In addition to his two current positions, Manacorda also has guest conducting relationships which include the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana and the Tapiola Sinfonietta. He has also worked with a number of other orchestras including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Symphony. In January 2015 Antonello Manacorda made his debut at the Salzburg Mozartwoche with the Mozarteumorchester...
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Antonello Manacorda is currently Artistic Director of Kammerakademie Potsdam, a position he has held since 2010. He has been Principal Conductor of the Het Gelders Orkest in the Netherlands since 2011 – a position he bids farewell to in the 2018-19 season. He was Principal Conductor of I Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan from 2006-10.

In addition to his two current positions, Manacorda also has guest conducting relationships which include the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana and the Tapiola Sinfonietta. He has also worked with a number of other orchestras including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Symphony.

In January 2015 Antonello Manacorda made his debut at the Salzburg Mozartwoche with the Mozarteumorchester in a performance of Schubert’s Alfonso und Estrella followed by an appearance at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in a programme of Strauss and Stravinsky. In February 2014 he conducted a Beethoven Cycle over four consecutive days in Potsdam with Kammerakademie Potsdam, while in April he conducted a performance of Mendelssohn’s complete Midsummer Night’s Dream which was broadcast live from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Manacorda is currently engaged in recording a Schubert Symphony cycle for Sony Classical with the Kammerakademie Potsdam. The recordings have been met with high praise, including one being listed in Die Welt’s top ten CDs of 2013. He has also recently recorded a CD of Mahler’s 4th Symphony with Het Gelders Orkest and soprano Lisa Larsson, which was released in November 2014 by Challenge Records.

With a strong experience in opera as well as symphonic repertoire, in December 2014 Manacorda conducted Kammerakademie Potsdam’s Winter Opera production of Mozart’s La Betulia Liberata to great critical acclaim. He also has a long-standing relationship with Teatro La Fenice, and the director Damiano Michieletto, and will be returning to La Fenice in November 2015 to conduct The Magic Flute. Future opera collaborations include La Monnaie, Theater an der Wien, Komische Oper Berlin and Frankfurt Opera.

A founder-member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra Antonello Manacorda was its vice-president and concertmaster for eight years. A scholarship from De Sono in his home town of Turin allowed him to pursue his goal of becoming a conductor by enabling him to study with Jorma Panula for two years in Helsinki. From 2003-06 he was Artistic Director for chamber music at the Académie Européenne de Musique du Festival d’Aix en Provence.


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Composer(s)

Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy was a French composer. He and Maurice Ravel were the most prominent figures associated with impressionist music, though Debussy disliked the term when applied to his compositions. He was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1903. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and his use of non-traditional scales and chromaticism influenced many composers who followed. Debussy's music is noted for its sensory content and frequent usage of non-traditional tonalities. The prominent French literary style of his period was known as Symbolism, and this movement directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant Among his most famous works are his Clair de Lune, his Three Nocturnes...
more

Claude Debussy was a French composer. He and Maurice Ravel were the most prominent figures associated with impressionist music, though Debussy disliked the term when applied to his compositions. He was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1903. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and his use of non-traditional scales and chromaticism influenced many composers who followed.
Debussy's music is noted for its sensory content and frequent usage of non-traditional tonalities. The prominent French literary style of his period was known as Symbolism, and this movement directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant Among his most famous works are his Clair de Lune, his Three Nocturnes and his orchestral piece La Mer.


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Maurice Ravel

Joseph Maurice Ravel was a French composer who is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer. Born to a music-loving family, Ravel attended France's premier music college, the Paris Conservatoire; he was not well regarded by its conservative establishment, whose biased treatment of him caused a scandal. After leaving the Conservatoire Ravel found his own way as a composer, developing a style of great clarity, incorporating elements of baroque, neoclassicism and, in his later works, jazz. He liked to experiment with musical form, as in his best-known work, Boléro (1928), in which repetition takes the place of...
more
Joseph Maurice Ravel was a French composer who is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer.
Born to a music-loving family, Ravel attended France's premier music college, the Paris Conservatoire; he was not well regarded by its conservative establishment, whose biased treatment of him caused a scandal. After leaving the Conservatoire Ravel found his own way as a composer, developing a style of great clarity, incorporating elements of baroque, neoclassicism and, in his later works, jazz. He liked to experiment with musical form, as in his best-known work, Boléro (1928), in which repetition takes the place of development. He made some orchestral arrangements of other composers' music, of which his 1922 version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is the best known.
As a slow and painstaking worker, Ravel composed fewer pieces than many of his contemporaries. Among his works to enter the repertoire are pieces for piano, chamber music, two piano concertos, ballet music, two operas, and eight song cycles; he wrote no symphonies and only one religious work. Many of his works exist in two versions: a first, piano score and a later orchestration. Some of his piano music, such as Gaspard de la nuit (1908), is exceptionally difficult to play, and his complex orchestral works such as Daphnis et Chloé (1912) require skilful balance in performance.

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Press

 It’s a good performance. It’s moderately paced and clearly recorded.
Fanfare, 02-7-2018

Because of the tension that Manacorda builds, I have been listening to bated breath from the very first moment ... This recording is a must!
Luister, 09-3-2018

The Gelders Orchestra plays Debussy and Ravel on the brink of sublime.
De Volkskrant, 02-3-2018

This Manacorda is a amazing good conductor.
De Groene Amsterdammer, 17-1-2018

Spectacular recording.
HRAudio, 08-12-2017

Antonello Manacorda succeeds in breathing new life into both of these works. La Mer is turned into a fantastic, mystic and Scriabin-like music, and Ma Mère l’Oye is wonderfully fairy. Obviously, Manacorda is inspired by the mysteries that drive creative forces. Great sound too!
Pizzicato, 06-12-2017

Born in Turin and European by vocation, Antonello Manacorda is an important conductor that Italy has exported in the international scene.
Amadeus Magazine, 01-12-2017

That this conductor understands this music is also apparent from the fact that he does not do the subtleties oversubtly or too businesslike, but treats them as structural factors.
Opus Klassiek, 30-11-2017

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