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Cat. No. CHAN 10144(4) X Price: £16.8 No. of discs: 4
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CHAN 10144 - Debussy: Complete Works for Orchestra
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Audio Sample

Available From: 14 November 2003
Chandos’ long and fruitful association with Yan Pascal Tortelier began in 1989 when he was appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Ulster Orchestra. Son of the late, great Paul Tortelier, Yan Pascal was already being hailed as one of the most exciting conductors to emerge from France in recent years. His work with the Ulster Orchestra consolidated his reputation, for during his four year tenure he significantly raised the orchestra’s profile. His contribution to the musical life of Northern Ireland was acknowledged by the presentation of an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Ulster.

‘Apart from the fact that they are a wonderful orchestra’ said Tortelier, ‘there just seems to be this chemistry between us.’

Tortelier’s passion for his native French repertoire, and for Debussy in particular, is evident in an interview of the time:

‘There is more of a mystery about Debussy than there is about Ravel… Ravel communicates directly, but the mature Debussy demands a greater level of concentration and thought… Debussy evokes the mystery of Spain in Iberia, whereas in Rhapsodie espagnol, Ravel is more the magician…’

Tortelier’s major project during his tenure was a survey of Debussy’s and Ravel’s complete orchestral works. ‘For someone of my age’ Tortelier said afterwards (he was, at the time, in his forties) ‘this was truly extraordinary – many of my older French colleagues hardly have the chance to do half this repertoire’. The recordings constituted the summit of his achievement with the Ulster Orchestra, as is evident from the reviews they received. Chandos is proud to make them available once more on its Chandos Classics label.

…recordings which generally represent the state of the art. There are excellent soloists in the concertante works. The subtlety and atmosphere of La boîte à joujoux are captured splendidly, and the concertante works are equally sensitive… very desirable indeed.
The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs

…the best Debussy cycle to appear in the CD era… Playing combines flair, care and great musical enjoyment.
BBC Music Magazine

What a glorious instrument the Ulster Orchestra is in Torteliers hands – eloquent principals in every section and supple consummate ensemble in this most subtle and flexible of repertoire…
American Record Guide


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