Debussy: Nuages; Fetes (Nocturnes); Prélude a l’apres-midi d’unfaune; Le Martyre de Saint-Sébastien, frag ments symphoniques; La mer

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COMPOSERS: Debussy
LABELS: Testament
WORKS: Nuages; Fetes (Nocturnes); Prélude a l’apres-midi d’unfaune; Le Martyre de Saint-Sébastien, frag ments symphoniques; La mer
PERFORMER: Philharmonia/Guido Cantelli
CATALOGUE NO: SBT 1011 ADD mono
The Italian conductor Guido Cantelli was a reputed perfectionist who would spend hours working to get the detail of a page, even a bar, right. When he recorded Nuages and Fetes (less than 13 minutes of music), it took all of three days and 20 takes.

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The present digitally remastered reissue brings together Cantelli’s justly famous HMV Debussy recordings made between 1954 and 1955. There is impeccable playing here, glorious imagination and an intuitive understanding of the Debussy style – plus a depth to the recorded sound to shame many a modern digital stereo ‘spectacular’. Cantelli has been accused of having been more interested in precision than poetry. The passion and vibrancy of these performances clearly suggest otherwise. Ates Orga