Debussy: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)

Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 – La mer / Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune / Jeux

Orchestre National de Lyon • Jun Märkl

[audio:|titles=Debussy La Mer (extract)]

Listen to an extract from Debussy’s La Mer, recorded for the Naxos label by the Orchestre National de Lyon and conducted by Jun Märkl.

Debussy was one of the most important and influential composers of the early twentieth century. This recording features two of Debussy’s most harmonically innovative and imaginatively orchestrated works. Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun) evokes a pagan world, as the faun of the title takes his ease in the afternoon shade on a summer day. The three symphonic sketches that constitute La mer (The Sea), inspired partly by Katsushika Hokusai’s famous colour woodcut The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, offer subtly nuanced evocations of the sea from dawn to midday, of the waves and of the dialogue of wind and sea.

Naxos 8.570759

The streaming of the music here is available with the kind permission of Naxos.


“Jun Märkl creates a deeply sensual, headily intoxicating soundscape… His supple handling of phrasing, rhythm, texture and dynamics coalesces into ecstatic sequences…

No less remarkable is Märkl’s handling of the three ‘symphonic sketches’ that constitute La mer, throughout which he hypnotically translates the play of light on the water into musical sound so exotically enticing that it feels as though one could reach out and touch it.

One of the finest discs Naxos has ever released.”
Classic FM MagazineOrchestral disc of the month, July 2008

“L’atmosphere de sensualite intime et discrete etablie par Jun Maerkl et ses musiciens est toujours parfaitement controlee, portee par un gout de l’epure que le chef partage avec Kent Nagano; chaque section a une place claire, l’arriere-plan demeure toujours lisible.”

“The atmosphere of intimate and discrete sensuality established by Jun Maerkl and his musicians is always perfectly controlled, carried by a taste for which the conductor shares with Kent Nagano; each section clearly has its place and the overall structure is always visible.”
Diapason, June 2008


United Kingdom