Debussy: Orchestral Works, Vol. 4

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)

Orchestral Works, Vol. 4 – Le martyre de St. Sebastien / Khamma / Le roi Lear

Orchestre National de Lyon • Jun Märkl

[audio:|titles=Debussy: Le Martyre de St. Sebastien]

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

The fourth volume in Naxos’s highly praised series of Debussy’s Orchestral Works presents music drawn from three of his theatrical ventures and from one of his Prix de Rome entries. The prelude, fanfares and four symphonic fragments from Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien were taken for concert performance from Debussy’s incidental music for Gabriele D’Annunzio’s scandalous mystery play. While rarely heard today, the ‘danced legend’ Khamma, set in ancient Egypt, and incidental music for Shakespeare’s King Lear, provide suitably atmospheric music, as do the Cortège et air de danse from The Prodigal Son, the cantata which gained Debussy the Prix de Rome in 1884.

Naxos 8.572297

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


“Märkl draws beautiful playing from the Lyon orchestra.”
BBC Music Magazine, five stars, January 2011

“The performance conveys the music’s subtle seductiveness with a sure and refined sense of colour”
Gramophone, November 2010

“Debussy’s music is notoriously difficult to bring off convincingly, which makes Märkl’s achievement all the more remarkable. Played like this, with every phrase pulsating with life-enhancing radiance and choreographic intensity, these magical scores caress the senses as rarely before.

…Even bearing in mind classic recordings from the likes of Karajan and Haitink, Jun Märkl is a master Debussyan, who captures the magical half-lights of these scores with a rare instinct for colour and texture.”
Classic FM Magazine ‘Editor’s Choice’, five stars, November 2010

“…the music’s sensuous colouring shows Debussy inspired, the orchestral playing echoing his finesse.”
The Telegraph, September 2010


United Kingdom