Debussy – Preludes, Book 2

The very difficulties that made Debussy’s second book of Preludes seem confusing in 1913 are those that make them so appreciated today. They are clearly 20th century and their disjointed, episodic character, moving in fits and starts between fragmented ideas, looks forward to a sound world in the 1920s that Debussy never lived to see…

Debussy – Images

This latest in Sir Mark’s recordings of Debussy’s orchestral works is another fine example of his ability to give shape to the music and not be distracted into letting glossy sound take away from these magnificent pieces of mood painting. He allows the music space, nothing is rushed – indeed Ibéria’s streets are full of rather stately citizens, their brass chorales and arabic timbres pointed out on a good humoured stroll. The perfumed night is langorous and sensuously exotic, the festival morning opens without too much haste then, as if the townspeople suddenly realise what day it is, hurl themselves out of bed, grab a coffee, and prepare for the fun to come…

The Lyrical Clarinet Vol. 3

When composers play or conduct they seldom get sentimental. They rely on the quality of the music to make the emotional points rather than trying to drag every breath of pathos out of the phrasing. Ades approaches Janacek with just that balance between affection and respect. These pieces, the best of the Moravian’s piano music, come across as beautifully articulated essays, serious reflections on some harrowing events that at the same time need no narrative to stand as introspective masterpieces. There is plenty of drama, no showmanship or virtuosity for its own sake….


Sir Mark has long been an exceptional conductor of Debussy’s music. He is one of the few who convey a sense of the architecture, its overall sweep, while taking intricate care of the detail. That skill is well evident here, not only in the familiar territory of the Nocturnes but in the much more rarely performed works that make up half this disc….