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Debussy: Le martyre de Saint Sébastien

Price: £14.82 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Performer: Isabelle Huppert, Sophie Marin-Degor, Kate Aldrich, Christine Knorren, Choeur de Radio France
  • Orchestra: Orchestre National de France
  • Conductor: Daniele Gatti
  • Composer: Claude Debussy
  • Audio CD (7 May 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Formation Musical Radio France
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 426,929 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. La cour des lys 1Isabelle Huppert 5:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. La cour des lys 2Isabelle Huppert 3:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. La cour des lys 3Isabelle Huppert 6:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. La chambre magique 1Isabelle Huppert 3:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. La chambre magique 2Isabelle Huppert 1:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. La chambre magique 3Isabelle Huppert 4:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Le concile des faux-dieux 1Isabelle Huppert 1:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Le concile des faux-dieux 2Isabelle Huppert0:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Le concile des faux-dieux 3Isabelle Huppert0:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Le concile des faux-dieux 4Isabelle Huppert 9:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Le concile des faux-dieux 5Isabelle Huppert 1:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Le concile des faux-dieux 6Isabelle Huppert0:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Le concile des faux-dieux 7Isabelle Huppert 3:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Le laurier blessé 1Isabelle Huppert 2:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Le laurier blessé 2Isabelle Huppert 3:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Le laurier blessé 3Isabelle Huppert 6:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. La paradis 1Isabelle Huppert 1:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. La paradis 2Isabelle Huppert 6:38£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

CD Description

Since the first performance of Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien on May 22nd, 1911, there has been much speculation about the reasons which could have led Debussy to compose incidental music for the play of Gabriele d'Annunzio and about the validity and authenticity of the musical work. Granted, the circumstances in which the piece was created are grounds for suspicion. The fact that in 1910 Debussy was going through a difficult period financially could have led him to commit, through Gabriel Astruc, to an endeavor he himself considered particularly perilous: the contract was signed on December 9th, but the first performance was scheduled for the month of May, and the text only to be completed at the beginning of March. Debussy therefore only had a few weeks to write "a score for which he should, normally, have allowed himself a year" (Claude Debussy to Comoedia), and he was obliged to solicit the assistance of his friend Andre Caplet. Is the work to be considered therefore as under par? For Leon Vallas, who has already answered this question, there was "extreme haste, but nothing was botched, far from it! This is rapid, feverish work, done with constant, continuous meditation." Caplet's role was two-fold; he was both the conductor and the specialised copyist, entrusted with the job of tidying Debussy's initial drafts and developing them according to the composer's instructions. As wrote Kasaba, in this collaboration, "Caplet can be considered as a simple double of Debussy. The indications and modifications added by Debussy to parts written by Caplet confirm the former's constant vigilance." No doubt prevails therefore, neither about the authenticity of the score, nor about its composer's sincerity. Vuillermoz, who was present at the work's first performance, recalls how moved Debussy was when, for the first time, he saw "materialize beneath his eyes the enchanted harmonic palace for which he had drawn up the plans.[...] Debussy, extremely modest and undemonstrative when it came to showing his feelings, Debussy, the cynic, the critic, ironic and scathing, was unable to keep up his usual front and, quite simply, wept. That was, assuredly, a unique moment in his artistic evolution."


'the choral singing is exquisite...Disquieting and very, very fine.'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Gifford on 6 Aug 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I waited for delivery of this recording with much excitement as this rarely performed work contains some wonderful music, and Gatti is a conductor I much admire.
However, it was a disappointment on two counts. Firstly, the recording of the soloists is far too close and there is little sense of space around the orchestral sound. It is boxy and restricted.
Secondly, the performance was rather lacking in atmosphere; often missing the hierarchical sense of mystery that is so unique to this piece.Undoubtedly, the recording quality didn't help but, when compared to the Tilson Thomas / LSO recording, I think much of the blame does lie with Gatti's often pedestrian interpretation.
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