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Debussy: La Mer / Ravel: Ma Mere l'Oye, La Valse

Myung-Whun Chung Audio CD

Price: £14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Conducting now fully occupies his professional life, Chung (born 1953 in Seoul) made his debut as pianist with the Seoul Philharmonic at the age of seven. He later studied the piano with Maria Curcio, the last and favorite pupil of Artur Schnabel. In 1974 he was a prize winner in the Tchaikovsky Competition. He then began his career playing piano trios with his sisters, Kyung Wha Chung and ... Read more in Amazon's Myung-Whun Chung Store

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

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Debussy: La Mer: 1. De l'aube à midi sur la mer 9:28£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Debussy: La Mer: 2. Jeux de vagues 6:50£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Debussy: La Mer: 3. Dialogue du vent et de la mer 8:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Ravel: Ma Mère l'Oye: 1. Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant 1:39£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Ravel: Ma Mère l'Oye: 2. Petit Poucet 3:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Ravel: Ma Mère l'Oye: 3. Laideronnette Imperatrice Des Pagodes 3:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Ravel: Ma Mère l'Oye: 4. Les Entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête 4:29£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Ravel: Ma Mère l'Oye: 5. Le Jardin féerique 3:29£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Ravel: La Valse - poème choréographique - La Valse - poème choréographique13:11£1.89  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seoul Philharmonic is from another planet.. 31 Jan 2012
By Alfred Rony Situmorang - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Myung Whun Chung is regarded for these 20 years as the forefront conductor of French orchestral works, from Berlioz to Messiaen (remember his monumental 'Illumination' records with DG as well). But most he did all of them with European Orchestras. After listening this CD for a month, I think this recording is more monumental, because he did this flagship French works with Asian orchestra (Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra). And the result is: For 'La Mer', this is the most intricate and details orchestral works, especially for string players. SPO successfully played all instruments without any distortion (or even any 'mispitch' which commonly happened when playing this very difficult work).And same with 'Ma mere l'oye', and finally..The crown should be given for the performance of 'La Valse'. I never heard any orchestral performance with full of details and subtlety before this. They played live with perfect agogic and same musical direction (thanks to maestro Chung).Yet after caring all details the orchestra still sounds amazingly blend and solid. For me what maestro Chung did here surpassed his predecessors like Dutoit, Celibidache, or even Boulez. This is a perfect gift for the 150th anniversary of Debussy in this year 2012..The music here is far more worthy than the expensive price of the disc..
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal. Seoul has a world-class orchestra. 3 Feb 2012
By M. Dixon - Published on
Format:Audio CD
A towering figure in Korean music, Myung-whun Chung has won numerous awards not only in music, but also as a supporter of humanitarian causes. He has conducted throughout Europe and Asia, and since 2006 he has been the music director and principal conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.

The rise of Asian orchestras has been a welcome addition to the global discourse on classical music. In this recording, the orchestra displays a level of polish and finesse that places it easily within the top tier of orchestras across the world. Responding to a deliberate, unhurried and nuanced interpretation by Chung, the orchestra presents a lush and multihued depiction of Debussy's masterwork. The Ravel fared just as well, with a remarkable display of orchestral color. The sound quality was captured with remarkable clarity and depth by the Deutsche Grammophon engineers, providing a wonderful listening experience with this CD release.

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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Seoul orchestra isn't first rate, and Chung seems to be less than his best 19 July 2012
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Since the Korean War ended, that country's close ties with America led the way to an economic miracle and the infusion of Western culture. Nyung-Whun Chung, who began as a piano virtuoso and member of the Chung trio with his equally famous sister, the violinist Kyung-Wha Chung, stands at the top of the country's musical elite. With a prominent career in Paris and abroad, he has nothing to prove. But Asian orchestras still do, and with DG's decision to record the Seoul Philharmonic comes a stamp of approval form the eminent record label. Or are they cashing in on the Asian market because of the financial success of Chinese superstar pianists like Lang Lang and Yundi, who both began their recording careers on DG?

This CD of French orchestral favorites doesn't decisively answer the question for me. A top caliber orchestra requires that the home country produce conservatory graduates across the spectrum, a hard thing to accomplish. I have no idea how Seoul's music schools are doing, but the Seoul Phil. doesn't play with distinction here, and despite Chung's reputation, his interpretations skirt the cautious at times. Perhaps he takes the first movement of La mer so deliberately, with such a lack of lightness and atmosphere, to make a point. If so, it doesn't register. This performance simply sounds dull, and in the case of the woodwinds, often tentative. (Japan's NHK orchestra could probably do just as well, and probably's the Osaka Phil.) I can't complain about ensemble, but where an ideal La mer is mysterious and foreboding in the opening of the third movement, this one is blunt, without any kind of evocation.

The four numbers from Ravel's ballet, Ma mere l'Oye, also suffer form a lack of delicacy and refinement. The players put one foot in front of the other, which isn't enough. Perhaps Chung is trying to get more; one hopes so. This score is a touchstone for dreamlike orchestration and transparent textures. Overall, the reading comes off more successfully than the Debussy, because it is simpler music without much variety of tone. La valse opens with care rather than panache, but Chung certainly knows how to convey the hallucinatory waltz rhythms and the slide into chaos and disintegration. DG's engineering takes us into the detailed fabric of the haunting orchestration with excellent sound throughout. the only limitation is that the orchestra's caliber doesn't nearly rise to the level of any of the great orchestras, from Boston to Vienna, who have made ravishing recordings of this score.

Over the years I notice that the grumpiest comments fly when I criticize an orchestra for being less than ideal. I am informed that prejudice, snobbery, deafness, and stupidity disqualify me from hearing that a provincial German radio orchestra isn't the equal of the Berlin Phil. that may happen here, too, but I still think that this CD will appeal largely to Korean and other Asian buyers.
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