This box brings together the nine discs of Debussy's orchestral works, which were recorded by the German/Japanese conductor Jun Markl and the Orchestre National de Lyon between 2007 and 2011. Here is all Debussy's orchestral music, and more. Not only do we have all his works originally written for orchestra and his own orchestration of some of his piano works, but also a considerable number of pieces orchestrated by others: people who were very close to him such as Ravel and Caplet, for example, students and friends, and modern composers such as Colin Matthews (the two books of preludes)and Robin Holloway.
I have been very impressed by this collection and have discovered many things that were new to me. It might be said that there are better performances available of the familiar works such as La Mer, Images, and Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien, and the work which opens the collection, Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune, draws from Markel a performance which is languorous in the extreme, but it seems to me that there are far more hits than misses in this collection. Indeed, I have discovered delight after delight. Taken as a whole this collection is, to my ears, a refreshing and illuminating experience, truly a box of delights!
The nine discs are in cardboard sleeves and are contained within a sturdy box. The one hundred page booklet is first class. It has full track listings and recording details, an interview with the conductor, excellent notes on the music by the always dependable Keith Anderson and artist profiles.
Tim Handley's vivid and detailed recordings are quite superb and well up to his usual high standard.