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Debussy & Ravel on the Organ

Composer Claude Debussy
Maurice Ravel
Performer Gunnar Idenstam
Catalogue Number BIS-2049 SACD
EAN 7318599920498
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date May 2014
Total time 73'46

“A programme of rich ambition and imagination.” Gramophone; “The recorded sound, as we’ve long since grown to expect from BIS, is top-drawer. And the playing, I hardly need to add, is dazzling.” Fanfare

A musician of uncommon versatility, Gunnar Idenstam happily acknowledges the influences of Swedish folk music and dance as well as the symphonic rock of the 1970s. But whether he collaborates with Sami traditional singers (as on Songs for Jukkasjärvi, BIS-1868) or folk musicians (as on Folkjul: A Swedish Folk Christmas, BIS-5031), Idenstam is firmly grounded in the virtuosic French organ tradition which he studied in France, with the legendary Marie-Claire Alain. It was during his time in Paris that he first started dreaming of transferring Debussy’s La Mer to his own instrument – to perform this impressionistic orchestral seascape on the organ. As Idenstam now releases a recording of his arrangement, it appears in the company of key orchestral works by Maurice Ravel, another composer who never wrote anything for the organ. In his liner notes to the disc, Idenstam writes of arriving, over the years, at his own palette of organ sounds, one which he feels best corresponds to those of the orchestra. Finding a suitable organ on which to realize the arrangements has also been vital for this project, and as a result, Idenstam travelled to the small town of Dudelange in Luxemburg. With its more than 5.000 pipes, the four-manual Stahlhuth-Jann organ of Église Saint-Martin has an exceptionally broad dynamic spectrum, as well as a wealth of characteristic stops with which to bring out the timbres of Debussy’s sea and wind, and depict the daybreak of Ravel’s Lever du jour, the glittering ballroom chandeliers of La Valse or the ecstatic climax of Boléro.
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  Claude Debussy
  La Mer, three symphonic sketches (1903–05) 25'31
01 I. De l’aube à midi sur la mer. Très lent 9'42
02 II. Jeux de vagues. Allegro (dans un rythme très souple) 7'30
03 III. Dialogue du vent et de la mer. Animé et tumultueux 8'19
  Maurice Ravel
  from the ballet Daphnis et Chloé (1909–12)
04 Lever du jour. Modère 5'56
  Maurice Ravel
  from Valses nobles et sentimentales (1911) 4'06
05 No.2. Assez lent 2'22
06 No.3. Modère 1'44
  Maurice Ravel
07 La Valse, choreographic poem (1919–20) 15'18
  Maurice Ravel
08 Pavane pour une infante défunte (1899) 5'39
  Maurice Ravel
09 Boléro (1911) 15'58
  Album total 73'46
ComposerDebussy, Claude
Ravel, Maurice
OrganIdenstam, Gunnar

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