Claude Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande

Claude Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande cover
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Claude Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande
Julien Behr, Vannina Santoni, Alexandre Duhamel, Marie-Ange Todorovitch, etc / Les Siècles, Chœur de l'Opéra de Lille François-Xavier Roth

[ Harmonia Mundi / 2 CD ]

Release Date: Friday 28 January 2022

Why has Pelléas et Mélisande taken its place as one of opera's greatest masterpieces? Debussy deployed a unique style in this work, flexible and natural, never forcing the prosody of words and phrases. In this new historically informed interpretation, François-Xavier Roth has endeavoured to do justice to this music that is at once so strong and so delicate, seconded by a handpicked cast of today's finest French singers.

"It's like listening in black and white rather than colour. The music's generally soft-toned orchestral landscape is both vivid and beautifully shaded...sensitively played and paced under Roth's direction, and conveying like few other recordings the work's unique and poignant emotional charge." BBC Music

"I enjoyed the orchestral contributions of Les Siècles and the lucidity that period instruments bring to Debussy's score. Roth doesn't cut string vibrato entirely, but there's an almost clinical clarity to their playing." Gramophone

"Two features particularly characterize François-Xavier Roth's deeply felt and precisely communicated account: the astonishing intimacy of the instrumental wrap-around and the devastating clarity of Debussian musicodramatic purpose which in context it is used to sustain...even the most recording-savvy Pelléas-lover will surely want to get hold of this latest addition to the work's discography." Opera April 2022 Disc of the Month