Friday, February 5, 2016

Readers' Poll: Claude Debussy's La Mer

What are your favorite vinyl performances and recordings of Claude Debussy's La Mer?



Please click on the comments link below to tell us your top choices.

24 comments:

  1. My ear jumps straight for Paray's brisk, yet clear performance on Mercury SR90010. He is often my pick for French orchestral works such as this. The sound is lovely! Giulini's pensive reading of the second movement is easy to sink into as the highlight in my second pick, S-35977..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great choices. I definitely have to second the notion about the Giulini, my personal favorite, on Columbia SAX 2463 (blue/silver).

      Delete
    2. The Giulini is on Hi-Q so already we have a full blown audiophile pressing in the mix.

      Delete
  2. Ugh. This is a hard one. I've always like the early Munch on RCA, but surely there is a dizzying number of competitors. Sadly I don't have the Paray.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Szell (SAX 2532), Ansermet (CS 6024 / SDD 214)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've not heard either of these, but something tells me Aqlam has (actually might have later pressing of the Ansermet.)

      Delete
    2. Gave the Szell a few mentions (latterly for my BBC/Toscanini transfer) - the playing is remarkable for sheer precision.
      The Columbia (SAX/33CX: both original - UK mastered) is not the best way - the 1969 CBS Classics (bought upon release) has cleaner (shimmering) sound.
      Prefer Ansermet's 1950 mono - the 1973 transfer in SDDK 396-8 is no great shakes (the 1957 mono is superior: the playing, and recording, appears inferior to the highly vivid 1950).

      Delete
  4. Not music I listen to often but of the various copies I have I think these two are the two I prefer:
    Stokowski with the LSO on Decca PFS 4220. one of the better phase 4's
    Karajan with the BPO on DG SLPM 138 923

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Giulini La Mer and Paray seem to get the big money looking at Popsike. The Hi-Q Giulini might be interesting. Never heard any of these from the commenters. Andy's Karajan was also put out by Mobile Fidelity. Seeing on Popsike a Philips Bienum, RCA Reiner, Dutoit digital from 1989 (180gm London Final!) and Barbirolli on ASD 2462 must be quite nice. Analog Productions has reissued the RCA Munch (its first audiophile reissue)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amongst others, I have the Barbirolli on S\C label and I would only rate it a a middling performance, certainly not his best.

      Delete
  6. The Philips Hi Fi Stereo plum label of the Van Beinum is very nice. Not demonstration quality but a worthy tube contender.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Might I recommend Cantelli/Philharmonia? 1955 mono; I suspect the original UK pressing sounds better than my later Pathe/Marconi, but still quite good. And I vote for Giulini/Philharmonia as well (2nd ed pressing).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I have heard that Cantelli but only in its digital remaster for the EMI/Warner Icons Cantelli boxed set. A very nice interpretation indeed! It probably sounds much better on vinyl.

      Delete
  8. Does anyone know what the last Decca UK issue SET number is for wide band grooved and wide band only ?.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The label is purple and SET is the prefix before the number although I do have a list from Phil Rees the last issues for wide band grooved and wide band are not mentioned.

      Delete
    2. Got me stumped. Didn't catch any La Mer SETs in the Decca complete classical recordings guide. Don't suppose you know orchestra and conductor?

      Delete
    3. Oh Dear!
      Whilst the 2nd Ansermet 'La Mer' may have been allocated SXL2061.... This is something like what Anon requires:-

      "Could be April'70 - Britten: Golden Vanity, etc (445: don't have) as April'70 SXL6405 (Britten) is a W-B. The W-B Bridge/Britten SXL6426: was released late (Oct'70).

      If 445 isn't the last, then try 'Fedora' (435-36 - March '70: don't have an original) - 422 'Zandoni 'Francesca da Rimini' definately is W-B (Jan'70).

      Grooved would be on a near mid-'68" opera (don't have the 'contenders').

      Delete
    4. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! More jargon and incomplete information. This is like some kind of game where you try to figure out the answer without enough information.

      I've never gotten may hands on a SET, SWL, or BR (well I might have one, but not an early one). Are they done to the same level as the mainstream Decca SXL line? It seems the engineers and engineering is not the same on these "pop" classical labels. I'd have picked some up by not, but even these are not exactly cheap probably due to rarity of clean copies.

      Delete
    5. They are cooked to the same recipes.
      SET was just another way of packaging Opera SXL - with the libretto/notes - previously sold separately - included (for a per-disc premium of 2 shillings, or so) - by the time I started buying this junk: SXL= 43/9d - SET= 46/3d

      Delete
  9. Debussy La Mer Paul Paray Detroit Symphony Orch, Philips SGL 5836

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Reiner Chicago La Mer is on SACD along with his famous Respighi.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Surprised Aqlam hasn't mentioned the Haitink Debussey LP box on Philips. A great sonic bargain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree ... the Haitink Debussy is sonically excellent. I think I still have a preference for the Giulini SAX, but the Haitink comes in very close.

      Delete