Ansermet: Debussy La Mer + Ravel Rapsodie Espagnole, etc. - Decca LXT 5424
Jacket VG / LP EX (UK pressing - orange/silver label)
This outstanding and handsome LP from Decca (LXT 5424, English pressing, orange/silver label, mono) features Ernest Ansermet and L'Orchestra da la Suisse Romande's brilliantly evocative account of Debussy's La Mer (rec. December 1964) and Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (with André Pépin the solo flutist – rec. November 1957).
Filling out the disc is their equally captivating performance of Ravel's Rapsodie Espagnole, also set down in November 1957 and boasting a sultry allure that is just breathtaking.
Arguably among the high-water marks in Ansermet's discography, these accounts boast the remarkable Decca engineering that typified the 'Golden Age of Stereo', recorded in the warm, atmospheric acoustics of Geneva's Victoria Hall. Ansermet knew both Debussy and Ravel, and his interpretations carry an authority and feeling few have matched, with the OSR on resplendent form throughout. Truly Essential Debussy and Ravel performances.