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Gil French
American Record Guide, March 2012

Each of these performances is filled with rapture and excitement…this performance uses the 1968 edition that incorporates all the orchestral changes [Jean-Yves Thibaudet] made to the original, and it sounds dazzling…

This is impressionism at its best…the sound…is smooth and rich with a firm bass, the four soloists are all stellar, and Märkl and his orchestra are simply superb…The best-engineered recordings “travel well”, i.e., are just as effective whether heard on a huge sound system, a cheap one, headphones, or in a car… © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Phillip Scott
Limelight, March 2012

This disc brings together the composer’s four concertante pieces with excellent soloists…

Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet…proves as stylish as ever in Debussy’s early Fantaisie…Thibaudet and Märkl find a touching, inward quality in the slow movement, marked Lento e molto espressivo, and plenty of light-fingered brio in the finale.

The remainder of the program is even better. Meyer’s mellow clarinet and Doisy’s liquid saxophone bring out the light and shade in their short rhapsodies. This is the most mysterious performance of the Saxophone Rhapsody I know, and under Märkl’s alert direction the fine Lyon orchestra is with their soloist all the way. The Danses sacrées et profanes provide a magical encore… © 2012 Limelight Magazine Read complete review

David Hurwitz, January 2012

[Jun Märkl’s] performance is lovely: ripely romantic, rhythmically vital, and a joy from beginning to end.

…Naxos’ engineering is consistently fine. A very enjoyable release. © 2012 Read complete review, January 2012

It is…interesting to have several of the composer’s pieces for soloist and orchestra on a single CD—all of them receiving excellent performances. These are works firmly embedded in their era and in the sensibility of such turn-of-the-century composers as Erik Satie, but they also carry faint suggestions of ancient times and require both sensitivity and virtuosity in interpretation—and receive both qualities here. © 2012 Read complete review

Culture Catch, January 2012

Culture Catch Best of 2011: #18

what is most striking about these performances is the magical lightness of the orchestra…a very French touch to the playing here, a graceful elegance that makes points clearly without insisting too forcefully. And although Naxos is a budget label (THE budget label), its sonics are audiophile quality. This is Impressionism at its best. © 2012 Culture Catch See complete list

V. Vasan, December 2011

Soloists Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Paul Meyer, Alexandre Doisy, and Emmanuel Ceysson all take their star turns with the wonderful Orchestre National de Lyon in Debussy works that feature various instruments. Perhaps the most grand and impressive piece on the album is the Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra. Thibaudet’s piano is recorded with crystal clarity, and his performance sounds very bright and clean. Paul Meyer’s clarinet is so liquid and technically flawless, when playing both legato or with rapid agility, that it is a delight to hear. The same could be said for Alexandre Doisy’s solo, the Rapsodie for Saxophone and Orchestra; the saxophonist is smoothly integrated into the orchestra, even amidst the powerful brass. Ceysson’s harp builds in intensity and acceleration so perfectly, accompanied by an orchestra that follows with perfect synchronicity. …enjoyable, and the excellent musicians deserve to be heard. © 2011 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2011

There is certainly no shortage of recordings of the creamy and vivacious Fantaisie for piano and orchestra, but this is the one you must have. I had long given up hope that anyone would ever emulate the performance of the 1960’s by the remarkable Jean-Rodolphe Kars. But in Jean-Yves Thibaudet we have a pianist equally capable of capturing the work’s ever changing moods. His fingers provide detailed clarity and that beautiful limpid and laid-back quality the score requires, while the vivacity of the final allegro molto is naughtily playful. It is performed in the composer’s final thoughts that were eventually published in 1968. The Premiere Rapsodie was composed as a Conservatoire test piece for clarinet with piano accompaniment, but Debussy also had it published for clarinet and orchestra. Played here with rare vivacity, it reminds us that the soloist, Paul Meyer, was both a friend and influenced by the jazz clarinettist, Benny Goodman. Debussy was anything but enthusiastic about the commission from an American lady saxophonist, and its orchestration was unfinished on his death. Yet he wrote a lovely score that opens in quiet and subtle sounds before allowing the soloist to enjoy a brief moment of brilliance. In describing the final two tracks as Deux Danses, the front cover rather disguises the fact that we have the famous Danses sacree et danse profane in a gossamer transparent account from Emmanuel Ceysson and strings from the Lyon orchestra. He is a multi-award winning artist and principal harpist of the Paris Opera. The seventh volume of this complete edition of Debussy’s orchestral works is an outright winner, recorded with the subtlety that reflects Jun Märkl’s conducting.

Classic FM

The magical sounds conjured up by Jun Märkl and his stunning orchestra seduce the ear with Debussy’s concertante music.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet is…on commanding form, while Paul Meyer’s dreamy phrasing proves unfailingly seductive in the Clarinet Rhapsody…Finest of all are the two harp dances, which shimmer iridescently.

Another artistic triumph from Märkl and his distinguished soloists… © Classic FM

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