R Strauss - Schlagobers; Debussy - Jeux; Ligeti - Melodien | Pentatone PTC5186721

R Strauss - Schlagobers; Debussy - Jeux; Ligeti - Melodien


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Label: Pentatone

Cat No: PTC5186721

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 21st September 2018



Orchestre de la Suisse Romande


Jonathan Nott


Debussy, Claude


Ligeti, Gyorgy


Strauss, Richard

Schlagobers (ballet): Suite, op.70


Orchestre de la Suisse Romande


Jonathan Nott


This album presents extraordinary works of three twentieth-century composers with diverse cultural backgrounds, underlining the versatility and legacy of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in its centenary year.

Richard Strauss’s Schlagobers (Whipped Cream, 1924) is a playful ballet set in a Viennese Konditorei, of which the orchestral suite is featured on this album. With its lively mix of Viennese waltzes and modern harmonies, light-versed tunes interspersed by sudden outbreaks of ravishing beauty, all brilliantly orchestrated, it can be considered a further exploration of the composer’s “Rosenkavalier style”.

Claude Debussy is featured with Jeux, Poème dansé (1912), another piece created for a ballet performance, built around an erotic nocturnal search for a lost tennis ball that Pierre Boulez characterized as a “Prélude à-l’Après-midi d’une Faune in sports clothes”.

Debussy’s Jeux has been a major source of inspiration for post-war avantgarde composers such as Boulez and Stockhausen, and, therefore, the transition from Jeux to Györgi Ligeti’s Melodien für Orchester (1971) is not jarring. Melodien has the unmistakable mix of sensuous yet eerie soundscapes that makes most of Ligeti’s works so filmic and appealing.


And this new, clear and light-footed recording helps to hide its excesses, with Nott (and Pentatone’s engineers) preventing the work’s arteries from clogging up. There’s outstanding solo work, not least from the flute in the ‘Dance of the Tea Leaves’, and Nott’s players make light work of the not inconsiderable challenges of the ‘Leaping Dance’ that follows the ‘Dance of the Small Pralines’ ... A fascinating, surprising and revealing programme.  Hugo Shirley
Gramophone December 2018

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