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Alla Breve

July 10, 1994|TIMOTHY MANGAN

DEBUSSY: "Khamma"; "Jeux"; "Printemps"; "Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune." Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Virgin Classics CDC 5 45018 2. In 1912 Debussy quickly wrote the ballet "Khamma" for dancer Maud Allen and left it for Charles Koechlin to orchestrate--damning impurity that may be the reason for its neglect. Other grounds are difficult to find, and this shadowy, sinister score gets an urgent, lithe reading under Saraste. The other pieces here fare equally well under the conductor's assured guidance; these are purposefully etched and poised interpretations, yet always warmly delivered. The Finnish Radio Orchestra is an alert ensemble, responsive, focused in its string playing and refined in instrumental balances. Virgin provides a sensitive, naturalistic production.

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