Fiona Maddocks reviews “Stéphane Denève conducts Debussy” for The Observer:

Fiona Maddocks The Observer
In this set of nine Debussy orchestral works, Stéphane Denève challenges two preconceptions about his fellow Frenchman: first, that the sound should be a sensuous blur, a musical equivalent to the large canvasses of Monet; second, that Debussy’s late ballet, Jeux, is a dry piece of abstraction heralding the avant garde. In each of these performances the RSNO, keenly responsive to Denève after his seven seasons as chief conductor, confirm the absolute precision, transparency and – in Jeuxas much as anywhere – passion required for these scores. The detail in Images is exquisite (with a lovely oboe d’amore solo by Katherine Mackintosh). The Nocturnes, especially Fêtes, achieve a shimmering, decidedly un-Monet-like glaze, and La Mer erupts and glistens.

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