Robin Ticciati & DSO - Debussy & Faure - Gramophone

A profound sense of quiet allied to richness among the pizzicato basses marks the opening of Robin Ticciati’s vividly recorded La mer with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in 2017 as exceptional. When the lapping string quavers enter at 1'35", Ticciati and his players honour Debussy’s request for flexibility, and where the woodwind and solo violin should ‘give a little’ soon afterwards, likewise that’s precisely what happens. The stormscape finale works wonderfully well, with violins generating a sense of peril by playing near the bridge (at 1'10"), clearly audible bass-drum taps from 1'57" and prominent trumpet fanfares. My only reservation concerns a relative lack of animation among the waves in ii, where Les Siècles, the Hallé, the French National Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra generate rather more in the way of playful sea spray. Otherwise, Ticciati’s is a memorable and sonically imposing production.

Gramophone
18 September 2018