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Ormandy Conducts Holst and Debussy

The Philadelphia Orchestra; The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia (Choir)
Eugene Ormandy

This DVD pays tribute to a representative of the famous conductor personalities of the last century: Eugene Ormandy (1899-1985), who was both energetic and graceful on the podium, was known for his infallible ear and prodigious memory. He became famous for his relationship with the Philadelphia Orchestra, which he served as Musical Director from 1936 until 1980. Under his direction, the orchestra developed its legendary warm, textured, romantic “Philadelphia” or “Ormandy” Sound. Claude Debussy (1862–1918) and Gustav Holst (1874–1934) belonged to a generation of composers that influenced the musical output of the early champions of modernism. Debussy began working on La Mer in September 1903 and the work received its first performance in Paris in 1905. Bound up with the art of the three painters whom Debussy admired above all others - Turner, Monet and Hokusai - it best represents Debussy’s working method: whereas a painting can reproduce the effects of light only statically, music can combine a variety of effects and convey an even more lively impression of their fleeting nature. Gustav Holst wrote his symphony The Planets between 1914 and 1917. It consists of seven movements each representative of a planet and based on thoughts and ideas associated with the respective Roman deity associated with that planet. The live recordings that are reissued here provide impressive evidence of the extent to which the then seventy-eight-year-old Ormandy, who conducted with unassuming gestures and eagle-eyed alertness, and the orchestra, which was brilliant in every section with opulent sonorities, could rely on one another. Together they embody American orchestral culture at its best.


Gustav Holst: The Planets; Claude Debussy: La Mer

Facts DVD

Item number
UPC number
Region code
Sound format
PCM Stereo
Dolby Digital 5.1
dts 5.1
Total running time
81 mins
Booklet notes
English, French, German
No. of discs