Album: Myung-Whun Chung Seoul Philharmonic, Debussy: La Mer; Ravel: Ma Mère L'Oye, La Valse (Deutsche Grammophon)

This programme of "symphonic sketches" by French Romantics offers a broad platform for the Seoul Philharmonic to demonstrate their impressive grasp of tone and texture.

Debussy's "La Mer" is particularly well handled: highly impressionistic (a word the composer himself despised), it was cinematic before the term became commonplace, from the expectant sunrise intro, through the stirring intimations of latent drama courtesy of looming tympani, through to the later abstract depictions of waves, wind and water so sensitively realised by an orchestra determined to hunt out its hidden depths in the subtlest, most intimate manner.

DOWNLOAD THIS: La Mer; Ma Mère L'Oye