La boîte à joujoux – Claude Debussy / André Caplet (EN)

La boîte à joujoux – Claude Debussy / André Caplet [FR]

La boîte à joujoux - Claude Debussy / André Caplet

A known work but rarely listened by Claude Debussy.The argument (Andre Hellé):  “Dolls dancing: a soldier saw one of them and fell in love: but the doll had already given her heart to the lazy, frivolous and quarrelsome puppet. Then, the soldiers and the puppets fought in a great battle during which the poor small wood soldier was wounded. Forsaken by the unpleasant puppet, the doll took in the soldier, took care of him and fell in love: they got married, were happy and had many children. The frivolous puppet became a guard-pastoral. And the life continued in the toy box. ».The original partition for piano was written in 1913, its orchestration will be completed in 1918 after the death of the composer in 1918 by André Caplet.35 ‘ of the last Debussy…

  • Prelude – The box sleeping
  • 1st table – The toys store
  • 2nd table – The battle field
  • 3rd table – A shepherdess to sell
  • 4th table – After fortune made
  • Épilogue

One can find the score here.It is not the better Debussy and it is even sometimes a little bit long, a kind of Petrushka in miniature, with there too an important part of piano, but there are beautiful moments.4 versions were compared: Jean Martinon /Orchestre national of France, Armin Jordan / Basler sinfonie orchester, Michael Tilson-Thomas / London symphony orchestra & Simon Rattle / Berliner philharmoniker.The latter is superbly played, but doesn’t show any interest… The Tilson-Thomas is sumptuous, too much perhaps, with a sound restitution of exaggerated dynamics; Armin Jordan is more intimate, perhaps a little pale; Martinon is very lively, with very beautiful colors, perhaps a little fast. 2 very beautiful versions.(12/4/13) : I add the recent reedition of the Ansermet version (1959) at Praga Digitals: same level as Martinon, sound less harsh.



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