Pierre Dumoussaud - Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande - The Sunday Times
Very few recordings of Debussy’s post-Wagnerian masterpiece have been able to match the ideal balance between Maurice Maeterlinck’s atmospheric text and the composer’s “conversational” word-setting found in the classic first complete recording (1941) under the baton of Roger Desormière. This one comes close — and in obviously more acceptable sound — in its casting of the three principals. Stanislas de Barbeyrac is an ideal Pelléas (a tenor rather than the more usual baryton-martin), Chiara Skerath is a delectably fragile, moving Mélisande, and Alexandre Duhamel is a menacing, eventually homicidal Golaud. Dumoussaud understands the ebb and flow of Debussy’s orchestral score.