- La valse, poème choréographique for orchestra - Maurice Ravel - Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
- Ma mère l'oye, for piano, 4 hands (or orchestra) - Maurice Ravel - Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
- La Mer, symphonic sketches (3) for orchestra, L. 109 - Claude Debussy - Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
Myung-Whun Chung and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra present a live concert of impressionist masterpieces on this 2011 release from Deutsche Grammophon, and the energetic performances bear comparison with the finest in the catalog. Chung has shown a remarkable affinity for French music since his recordings in the 1990s of music by Olivier Messiaen, and a similar commitment to the music of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel is evident in these poetic interpretations. Debussy's "La Mer" is the opener, and the sumptuous score is played with scintillating timbres and a vibrant atmosphere that adds to the music's air of suspense and mystery. A drier, sparkling tone is assumed for Ravel's suite, "Ma mère l'oye," and the orchestra brings a sweet yet unsentimental quality to these childlike pieces. The tour de force of the program is Ravel's "La valse," which is one of the most sweeping and overpowering on disc. Interpreted as an ode to the Belle époque that builds in complexity, lushness, and erotic intensity, "La valse" steals the show and gives the orchestra its most impressive moments in this concert. Recorded in the Seoul Arts Center in 2010, the sound quality is exceptional for a live, unedited performance, and the orchestra is captured with clarity and credible presence.