La Mer was a signature work for Ernst Ansermet. He made four recordings of Debussy’s trilogy of symphonic sketches through the course of his career. The first and second of them, from 1947 and 1951, have been made available in new remasterings by Eloquence (ELQ4825007 and ELQ4800127 respectively). Now they are joined by the third, from 1957. All the recordings are remarkably similar in overall outline, differing in minutiae of balance and coloration. Ansermet’s exacting approach to details of orchestral balance is particularly suited to the fastidiously crafted music of Paul Dukas. At sessions with the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra in September 1954, Ansermet directed the composer’s orchestral showpiece L’apprenti sorcier as well as the much less familiar Orientalist ballet from 1912, La Péri. Conceived by Dukas as a ‘poème dansé’, it is the pre-eminent forerunner to the late masterpiece to which Debussy gave the same unusual classification: Jeux: his elusive, half-lit score for Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes.