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Claude Achille Debussy (1862-1918)

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Debussy, Bartók & Prokofiev: Études

Debussy, Bartók & Prokofiev: Études


Bartók:

3 Studies, BB 81, Sz. 72, Op. 18

Debussy:

Études pour piano (12) (complete)

Prokofiev:

Four Etudes, Op. 2


Garrick Ohlsson has an unbeaten reputation as the master of the miniature. In this new recital he presents three sets of Études: the twelve by Claude Debussy (so ferocious in their demands they were shunned even by elite pianists for decades), as well as Prokofiev’s revolutionary opus 2 and a set of three lesser-known works by Bartók. In all Ohlsson excels.

“His powerful technique motors through Prokofiev’s four miniatures with tremendous confidence, relishing their naughty-boy dissonances, and he treats the Lisztian flourishes that occasionally surface in the modernist currents of Bartók’s three pieces with suitable flamboyance. There are some fine moments in the Debussy set, too.” The Guardian, 23rd July 2015 ****

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Debussy, Fauré & Ravel: Piano Trios

Debussy, Fauré & Ravel: Piano Trios


Debussy:

Piano Trio in G major

Fauré:

Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 120

Ravel:

Piano Trio in A minor


‘Such flair proves The Florestan Trio, if proof is needed, to be among the finest chamber ensembles of the present day’ (Classic CD)

“The Florestan Trio has the ability to adapt its style to different kinds of music without any loss of conviction. After Brahms and Schumann comes this French disc showing it equally adept at entering the 1880 salon world of Debussy's youthful Trio, Ravel's brilliant exotic idiom, and the intimate, intense thoughts of Fauré's old age. In the quicker movements Susan Tomes's playing is remarkably light and precise. The finale of the Fauré, for example, has a scherzando quality that throws into relief the seriousness of the strings' initial gesture. The string players are always ready to modify their sound to produce special expressive effects – the eerily quiet unison passage in Fauré's Andante (track 2, 2'54") or the vibrato-less duet in the Ravel Passacaille (track 10, 5'15") – sounding wonderfully remote and antique. The clarity of the Hyperion recording allows the fantastical detail in the Ravel Pantoum to emerge. In the Debussy, the Florestan favour elegance rather than trying to search out expressive depths.
Their freshness, imagination and purposeful directness makes this a top choice.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Debussy - Complete music for two pianos

Debussy - Complete music for two pianos


Debussy:

En blanc et noir

Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

Lindaraja

Trois Nocturnes

Danses sacrée et profane - two pianos


Stephen Coombs (piano), Christopher Scott (piano)

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Debussy: Images & Préludes II

Debussy: Images & Préludes II


Debussy:

Préludes - Book 2 (12, complete)

Images pour piano - Books 1 & 2


A new album from Marc-André Hamelin is always cause for celebration. Here in his first Debussy recording for Hyperion he presents the two books of Images: Debussy’s colouristic masterpiece, a bewitching compendium of ‘scents, colours and sounds’. Also recorded here is the second book of Préludes, in a poetic and evocative performance.

“Hamelin's stature, extraordinary from the start, increases with every new issue. And here in his latest album he subdues his legendary, transcendent technique to convey Debussy's very essence with a surpassing ease and naturalness....Hamelin's glistening sonority is flawlessly captured by the Hyperion team. This is a disc to treasure.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2014

“The hallmarks of Hamelin's style are always in evidence, and the clarity with which the polyphonic aspects of Reflets dans l'eau come through gives a sense of momentum rarely perceived in this piece. Indeed, it is the lack of impressionism in Hamelin's playing which guarantees the effectiveness of Debussy's impressionistic whimsies.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2015 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2014

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Debussy: Piano Music

Debussy: Piano Music


Debussy:

Masques

D'un cahier d'esquisses

L'isle joyeuse

Images pour piano - Books 1 & 2

Estampes (3) (Complete)

Children's Corner


Steven Osborne’s unerring command of the elusive ambiguities of Debussy’s piano-writing has already been amply confirmed by his earlier recording of the two books of Préludes; these lustrous new accounts of the Images, Estampes and Children’s Corner are every bit their equal.

“here Osborne’s phrasing and pacing is pure and poetic, as well as raptly atmospheric in ‘The Snow is Dancing’ and it finishes with a deliciously louche cake-walk.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2017 ****

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Debussy: Préludes - Books 1 & 2 (24, complete)

Debussy: Préludes - Books 1 & 2 (24, complete)


“Steven Osborne's pedigree in French repertoire is such that it has been almost inevitable that he would record Debussy's Préludes at some point. He has much in his favour, notably a marvellous range of colour, finely judged touch, and the ability to combine powerful waves of sound with diaphanous passagework while Hyperion have not lost their ability to capture a piano in full, natural sound.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2006 ***

“Steven Osborne tells us that in preparing this recording he was struck 'by the enormous scope of these preludes. What other collection of pieces manages to create so many utterly distinct and compelling worlds?' But he has prepared well, and every prelude glows, always rich in atmosphere.
The opening 'Danseuses de Delphes' has a commandingly grave serenity and 'Voiles' floats effortlessly. Yet 'Les collines d'Anacapri' dances with sparkling rhythmic vitality and 'La danse de Puck' is deliciously capricious.
Osborne's delicacy of feeling (and texture) is at its most magical in the soft footfalls 'sur la neige', although 'Feuilles mortes' has similar moments of evocative quietness. The unpredictability of 'Le vent dans la plaine' is matched by the simulated violence of 'Ce qu'a vu le vent d'Ouest', and the thrilling climax of 'La cathédrale engloutie' has rich depth and sonority. By contrast, 'La fille aux cheveux de lin' has a ravishing simplicity, without sentimentalising.
'S Pickwick' brings a momentary smile but his eccentricity is banished by the calm of 'Canope' and the joyful virtuosity of 'Les tièrces alternées'.
Osborne's virtuosity is never for its own sake and always reflects the music's spirit. The obvious comparison is with Zimerman's stunningly vivid recording; but his extraordinarily brilliant playing is at times almost over-projected and Osborne's natural spontaneity and powerful conveying of inner feeling is every bit as telling – less intense but deeply satisfying. The Hyperion recording is very realistic.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“…Osborne has prepared well, and every prelude glows, always rich in atmosphere. Osborne's delicacy of feeling (and texture) is at its most magical in the soft footfalls "sur la neige" although "Feuilles mortes" has similar moments of evocative quietness. The unpredictability of "Le vent dans la plaine" is matched by the stimulated violence of "Ce qu'a vu le vent d'Ouest", and the thrilling climax of "La cathédrale engloutie" has rich depth and sonority.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2006

“Osborne achieves little miracles of colour and control...The recording respects Steven Osborne as much as he does the composer; the pianist provides the colour, the resonance, the glowing halo of sound, and the recording delivers it with great clarity and honesty...Strongly, indeed, urgently recommended.” Andrew McGregor, bbc.co.uk, 18th December 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2006

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

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Debussy: Solo Piano Music

Debussy: Solo Piano Music


Debussy:

Children's Corner

Suite Bergamasque

Arabesque No. 1

Arabesque No. 2

Pour le piano

Masques

L'isle joyeuse

La plus que lente

Danse - Tarantelle styrienne


Angela Hewitt’s previous forays into the French repertoire have been praised for their ‘tenderness, Gallic wit, verve, and—the most important ingredient of all—charm’. These qualities are very much to the fore in this new disc of Debussy featuring some of the composer’s most sunlit, delightful and popular works.

Children’s Corner was written for Debussy’s beloved daughter (though not, as Hewitt explains, for her to play immediately). Hewitt embraces the music’s wit, artful references and gentle beauty. The atmospheric Suite bergamasque includes the famous ‘Clair de lune’. Also included are the tragic Masques and gorgeously exuberant L’isle joyeuse. Hewitt and Debussy are a perfect match.

“Hewitt’s spectrum of touch, her fluency and sense of colour are deployed with equal enchantment in the first of the two arabesques, her lightness, rhythmic precision and varieties of tonal weight making the second arabesque into a glistening, fanciful filigree...Hewitt brilliantly and sensitively points up the traits that lend the music such distinctive character and evocative presence, not least in an account of “L’Isle joyeuse” that is pure, ravishing radiance.” The Telegraph, 5th October 2012 *****

“There's not a trace of the "impressionistic" about her treatment of any of them: this is Debussy portrayed in clean, bright colours and sharply focused detail, with every rhythm precisely etched...it's undeniably high-class playing, even when you don't agree with some of its details.” The Guardian, 4th October 2012 ****

“This is one of the better offerings for Debussy's 150th anniversary...This generously filled disc finds Hewitt utterly persuasive in the three suites at its heart...Hyperion caputres the sound marvellously. Hewitt has the knack of noticing details without letting them detract from the musical flow...Special mention should be made of 'Clair de lune': it is quite an achievement for its lyrical beauty to be heard afresh.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2012 *****

“Hewitt has put together an ideal introduction to Debussy, but it’s one that can be enjoyed equally by experienced listeners – thanks to the artless touch and precise colours the Canadian pianist brings to each piece.” Financial Times, 27th October 2012 ****

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Debussy Songs Volume 1

Debussy Songs Volume 1


Debussy:

Nuit d'étoiles

Fleur des blés (André Girod)

Voici que le printemps (Romance) (Paul Bourget)

Mandoline (Verlaine)

Cinq poèmes de Baudelaire

Les Angelus

Romance

Les cloches (Paul Bourget)

Trois Mélodies de Verlaine

Fêtes galantes - Set 2

Trois Ballades de François Villon


This collection includes songs from pretty well the whole of Debussy’s composing life, some of them well-known and acknowledged masterpieces, and some of them much less familiar though no less worthy of inclusion. Most of them, though, date from the 1880s and early 90s. Nuit d'étoiles is in fact Debussy's first published composition, dating from 1880 when he was eighteen. The Trois Ballades de François Villon date from 1910.

Christopher Maltman sings them all with his now familiar stylishness and sensitivity to words.

“an admirable recital” BBC Music Magazine

“You could not wish for more than Maltman’s intelligent singing and Martineau’s customary sensitivity to every nuance” Classic FM Magazine

“On the present disc, Maltman distinguishes himself beyond expectation in the realm of French Mélodie, singing throughout with elegance, conviction, communicativeness, specific attention to the text, and unblemished technical security, all utterly without mannerism, in a varied program spanning 30 years (1880 -1910) of Debussy song ... You should go out and buy it right now” Fanfare

“Christopher Maltman has already distinguished himself as a lieder singer, but now he reveals himself as a stunningly apt exponent of French mélodies” Opera News

“nuanced and sensitive performances.” David Smith, Presto Classical, September 2014

“this young baritone invests all he touches with equal consideration and the 21 songs in his programme emerge fresh and compelling … a recording of strong focus” Yorkshire Evening Post

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Hyperion Debussy Song Series - CDA67357

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Debussy Songs Volume 2

Debussy Songs Volume 2


Debussy:

Fêtes galantes - Set 1

Lorna Anderson (soprano)

Proses Lyriques

Lisa Milne (soprano)

Trois chansons de Bilitis

Lorna Anderson (soprano)

Ariettes Oubliées (6)

Lisa Milne (soprano)

Trois chansons de France

Lorna Anderson (soprano)

Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé

Lorna Anderson (soprano)


Two of Britain’s leading exponents of French song, the acclaimed sopranos Lorna Anderson and Lisa Milne, join Malcolm Martineau for the second volume of Hyperion’s overview of Debussy’s haunting, mercurial songs. The French composer’s output in this genre extended throughout his life and he was always inspired by poetry—from his first adolescent attempts to set Paul Verlaine’s Fêtes galantes (which he later revised) to the Trois Poèmes de Mallarmé, written five years before his death. All inhabit a universe of shifting colours and impressions, from the sensual, perfumed ‘flutes and flesh’ of the Chansons de Bilitis to the Proses lyriques, which foreshadow the dreamlike atmosphere of Pelléas et Mélisande.

“The first thing to say that the performances by sopranos Lorna Anderson and Lisa Milne are consistently beautiful, alert to the implications of Debussy's word-setting, whether ecstatic or subdued...Martineau matches them in the subtlety, characterisation and refined textures of his piano-playing” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

“Anderson and Milnes contrasting in approach. Anderson effortlessly glides through Debussy's limpid, lengthy phrases, while Milne's shivering sense of wonder is Melisande-like in its pent-up excitement. Milne's breathy approach to the sublime Ariettes oubliees has plenty of frisson about it” BBC Music Magazine, July 2012 ****

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Debussy Songs Volume 3

Debussy Songs Volume 3


Debussy:

Musique

Romance: Silence ineffable de l'heure

La romance d'Ariel

Regret

L'Archet

Chanson triste L24

Jonathan McGovern (baritone)

Les baisers d'amour L23

Jonathan McGovern (baritone)

Les Elfes

Aimons-nous et Dormons

Souhait

Sérénade L29

Rêverie

La Belle au bois dormant

Jonathan McGovern (baritone)

Il dort encore (Hymnis)

Les Roses

Pierrot

Les baisers L9

Dans le jardin

Jonathan McGovern (baritone)

Le Lilas

Caprice

Zéphyr (Triolet a Philis)

Fête galante

Le promenoir des deux amants

Jonathan McGovern (baritone)

Paysage sentimental


Jennifer France (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano)

Hyperion presents a third volume in its acclaimed Debussy songs series, accompanied and curated by Malcolm Martineau, with booklet notes by French music expert par excellence Roger Nichols. Young soprano Jennifer France, winner of the Song Prize at the 2014 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and making her debut on the label, has a thrillingly expressive voice of diamantine beauty and is an ideal performer of these songs. Baritone Jonathan McGovern performs Le promenoir des deux amants and other songs with warm tone and great musical sensitivity.

“France negotiates the upper-altitude territory both with accuracy and with sensitivity to the songs' moods, with smoothness of line matching her subtlety of vocal inflection...McGovern shows himself to be thoroughly at home within the normal baritone register...Martineau, whose pianism is a constant delight, has devised a proper recital programme rather than a completist survey.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2014

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Hyperion Debussy Song Series - CDA68016

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