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Pianist Noriko Ogawa has won critical acclaim for earlier volumes of this Debussy piano music cycle, with her interpretations of the composer’s sets of Images and of Études singled out as belonging to the finest in the discography.
On this the fifth and final disc, Noriko Ogawa again offers us scintillating performances of works both well-known and less often heard.
The two Arabesques were among Debussy’s most popular works already during his lifetime, with hundreds of thousand of copies sold before his death. Another ‘hit’ was Rêverie, which Debussy himself wanted to suppress, but which at one stage even ended up as No. 1 on the US Billboard chart in a swing arrangement.
Less familiar are some of the youthful works, for instance Danse bohémienne, Debussy’s first piano piece composed at the age of 18. But the two main works on the disc are indisputably the suites Pour le Piano and Suite Bergamasque, which Debussy completed in his maturity.
Claude Debussy: 2 Arabesques
No. 1 in E major
No. 2 in G major
Claude Debussy: Danse, "Tarentelle styrienne"
Danse, "Tarantelle styrienne"
Claude Debussy: Ballade
Claude Debussy: Valse romantique
Claude Debussy: Reverie
Claude Debussy: Suite bergamasque
III. Clair de lune
Claude Debussy: Mazurka
Claude Debussy: Nocturne
Claude Debussy: Danse bohemienne
Claude Debussy: Pour le piano
“Ogawa is an exceptionally fine advocate for this music; as with volume one, the piano sound is gorgeous. Her playing is never less than sensitive and beautiful...Ogawa's sense of colour combines with clarity of line and a genial charm that brings alive not only the better known works...but also less characteristic pieces such as the Danse bohemienne...another very enjoyable contribution to a strong cycle.”
“The present volume evinces all of the pianistic virtues that Ogawa has previously shown: crisp fingerwork; clear articulation even in pedalled textures; fluidity and flexibility within a steady rhythm and pulse; lovely touch and tone; ample power wherever needed.”
Awards Issue 2011
“Ogawa is thoroughly capable of rising to the occasion: notice the verve and point she brings to the opening Preludes of the Suite Bergamasuqe and Pour le piano suites. BIS's mellow resonance falls as easily on the ear as Ogawa's agreeable yet inconsistently inspired pianism”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.