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A welcome contribution to the Debussy year 2012 (150-th birthday): the complete piano music on 5 CD’s. Claude Debussy, a fine pianist himself, created a unique piano oeuvre in which the colouristic and harmonic qualities of the piano were developed, resulting in unheard-of dynamics and sonorities (Debussy’s ideal was a piano without hammers).
Most of Debussy’s piano works carry titles, but they are not always “programmatic music”, they evoke certain feelings and visions rather than describing certain events or objects. Beautiful performances by Gordon Fergus-Thompson, who won the prestigious MRA “Instrumental Recording of the Year” with these recordings. Newly written liner notes by Debussy specialist Emanuel Overbeeke.
Featuring some of the most original and beautiful music ever written for the piano, this superb 5-CD release is dedicated to Debussy’s complete works for the instrument and is sure to provide hours of enjoyable listening.
The compilation details a few early gems, such as the enchanting Rêverie of 1890, but is particularly fascinating in its exploration of the composer’s later works, which reveal his development in style. From the 1903 Estampes, in which Debussy’s preference for static structures is first recorded, to the Images of 1905–7 – highly innovative in their rhythmic, timbral and harmonic design – the release also features what many consider to be his crowning achievement in the Impressionist style: the notoriously difficult 12 Etudes. With some of the Frenchman’s best-known works on display, such as the highly accessible Children’s Corner, this release is a musical feast. Gordon Fergus-Thompson’s interpretations are highly expressive, and it comes as no surprise to hear that the first issue of this release won him the prestigious MRA ‘Best Instrumental Recording of the Year’. A fantastic compilation, full of colour and evocative scene painting.
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