5 de Diapason -
Choc de l'année du Monde de la Musique -
Choc du Monde de la Musique -
Brilliantly played, charismatically interpreted, and superbly recorded, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's disc coupling both Debussy's Books of Préludes has everything going for it. The last discovery of Georg Solti and protégé Pierre Boulez, Bavouzet has a huge technique, a variegated tone, and a commanding personality, and he plays these super virtuoso works without missing a note. Some might miss the poetry of Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir or the sensuality of La fille aux cheveux de lin, or the mystery of Canope or the whimsy of Hommage à S. Pickwick, Esq. P.P.M.P.C., but no one could complain that Ce qu'a vu le vent d'Ouest isn't breathtaking, La cathédrale engloutie isn't awe-inspiring, Les fées sont d'exquises danseuses isn't enchanting, and Feux d'artifice isn't intoxicating. With the encore of Les soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbon -- an ephemeral yet effecting work Debussy wrote for the charcoal dealer who kept him warm in frigid winter of 1916-1917 that came to light only in 2001 -- Bavouzet's disc becomes a necessary addition to any Debussy collection aspiring to completeness. Recorded in 2006 by Ralph Couzens in Potton Hall in Dunwich, Suffolk, using a Steinway Model D owned by S.E. Foster, these performances sound fresh and sonorous.