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Classical - Released April 8, 2013 | harmonia mundi

A pupil of Lucienne Descaves, Jacques Février and Geneviève Joy, Georges Pludermacher is a discreet pianist with a sharp musicality and a daring style. In 1994, he recorded a beautiful Debussy album for harmonia mundi with a particularly rare programme. There was the Children's Corner suite to which he brought a vision brimming with melancholy.This original pairing features works from the beginning and the end of the composer's career and is available once again. It contains the Suite bergamasque which was composed around 1890 and revised by its author because, Debussy said, printing it in its original version "would be mad and useless". The proximity to Verlaine, especially in the famous Claire de lune, is easily perceptible in Pludermacher's diaphanous and delicate interpretation.Originally conceived as a suite for orchestra (which they later became thanks to Ernest Ansermet's beautiful orchestration), the Six Épigraphes antiques of 1914 flirt with a tonal abstraction expressed with rare poetry by the French pianist. This endearing record closes with the Pour le piano suite, one of Debussy's earliest compositions. It shows a composer beginning to find his own particular harmony by way of the masters to whom he is unconsciously paying tribute. Let us highlight the beautiful quality of the sound material due to Georges Pludermacher's unique, fluid touch that the technicians were able to reproduce perfectly. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released February 7, 2012 | Naxos

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Classical - Released October 2, 2012 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Praised for his meticulous fidelity to the composer's intentions, as well as for his rich tonal palette and the warmth of his expressions, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet has won many admirers for his five albums of the complete solo piano music of Claude Debussy. These recordings were produced by Chandos between 2007 and 2009, and they have now been gathered into a handsome box set; each disc is presented with its own cardboard sleeve and the original liner notes that accompanied each release. The roster of artists who have recorded Debussy's keyboard music is a long and distinguished one, though Bavouzet is easily ranked in the upper echelons, equal in stature among such luminaries as Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Krystian Zimerman, Maurizio Pollini, Angela Hewitt, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and Pascal Rogé. Experienced listeners will already have favorite recordings of the Préludes, Images, Estampes, and Études, as well as the perennially popular Suite bergamasque, Children's Corner, and other picturesque pieces. However, many will be won over by the consistency of Bavouzet's playing, and newcomers will find that his disciplined yet gorgeous readings are a great way to begin appreciating these charming classics. Chandos provides excellent sound that gives the piano a clear presence yet takes nothing away from Bavouzet's atmospheric colors or the radiant acoustics. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 4, 2021 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Symphonic Music - Released October 23, 2020 | LSO Live

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François-Xavier Roth, Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, displays his deep affinity with the music of Debussy and Ravel on his latest LSO Live album. A fascination with his Spanish heritage would be a recurring theme in many of Ravel's creations. Mysterious melodies weave delicately throughout his early work Rapsodie espagnole, punctuated by bursts of Spanish-inspired fanfares and Habanera dance rhythms. The voluptuous flute opening of the Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune immediately conjures a world of luxurious fantasy, weaving through the music's changing scenes with effortless spontaneity. Every instrument adds something unique, and the whole work appears to float free of form and convention. In La mer, Debussy tells the story of the eternal odyssey of the ocean. He sails through storm and calm, wind and rain, in music that rises and falls with the rhythms of the sea. The score is so vivid that you can almost smell sea salt and see the crests of the waves. © LSO Live
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Solo Piano - Released April 6, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording - 5 étoiles de Classica
The remarkable Turkish pianist Fazıl Say (born 1970) here offers us a suitably remarkable album, recorded in 2016 in the Great Hall of the Salzburg Mozarteum and given over to the Premier Livre of Debussy's Préludes – 1910 – which he sets up in against the six Gnossiennes by Satie (1890 for the first three, 1897 for the latter three) and to the pieces which made him famous, the Gymnopédies of 1888. It's quite stunning to hear these works and to reflect on the fact that Satie's works actually come before Debussy's Préludes – by almost two decades, in fact. It is hardly surprising the Satie has been thought a real avant-gardist both in his day and by minimalists today. Considering how different these two were, it was natural that they should have been friends, especially given Debussy's tendency towards jealousy of his contemporaries... But it is impossible to be jealous of a kind, bubbly soul like Satie. Say brings immense tenderness to these two opposite poles – poles so far removed that they almost join back up. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released July 3, 2020 | Halle Concerts Society

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
A somewhat unusual interpretation of Debussy – more lyrical than rhythmic. Here, Sir Mark Elder presents a slightly melancholic version of Images pour orchestre, which stands out from his other well-known interpretations on disc, such as of those of Monteux (Philips), Martinon (EMI) and Tilson Thomas (Deutsche Grammaphon), in an extravaganza of rhythms and colours. The British conductor always pays close attention to the balance of textures, as evidenced by his excellent version of Sibelius’ complete symphonies (Hallé Concerts Society). Here, he conducts an orchestra that is small but still mindful of the combinations of timbres (Gigues). The Hallé Orchestra delights in the frequent harmonic friction of the music – one may even wonder whether Debussy was an elder cousin who led the way for the great English symphonists… Rondes de printemps remains one of the composer’s most advanced works, a miniature study of the later ballet Jeux – something which Sir Mark Elder’s tremendous expertise alludes to in this interpretation. It’s a shame that the recording technique for the albums by the Hallé Orchestra Concerts Society is always a little fuzzy and lacks clarity of timbre and depth as it could potentially sound rather dull to the listener rather than providing a true reflection of Elder’s live performances with this orchestra – which he has been doing since 1999! Nevertheless, this is a perfect and sublimely lascivious interpretation of Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, with two arrangements for piano, one of which is from Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut, and one of which is from Book II of Images for piano, an undisputed masterpiece of the French master. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 1, 1971 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Symphonic Music - Released December 7, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
The originality of this recording (which presents works that are, in fact, rather common) comes from the orchestra Les Siècles playing on periodic instruments, in this case from the period in which Debussy wrote these masterpieces. This is particularly relevant for woodwinds and brass, whose mechanisms and sounds around 1900 were very different - more incisive perhaps, and undoubtedly more differentiated - which for music like Debussy's offers a real plus in the orchestral balance. Moreover, the number of strings remains reasonable, this way the woodwind is never swallowed up as it often is with large international orchestras. The listener will be able to hear this music as Debussy heard it, or at least how he would have liked to have heard it because in his time orchestras and conductors did not always have a clear understanding of his style or the infinite colours on his palette. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released October 9, 2012 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
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Solo Piano - Released November 17, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
Since the pianist's early days, the South Korean Seong-Jin Cho (1994) has professed a fondness for French music in general and Debussy in particular. At his first public performance at the age of eleven, he played Children’s Corner by Debussy. When he decided, in 2012, to pursue his musical education abroad, he chose Paris, and the Conservatoire National Supérieur, where he frequented the classes of Michel Béroff, the undisputed expert on Debussy. Cho has come back to work again with his old teacher, who became a friend, with the aim of creating his own Debussy album; the choice of works here is "restricted" to works requiring a middling level of virtuosity - mechanical exhibition isn't his thing, even though he has amply mastered his instrument - but whose poetical content allows the pianist to show off his own exquisite expertise as a musician. An homage to his own childhood, Children’s Corner, but also the two books of Images and the exquisite Suite bergamasque. Let’s not forget that Seong-Jin Cho won Warsaw's 2015 Chopin Prize, a sure-fire ticket to an international career. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released October 5, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
A century after his death on 25 March 1918, many harmonia mundi artists are eager to pay tribute to Claude Debussy, the magician of melody and timbre, the great 'colourist' and father of modern music. After Rachmaninoff's Preludes, Nikolai Lugansky wanted to present a finely nuanced portrait of this composer so fond of travelling! Whether it ranges over time (Hommage à Haydn) or the most vividly imagined open spaces, this freely composed programme is concerned above all with light and colour, in works we can never tire of. © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released January 1, 2008 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de l'année du Monde de la Musique - Choc du Monde de la Musique - Hi-Res Audio
Another winner in Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's survey of Debussy's complete piano music for Chandos, Vol. 3 brings together sentimental favorites and nearly unknown works. On the one hand, there are Clair de Lune, Réverie, and Children's Corner, on the other, the extremely early (the composer was 18) Danse bohémienne and the extremely late (the composer died three years afterwards) Élégie. Perhaps surprisingly to those who recall his brilliantly austere Images from Vol. 1 and his blazingly virtuosic Préludes from Vol. 2, Bavouzet's interpretations of the sentimental favorites are lush-toned and warmhearted, with wonderfully sustained legato and tastefully discrete use of the sustaining pedal. Unsurprisingly, however, Bavouzet is totally under the skin of Debussy's music. His Children's Corner balances wry wit with deep affection, and his La plus que lente waltz balances dry irony and profound emotion. Though there are certainly other great recordings of Debussy's piano music from Gieseking through Rogé, Bavouzet's recordings surely belong in that company. Chandos' piano sound is rich and ringing, with plenty of detail and amazing presence. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released May 1, 2012 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles Classica - La Clef du mois RESMUSICA
Stéphane Denève has established himself as a versatile maestro with a highly varied repertoire, from concert fare to operas, but his recordings have revealed him to be a specialist in French orchestral music, notably in his coverage of works by Albert Roussel and Guillaume Connesson. This double hybrid SACD from Chandos offers Denève's interpretations of the orchestral works of Claude Debussy, and the lavishly detailed and expressive performances by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra show a conductor and an orchestra in complete sympathy with the music. Because the presentation by Chandos is first-rate from an audiophile perspective, with spectacular reproduction and close-up, credible presence, the listener is immersed in Debussy's dazzling colors from the opening of Images, and surrounded by fully dimensional sonorities throughout the album, which includes such other masterpieces of impressionist music as Jeux, Nocturnes, La Mer, Printemps, and Prélude à l'après-midi d'une faune. When the clarity of the notes, the richness of the timbres, and the depth of the orchestra's sound are appreciated altogether, it's truly a seductive experience, and Debussy's lush and atmospheric music achieves its potential in this impressive package. Indeed, it's difficult to pull away from these gorgeous performances, so prepare to listen to both SACDs in one long, leisurely sitting. It's that good. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released October 5, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Marking the centennial of Claude Debussy's death, Harmonia Mundi has steadily released multiple volumes in a 2018 series of his complete works, freshly recorded by some of the label's leading artists. Debussy: Les Trois Sonates - The Late Works, like previous titles in the acclaimed series, is presented in a handsome trim-line box, though this release contains only a single CD and a thin booklet, so it is a bit over-packaged. However, the evocative performances of the Sonata for violin and piano, the Sonata for flute, viola, and harp, and the Sonata for cello and piano make the purchase worthwhile, and connoisseurs will regard this as one of the most sublime Debussy releases of the year. Featuring violinist Isabelle Faust and pianist Alexander Melnikov in the Violin Sonata, Debussy's last completed work; flutist Magali Mosnier, violist Antoine Tamestit, and harpist Xavier de Maistre in the Sonata for flute, viola, and harp; and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and pianist Javier Perianes in the Cello Sonata, the program boasts artists of exceptional artistry and expressive depth, all ideally suited to these refined and sometimes rarefied works. Interspersed between the chamber compositions are four keyboard works, performed by Tanguy de Williencourt in somewhat introspective readings that complement the more conversational ensemble pieces, though in Debussy's music, the emphasis on atmosphere tends to make everything seem reflective and intimate. The recorded sound is clean and transparent, which is ideal for capturing subtle nuances in quiet passages. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 9, 2015 | naïve

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Classical - Released January 3, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released September 25, 2020 | La Dolce Volta

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According to Philippe Bianconi, Claude Debussy’s twelve Études are more compositional studies than studies and represent the culmination and pinnacle of his artistry. The French pianist has long shied away from the extreme difficulty in executing these pieces, but with this latest offering he completes his recordings of these piano works by Debussy. In addition to this most beautiful interpretation of the Études, Philippe Bianconi has chosen to include some contemporary pieces so as to give a stylistic coherence to his project presenting a late Debussy, wearied by war, pessimism and cancer which ultimately led to his death at the age of 56. Debussy’s faithful friend, André Caplet orchestrated several of his works and realised a pianistic version for orchestra including these extracts of the Martyre de Saint-Sébastien composed for the dancer Ida Rubinstein on a text by Gabriele d’Annunzio. The piano arrangement still reinforces the austerity found within the original work and includes the passages Debussy ignored in his symphonic fragments. Written in homage to Chopin who Debussy revered, the Études and their complex harmonies open the door to a music of the future. Philippe Bianconi’s light touch is marvellous in the same way as his work on textures and the difficult polyphony in the striking miniatures. Such technique enables him to brave every nuance and endlessly vary colour and atmosphere. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | Warner Classics

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Alexandre Tharaud pays a personal homage to Claude Debussy, for the hundredth anniversary of the death of the composer, with the absolute hit that is Clair de lune, the third part of this masterpiece for piano mainly composed in the 1890s that is the Suite bergamasque, in four movements. The three others remains even more interesting, notably the Menuet (no. 2) and the Passepied (no. 4), but we never complain of listening to the Clair de lune, a sweet and gentle moment of daydream. For the entire suite, Qobuz particularly recommends the different versions by Sviatoslav Richter, before the one by Zoltan Kocsis with Philips, which is in a more comfortable sound. © Théodore Grantet/Qobuz
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Classical - Released April 18, 2012 | Parlophone (France)

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography