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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 2, 2012 | Chandos

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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 January 1, 1971 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released January 3, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Solo Piano - Released October 29, 2015 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
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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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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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Classical - Released December 8, 2017 | HORTUS

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Solo Piano - Released June 29, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
Released as one of nine new albums dedicated to Debussy by harmonia mundi to mark the centenary of the French composer's birth, this volume offers the Second Book of the Preludes played by Alexander Melnikov on an Erard piano. The world of Debussyan piano relied so heavily on timbre that pianists and editors alike often prefer one or another make so as to get a grip on the specificities of the music. Alexander Melnikov is one of those rare Russian artists to take an interest in ancient instruments. This student of Sviatoslav Richter was quickly captivated by this kind of work, working with Andreas Staier and Alexey Lubimov and playing with specialised ensembles like the Concerto Köln or the Berlin Akademie für Alte Musik. His performance of the Preludes by Debussy at London's Wigmore Hall was particularly well received by critics who described the Russian pianist as a "sorcerer" who is highlighting "ravishing", "violent", "terrifying" music. An iridescent orchestral masterpiece, La Mer is difficult to boil down to a four-handed piano piece, and Debussy disowned his transcription, leaving it to André Caplet to prepare another one for two four-handed pianos. Alexandre Melnikov and Olga Pashchenko have taken up the challenge to prove that the auteur's transcription is not at all "unplayable". © François Hudry/Qobuz
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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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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released September 24, 2013 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
Argentine pianist Nelson Goerner isn't known for French music, although he does perform Debussy's L'Isle Joyeuse in recital sometimes. This beautifully recorded release from the Linn label, however, gives the lie to the idea that pianists necessarily have a specialty, like vocalists, outside which they don't perform well. The album was recorded at the Teldex studios in Berlin, which have rarely if ever been better exploited than by Linn's engineers here. They capture the delicacy of Goerner's mists, the full resonance of the bacchanalian finale of L'Isle Joyeuse. Nearly equally good are the performances themselves. Goerner has lots of competition in these familiar Debussy works, but his versions are worth considering not only for their lovely, subtle palette of textures but also for the unique sound world he coaxes out of each work. Try the rather pan-Asian concept of Pagodes, from the Estampes set at the beginning: the title is East Asian, but the musical inspiration is Indonesian, and the work has rarely sounded more like the cyclical layers of a gamelan echoing in a Javanese night. Each of the Etudes comes to life in its own technical-poetic space. Goerner's program is not organized chronologically nor by complete set; instead it follows an internal poetic logic, and by the end it has become profoundly hypnotic. Very, very fine playing. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 18, 2012 | Parlophone (France)

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Halle Concerts Society

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The Hallé Orchestra has played Debussy well for a long time, and the group's recent recordings under Sir Mark Elder have attracted critical notice. Those interested would do very well to start with this release, which joins the familiar Nocturnes for orchestra (perhaps a bit less familiar in the 1999 edition by Denis Herlin heard here) with some fascinating lesser-performed works. The latter group includes two unique later works, the highly evocative Les soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbon, L. 150 (from a recently discovered piano work orchestrated by Colin Matthews), and the Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire, L. 77. The Marche écossaise was commissioned, and if the idea of Debussy writing a Scottish march sounds odd, well, it's probably odder than it sounds: it sounds for all the world like a folk song setting, except then it doesn't. La Damoiselle elue, L. 62 is a very early piece, written by Debussy in connection with his Prix de Rome award. It's conventional, but the restless spirit that was soon to surface is easy to hear; it features strong, operatic performances by Anna Stéphany and Sophie Bevan. The Première Rapsodie, L. 116, is a difficult clarinet piece written for exams at the Paris Conservatory. As for the Nocturnes themselves, Elder has a precise yet dreamy way with this music, especially in the wordless chorus of Sirènes that rewards multiple hearings. © TiVo
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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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Symphonic Music - Released June 7, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Opera - Released October 6, 2017 | LSO Live

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Solo Piano - Released November 30, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
On the dawn of his fortieth birthday, the Spanish pianist Javier Perianes should be more than proud of his dazzling career. Among the places that regularly welcome him we find Carnegie Hall, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Philharmonie de Paris, Gewandhaus in Leipzig and La Roque d'Anthéron. Barenboim and Larrocha were his masters. He is particularly fond of the great French repertoire of Debussy and Ravel, though he never focuses solely on them - his previous recordings have taken him to Beethoven, Mompou, Schubert or Granados. Here, he remains in the French world with Debussy's Book I from Preludes and his three Estampes, the composer’s piano masterpiece, which Perianes distils with immense instrumental colour, breathing, contrasts and a magnificent violence that counterbalances a crystal clearness at every moment, as requested by the score. © SM/Qobuz
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Concertos - Released September 24, 2013 | Alpha

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Argentine pianist Nelson Goerner isn't known for French music, although he does perform Debussy's L'Isle Joyeuse in recital sometimes. This beautifully recorded release from the Linn label, however, gives the lie to the idea that pianists necessarily have a specialty, like vocalists, outside which they don't perform well. The album was recorded at the Teldex studios in Berlin, which have rarely if ever been better exploited than by Linn's engineers here. They capture the delicacy of Goerner's mists, the full resonance of the bacchanalian finale of L'Isle Joyeuse. Nearly equally good are the performances themselves. Goerner has lots of competition in these familiar Debussy works, but his versions are worth considering not only for their lovely, subtle palette of textures but also for the unique sound world he coaxes out of each work. Try the rather pan-Asian concept of Pagodes, from the Estampes set at the beginning: the title is East Asian, but the musical inspiration is Indonesian, and the work has rarely sounded more like the cyclical layers of a gamelan echoing in a Javanese night. Each of the Etudes comes to life in its own technical-poetic space. Goerner's program is not organized chronologically nor by complete set; instead it follows an internal poetic logic, and by the end it has become profoundly hypnotic. Very, very fine playing. © TiVo