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Solo Piano - Released March 30, 2010 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Hi-Res Audio
Perhaps one of classical music's least noted but most important stories of the new millennium has been the profusion of recordings of Haydn's keyboard sonatas, each as different from the others as are the major schools of playing Beethoven, if not more so. Part of the reason for the variety is that, as French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet points out here, Haydn's manuscripts contained very little in the way of interpretive markings, leaving the field open for future performers and editors. Bavouzet, operating in the sonically superb environment of Suffolk, England's Potton Hall and playing a modern Yamaha, nevertheless adopts the fruits of historical research in his approach. He takes the repeats and heavily ornaments them, without, however, drawing attention to himself in the process. More generally, his tone is clean, very quiet, and rather harpsichord-like. In the slow movements of these four middle-period sonatas he's low-key indeed, but his playing holds up under attentive listening; his playing successfully draws the listener into an intimate space. Bavouzet's readings generally have the sort of Haydn X factor that leaves the listener completely unsure of what's coming next. Strongly recommended and whets the appetite for other albums in the occasional series that Bavouzet promises is coming. © TiVo
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Keyboard Concertos - Released September 28, 2010 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
Written over a span of nearly 20 years, Bartók's three piano concertos were composed not at the behest of other performers as the violin and viola concertos were, but for the composer himself. Much like the virtuoso composer/performers of earlier generations, Bartók composed his three monumental concertos to take on concert tours and, of course, to generate income. Each of the concertos closely adheres to the Classical three-movement structure exemplified by Beethoven, even concluding each work with a rondo movement. The motivic development, use of modes, and incorporation of other musical forms is all Bartók's own. This Chandos album of the three Bartók concertos features pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet who completed an immensely successful complete survey of the Debussy complete solo piano works. Though Debussy and Bartók are stylistically quite different, the attributes that so distinguished his Debussy performances -- broad range of colors, meticulously controlled touch, transparent articulation, effortless control of tempo -- make for brilliant Bartók as well. Accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda, Bartók's muscular orchestral writing and continuous dialogue (or arguments, as the case may be) between soloist and orchestra are seamless and cohesive. Even during the most brash, forceful brass fanfares, Noseda maintains a keen sense of balance that always allows Bavouzet's powerful sound to ring through. Conversely, the intimate, hushed sound quality achieved in the Second Concerto's Adagio is enough to make listeners want to hold their breath. After listening to such satisfying performances, listeners will be left hoping that Chandos has more plans for Bavouzet and Bartók. © TiVo
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Solo Piano - 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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Concertos - Released May 1, 2007 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de l'année du Monde de la Musique - Choc du Monde de la Musique - Hi-Res Audio
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. © TiVo
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Solo Piano - Released January 1, 2007 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Choc du Monde de la Musique - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released April 2, 2013 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Pianiste Maestro - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Concertos - Released November 16, 2010 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - Hi-Res Audio
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is one of a number of younger artists who has shown that there's perhaps unexpected life yet in the French recital and concerto traditions of the 19th century. Here he surrounds a pair of familiar Ravel standards for piano and orchestra with works that qualify as rarities by major composers. Bavouzet makes these into considerable revelations. The neglect of the Fantaisie for piano and orchestra of Debussy, composed in 1889, is a bit hard to understand inasmuch as it is Debussy's only work for this combination. It stands right at the point where Debussy's mature style emerged, seeming at first a work in Fauré's style. But soon it transpires that the piano is not forming contrasts with the orchestra but painting colors in the empty spaces it leaves, using textures and a surprising amount of whole-tone material. Bavouzet's performance is magical. Likewise the Massenet pieces, including the Valse folle (Crazy Waltz) that concludes the proceedings on a somewhat ominous note. The Ravel centerpieces are given brisk, sharp, crisp readings, which are highly effective in the case of the brilliant Piano Concerto in G major, where Bavouzet delivers what is going to be seen as a real crowd-pleaser. The Piano Concerto for the left hand is interesting not only for its unique technical concept, but as an example of the period in which Ravel was exploring the possibilities of American blues and jazz, and in the latter respect it's a bit dry. But superb orchestral support from the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Yan Pascal Tortelier, along with transparent super audio sound, make this an excellent choice for French music devotees. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 4, 2012 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Solo Piano - Released November 18, 2008 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc du Monde de la Musique - Hi-Res Audio
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's four-disc survey of Debussy's complete piano music may well be among the finest ever recorded, fit to stand with Gieseking and Rogé. Here in the fourth and final volume, Bavouzet completes his survey with both series of Images and both books of Études. The former are among the French Impressionist's most richly evocative works while the latter are among the French proto-Modernist's most recklessly virtuosic works, and Bavouzet gives every work the performance it deserves. In the Images, his nuanced tone, blended sonorities, and intense intimacy reach to the music's expressive heart. In the Études, his clear tone, brazen sonorities and astounding technique find the music's intellectual core. But whatever the music, Bavouzet is always himself. Just to take two small examples, the way he treats the accents in "Mouvement" from the First Series of Images and in the Pour les 'cinq doigts' from Book 1 of the Études is wholly his own, the former closer to détaché than staccato, the later closer to staccato than sforzando. And yet Bavouzet is always faithful to the music. No matter how fresh and natural his interpretation, his fidelity to the score is absolute. Recorded in crystalline and atmospheric digital sound, this disc concludes a series that every Debussy aficionado should pay close attention to. © TiVo
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Classical - Released November 17, 2009 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
The fifth volume of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's survey of the complete piano music of Claude Debussy is at least as fine as the previous four, and perhaps even more interesting. Throughout this series, Bavouzet has shown himself to be not only a stupendous virtuoso -- nothing in the Études or the Préludes is technically beyond him -- but also an exemplary Debussy pianist. He knows how to blend, balance, shade, and shadow so that the music always sounds like it is by Debussy and no other composer. In this volume, Bavouzet takes on three works rarely programmed or recorded in any form and plays them in their nearly unknown piano versions: the ballets Khamma, Jeux, and La boîte à joujoux. Though the piano versions were intended only as aids for dance rehearsal and not as a substitute for the full scores, they prove wholly persuasive in these performances. Bavouzet tosses off the most challenging passages as easily as if they were five-finger exercises, but more importantly, he makes compelling cases for these rare pieces, revealing each as a fully worthy work, something at which many conductors have failed. Though no fan of the composer should be without the orchestral versions of these scores, this disc should be of interest to anyone who loves Debussy. Chandos' digital sound is warm, deep, detailed, and colorful. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 30, 2015 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Before the widespread availability of phonograph recordings, composers frequently promoted their orchestral music through transcriptions for piano, in many cases for two pianos if the music's complexity demanded it. Igor Stravinsky once played his transcription of his ballet Le Sacre du printemps with Claude Debussy, who described it as "a beautiful nightmare," and apart from a handful of controversial orchestral performances, it was heard most often in the keyboard reduction until after WWI. Since Le Sacre's centennial anniversary in 2013, the two-piano transcription has become quite popular again, and it is a favorite showpiece among virtuosos who enjoy its challenges and its flashiness, so it's no surprise that Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and François-Frédéric Guy have chosen it as the main work of this 2015 Chandos release. The other selections, Béla Bartók's Two Pictures, transcribed for two pianos by Zoltán Kocsis, and Debussy's Jeux, transcribed by Bavouzet, don't have the historical significance of Stravinsky's transcription, but their place on this program is justified by the importance of the composers, and the fact that these works were also first heard in 1913. This album is strongly recommended to fans of music for two pianos, though most other listeners will prefer the full versions for orchestra. © TiVo
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Keyboard Concertos - Released May 31, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s first three volumes of Mozart concertos with the Manchester Camerata and Gábor Takács-Nagy have been received with widespread acclaim, and so it is with some excitement that we release the keenly anticipated fourth instalment in the series. Composed within just one month in early 1785, these two concertos by Mozart are among the most popular of all his piano concertos. No. 20, KV 466 was his first concerto in a minor key, and its dark and stormy nature contrasts with the light and sunny atmosphere of Concerto No. 21, KV 467. Like so many of his piano concertos, both works were composed for the Vienna concert season and were given their premiere performances with Mozart at the keyboard. The two concertos are interspersed on this recording with a vivid performance of the Overture to Don Giovanni, which shares traits with both concertos and further demonstrates the exemplary playing of Manchester Camerata. © Chandos
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Classical - Released October 7, 2016 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Solo Piano - Released July 6, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released May 19, 2017 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released November 4, 2016 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month
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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 February 4, 2014 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month
Many of Sergey Prokofiev's musical inspirations were French, and a light French touch often works well in his piano pieces. With the field open to a new generation for the composer's five piano concertos, this one merits strong consideration. The sparkling Piano Concerto in D flat major, Op. 10, is perhaps the highlight of the whole set here; Bavouzet and conductor Gianandrea Noseda with the BBC Philharmonic achieving a bright, almost ebullient atmosphere. The Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26, cut from the same cloth but with a greater quotient of acidic dissonant humor, is very nearly as good. There's hardly a weak spot throughout: the technically perilous and still-edgy Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16, which occasioned a scandal at its premiere, keeps its threatening quality, and the less common Piano Concerto No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 53, composed for a one-armed pianist, is entirely competent, and the delicate finale of the neo-classic Piano Concerto No. 5 in G major, Op. 55, is gorgeous. Strong studio sound and excellent, personal booklet notes from Bavouzet himself are added attractions. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 5, 2011 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Solo Piano - Released February 1, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason