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Classical - Released April 17, 2020 | harmonia mundi

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Harmonia Mundi's centenary edition of the works of Claude Debussy necessarily includes several different interpretations of his keyboard music, and Nikolai Lugansky's single-disc contribution offers only a selection of well-known pieces, featuring the Suite Bergamasque and including L'Isle joyeuse, the Deux Arabesques, La plus que lente, Jardins sous la pluie, three pieces from Images II, and the Hommage à Haydn. For the most part, this is an album of reflective pieces that don't require a big sound, and the program shows mostly Lugansky's quiet side, emphasizing his polished technique and ability to glide nearly effortlessly over the keys with a delicate touch and warm tone. These qualities were noted in Debussy's own playing, and the restraint and control displayed here gives us an idea of how the composer's contemporaries likely heard his playing. Listeners new to Debussy may try the famous Clair de lune or the Passepied from the Suite Bergamasque, which are among the composer's greatest hits, though the whole album deserves sampling, if only to get an idea of Lugansky's technical flexibility and refined expressions. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released November 13, 2020 | harmonia mundi

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Édouard Herriot once said: ‘In Beethoven, everything comes from within. His model is not the rule of the schoolroom.’ This is particularly true of the late sonatas, which contain elements of both intimate journal (Romain Rolland saw in Op. 101 ‘a day in the inner life’ of Beethoven) and total experimentation (the variations of Op. 109!) before attaining the mystical serenity of the very last sonata, Op. 111. Here is Nikolai Lugansky’s long-awaited vision of this pianistic Everest. © harmonia mundi