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DEBUSSY: Works for Piano

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Jean-Efflam Bavouzet here presents his second volume of Debussy's Complete Works for Piano, which reveals a more reflective, private period in Debussy's compositional career.

Debussy won the Prix de Rome in 1884 at the age of twenty-one and through it tasted institutional life for the first and last time. It was one of the most miserable periods in his life. Quite aside from having to leave his Parisian mistress, Debussy was never comfortable with the demands of public situations, and all through these works we find a tension between public and private utterance. Opening the disc are three early works, the 'Ballade', 'Valse romantique' and 'Danse', which Debussy offered to his publisher as a group. They show how far he was prepared to go to please the elite, but also the extent to which he was determined to follow his own path, and from this point on he took more control of his writing.

In his dedication of the three Images of 1894 to Yvonne Lerolle, Debussy makes explicit reference to the tension he was feeling: 'These pieces would feel extremely nervous entering 'the brilliantly lit salons;' regularly patronised by people who don t like music. They are rather 'conversations' between the Piano and Oneself.' They are complemented here by 'Estampes', which represent a kind of retreat by Debussy into his private world after the premiere of 'Pell?®as et M?®lisande' and his being decorated as Chevalier de la L?®gion d'honneur in 1902. It shows the first real sign of his bending the piano to his will. Completing the recording are three smaller works written in the years 1903 - 04, 'Masques', 'L'Isle joyeuse' and '...D'un cahier d'esquisses'.

Debussy's works have been central to the performance repertoire of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet for many years but with this series he records his interpretations of them on CD for the first time. As 'The Sunday Times' noted, 'Bavouzet has taken his time before committing his interpretations to disc but here he announces himself a peerless Debussyiste... Bavouzet's command of touch, colour and rhythmic vitality are all that one could ask for... This is essential Debussy, immaculately realised'. About Volume 1, 'Gramophone' wrote, 'Bavouzet commands all the shading, nuance and timbral sensitivity one expects in Debussy, together with virtuoso flair and characterful spontaneity...' This series is very much a personal project for Bavouzet who has been involved in all aspects of the recording.

For lovers of Debussy, and great piano playing, this is essential listening.

Previously released:

Complete Works for Piano, Volume 1 CHAN 10421
Item number CHAN 10443
Barcode 095115144329
Release date 10/01/2007
Category Romantic
Label Chandos Records
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Bavouzet, Jean-Efflam
Composers Debussy, Claude
Disc: 1
1 Ballade
2 Valse romantique
3 Danse, "Tarantelle styrienne"
4 I. Lent melancolique et doux
5 II. Dans le mouvement d'une Sarabande
6 III. Quelques aspects de nous n'irons plus au bois
7 No. 1. Pagodes
8 No. 2. La soiree dans Grenade (Evening in Granada)
9 No. 3. Jardins sous la pluie (Gardens in the Rain)
10 I. Prelude
11 II. Sarabande
12 III. Toccata
13 Masques
14 L'Isle joyeuse
15 D'un cahier d'esquisses
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