vivid and personal interpretations of Debussys complete works for piano are available for the first time in an attractive five-volume box set, selling for the price of three CDs. This is the series that put Bavouzet on the map, and established him firmly as a leading and internationally acclaimed pianist.
Disc 1 offers Debussys two books of Préludes, complemented by the only recently rediscovered and rarely recorded late prelude entitled Les soirs illuminés par lardeur du charbon
wrote of this disc: 'Bavouzet commands all the shading, nuance and timbral sensitivity one expects in Debussy, together with virtuoso flair and characterful spontaneity.'
The second disc reveals a more reflective, private period in Debussys compositional career. In the dedication of the three Images
, Debussy wrote: 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. LA Times
wrote: 'In what may turn out to be the greatest complete recorded survey of the composers piano music yet, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays with such bracing clarity that hearing the early Romantic pieces, one feels like jumping into an icy pond after an hour in the sauna.'
On Disc 3, the music moves to a more playful strand in Debussys output, with generally shorter pieces of the salon genre, including the two famous collections Children's Corner
and Suite bergamasque
. Of Disc 4, which won a Gramophone
Award in 2009, the magazine Pianist
wrote: "Trust me, both the Images and Études easily conquer any other modern recording."
The fifth and concluding disc brings together the ballets Khamma, Jeux
and La Boîte à joujoux
, all far better known in their orchestral guise, but here performed in Debussys initial versions for solo piano. This disc was an Editors Choice in the magazines Gramophone
and Classic FM
and nominated for a Gramophone
Award in 2010, in the instrumental category.Chandos Apology
A number of you received faulty copies of 'Debussy: Complete Piano Works' recently. We apologise unreservedly for the disappointment, frustration and inconvenience this issue has caused. You deserved a lot better from us. We've identified the source of this fault and fixed it. We're also conducting a full review to ensure this doesn't happen again.
We're really sorry. Winnie, Chandos