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Debussy: The Complete Works for Piano Box set

3 customer reviews

Price: £54.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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£54.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Nov. 1995)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B000002S6Z
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,866 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. I. Danseuses de Delphes
2. II. Voiles
3. III. Le vent dans la plaine
4. IV. 'Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir' - Ch. Baudelaire
5. V. Les collines d'Anacapri
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. I. Prélude
2. II. Sarabande
3. III. Toccata
4. I. Pagodes
5. II. La soirée dans Grenade
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Pour les cinq doigts
2. Pour les tierce
3. Pour les quartes
4. Pour les sixtes
5. Pour les ocatves
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Prélude
2. Menuet
3. Clair de lune
4. Passepied
5. Danse bohémienne (1995 Digital Remaster)
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Andreas on 1 Oct. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I just received this boxset yesterday, and I've started diving into it, and I must say that I'm completely blown away.

The first thing you might notice, is the quality of the recordings. They are old mono recordings, and as such do not quite live up to today's standard in sound quality. You'll quickly forget all about it though.

Before getting this, I'd heard Gieseking being praised to the clouds everywhere as a Debussy magician, and thought myself that he couldn't be that good. Suffice to say, I was wrong. Gieseking plays Debussy with the greatest sense of detail, and with so much feeling. There really is no describing it, you should really hear it for yourself. Nothing else compares.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs T. Brown on 16 Sept. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A super issue containing all of Claude Debussy's solo piano works with an added bonus "radio recording" of Fantaisie for piano and orchestra. Walter Gieseking successfully taps into all the different moods and nuances contained within Debussy's exotic scores. These are astoundingly perceptive interpretations, especially as they're by a German artist playing music by a French composer. Although EMI's crack team of engineers have done a terrific job of restoring these mid-1950's mono recordings for the digital format, the reproductions do sound their age. Nevertheless, this is a most desirable and distinctive release.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. Bridle on 24 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The sound may be a bit odd but the playing is wonderful. I found this a bit of a challenge to listen to but well worth the effort.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
ALMOST The Greatest 15 Jun. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In rating this collection a mere four stars, I do so not against all of the other Debussy piano offerings out there (alongside which it would rate a hard-and-fast five stars), but rather against Gieseking's own pre-war standard. Because, deservedly respected as these recordings are, in the words of Yoda to Obi-wan Kenobi, "there is another," and here it sits on this very website in an unassuming little two-disc set from the wonderful Video Arts International label. It is the dazzling, important compilation modestly titled WALTER GIESEKING PLAYS DEBUSSY, and reissues recordings made from 1927 to 1939 (the vast majority are from the late 1930s). In trying to avoid the overstatement which we all are tempted to attach to greatness, I will stop at saying that these are the recordings upon which Gieseking's fame and the public's worldwide love of Debussy's piano works were largely based during the early twentieth century.
As for those who persist in finding Gieseking's interpretations "unromantic" or otherwise "Germanic" in their exposition, I would hasten to quash their criticism utterly on all grounds other than, of course, the final arbiter of personal taste. If certain listeners unfamiliar with the true Romantic Piano Tradition as exemplified on record by the likes of Hofmann, Schnabel, Paderewski, Godowsky, et al., and hence adopted by such devoted musicians as Gieseking, prefer their Debussy presented in formless, meter-less, pedal-heavy miasmatic tides of indistinct sounds, washing over them like a Turner seascape but leaving them knowing nothing about the pieces nor perceiving their true beauties as miniature art works, then by all means, latch on to some nameless modern practitioner painting his murky pictures on a five-dollar "Debussy For A Sunday Afternoon" compilation, and draw your bath. But at the least let it not be forgotten that, while Debussy undeniably influenced Ravel in the latter's orchestral works, the reverse is also true, and it was the neo-classicist Ravel from whom Debussy took his lead in forging his most worthwhile piano music.
What follows is by a contemporary of Giesekings' named Abram Chasins, writing in his 1957 book SPEAKING OF PIANISTS, published just a few months after Gieseking's death:
"Every now and then one attends a performance that casts a spell of enchantment. It does not happen often. But Walter Gieseking's all-Debussy program at Carnegie Hall in 1955 was such an occasion. From the first note of the Suite Bergamasque to the fourth encore, `General Lavine,' it was an evening of magic. Few of the many musicians present would have challenged the publisher's right to print on the music: `Private Property of Walter Gieseking. No Trespassing!'
"He evoked excitement, transparency, and movement throughout. Occasionally he would choose to hold his audience hypnotically suspended through an ethereal pianissimo or a section of tremulous repose. With endless refinements of touch and pedaling, once phrase grew out of another. Climaxes developed with the inevitable force and upward sweep that stamp the musician and the architectural master. In each piece we perceived an artist living in the very sound he was creating. He painted, so to speak, with fingers dipped in the hues of Degas, Renoir, Manet, and Bonnard. The sum was a tableau of surpassing beauty, color, and poetry emerging from a Baldwin.
"Sometime later I turned to the Columbia LP recordings of Gieseking's 1951 performances of Debussy's two books of preludes, Children's Corner, and Suite Bergamasque; the reissue of the artist's 1939 playing of Estampes and Images; and, finally, to Gieseking's Angel recordings of Ravel's piano works. These, too, confirmed the fact that Gieseking clearly ruled the domain of impressionism.
"I found myself listening time and time again to one piece after another, enthralled and mystified. Mystified that the unearthly sounds could possibly come from a piano or from any determinable instrument set into vibration by human energy. This is disembodied aural beauty, the intoxication of sensuous perfume, the blaze of sunlight, the shimmer of moonlight on water.
"And how is this done? It is done with love, with knowledge, with vision. It is also done with a technical equipment adequate to the demands of a glowing imagination. Only the perfect co-ordination of the strongest arms and the most independent fingers can produce such delicate suavity. Arms and fingers are not all, for Gieseking's pedaling was a miracle. He could pedal throughout changing harmonies, retaining each for its own identity; he could pedal throughout a melodic line, yet keep the progressive action of a cantabile.
"The most kaleidoscopic mixtures of colors paradoxically emerge spotlessly clean and clear. Releases are as precise as attacks. Gieseking could increase or reduce dynamics in the space of a split second, from the subtlest pianissimo to the most sonorous fortissimo (and the other way around), and have it sound absolutely inevitable, all of a piece. He had unique command of suspended motion with vibration, like that of a hummingbird hovering over a flower. One hears a perfectly spaced, pearly articulation for some figuration, and above or below it another figuration will come through as undulation produced as though by a boneless and muscleless hand. And always the music came first, always the motion of the drama was carried forward. Such playing is the ultimate in mastery and sensuous elegance, the result of a scrupulous care that marks genius. Everything is present to the nth degree: knowledge, precision, tonal color, radiance, iridescence, limpidity. And their wonderful balances and blendings are luminous and wondrous. [French Impressionism's] range of resplendent expressivity extracted from Gieseking a rare state of inspiration, the kind that depersonalizes an artist and enables his auditors to catch glimpses of eternity."
47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Save me, I'm drowning... 11 Mar. 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The watery allusions to Debussy music seem to have been taken far too literally by many pianists as well as piano music fans. Attempting to describe something inexpressible in concrete terms is inherently flawed, and to take an irrational "impression" and attempt to distill it down even further, results in loss of clarity. Though the music may be "softer," and less "rigid" and thus more flexible to subjective interpretation, it is distanced from the artist's first message; the music itself. Debussy's music speaks clearly, without the need for "Gaullic" over-sentimentalizing. I've never understood the arguments about Gieseking's Germanic interpretation, as if genetics and not culture were the main influence in one's artistic make-up. Though other great pianists who have recorded these pieces caress wonderful tones from their instruments, compared to Gieseking's mastery and control of colors and his tonal variety they sound overly warm, mushy even. Listening to Gieseking playing Debussy is to be at the water's edge, sight unimpeded by any mist rising from the surface of the pond, gazing upon a reflection of the moon that is not hazed in by clouds. After him, listening to other recordings is like peering at the same lunar image from the bottom of the pond. Save me Gieseking, I'm drowning...
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The above should be 3 Stars, 3 Jun. 2005
By paul best - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Yes, I have heard oh, 90% of all recordings of Debussy's solo piano music .
As well, I have Debussy's recordings from 1913, one on Pierain and the other is on Dal Segno. The Dal Segno has a few extra pieces that are not on the Pierain release.

Giesekings profound understanding of the nuances and details of these beautiful piano pieces is like few others I've heard.
The only drawback is the recording quality, which is a problem. Even at low volume the distracting poor quality is a serious issue.
EDIT:
Upon further consideration, though Gieseking does some interesting things, overall I have to give my preference to Pascal ROGE on London. Also Jean Bernard Pommier does a fine performance as well.
I prefer these 2 pianists more than the following: Michelangeli (a long time fav) , Zimerman, Thibaudet, Thoillier. I have the Monique Hass on order.
I like Debussy with exquiste nuances. For that I go to Roge, Pommier. And few others. Look at all my reviews in Ravel for 2 other mentions. Tharaud and Bavouzet

I give Gieseking a 3 Star.
70 of 94 people found the following review helpful
Gieseking�s Klaus Debussy 25 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I must confess Walter Gieseking's much acclaimed recordings of these masterpieces of French piano literature did not appeal to me as much as they did to other reviewers. He admittedly draws wonderful colors and shadings from the piano, yet this does not change the fact that he plays Debussy in a German translation, if I may be forgiven the metaphor. The power of his playing, those strong accents, those sharp attacks and contrasts create in most places corners, edges, protruding cliffs and deep valleys that belong more to Beethoven than Debussy and render to the music a solidity which mars the impressionist poetry of fluid lines, reduced dynamics and cloud-like harmonies. This is more discomforting in the works of his impressionist period, like Images, Estampes and Preludes (esp. volume 1) and less important in the Etudes. The former, played by Arrau or Moravec, takes you to another world, a dream world; when listening to Gieseking, nothing of the sort happens: it is as if you are listening to abstract music, admittedly with wonderful playing - which fits the etudes, but gives to the other works a more abstract quality than Debussy might have liked. Take the "Canope" prelude from the second book, for example. It is about an ancient Egyptian urn two of which Debussy owned. At the start a nostalgic theme is heard, as if we are contemplating the urn; it is repeated, but one begins to feel something ominous hangs in the air; like in a bad dream. Hardly having felt, the thing happens; something very ancient comes to life! Only to disappear again and leave the listener astonished and unsure. All is the same again - the theme is reheard, and the piece "ends" without an end. When one has listened to this prelude from Arrau he feels having lived through something truly disturbing as well as wonderful. By comparison, there is no tale, no suspense, no peak in Gieseking; there are just "colors"! A theme, a meaningless arpeggio, the theme again. End. One final remark: On the cover page of his last works, Debussy proclaimed himself a "Musicien Francais", indeed, when you miss that indispensable peculiar French quality that stamps his music, the result is little more than a meal without salt, however well it might be played. It is claimed in the notes of the set that the French reluctance to acclaim Gieseking's Debussy stems from envy alone. I guess there is more to it than that. The music in these recordings is great music, and very well played - alas, it is not exactly from the voice of Claude Debussy.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
He's the master 17 Feb. 2007
By personal growth lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Walter Gieseking was the premiere piano performer of Debussy compositions. This is very good, however, the recording seems just a bit hollow. I wish there was a bit less resonance in the background.

The performance is excellent, as usual.
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