Author Topic: Debussy's Preludes  (Read 23838 times)

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Frankler

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Debussy's Preludes
« on: August 15, 2008, 07:36:02 AM »
I've been listening to Debussy's Preludes preformed by K. Zimerman on DG. I bought this near the time it had come out and was deeply impressed. It seems as though pieces such as 'no.8 vol 1' and 'no. 10 vol. 1' stand out more because they are actually developed and finished themes, while other pieces simply seem to be brief impressionist colors, with no real development or since of start or close, of course it is simply a listener's oppinion; I very much do recommend the recording to anyone though.


Mark

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2008, 07:53:39 AM »
Welcome, friend. :)

Thanks for the recommendation.

(And just a tip for you: don't be surprised if a Moderator moves this thread into the correct part of the forum. ;))

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2008, 08:37:04 AM »
(And just a tip for you: don't be surprised if a Moderator moves this thread into the correct part of the forum. ;))
And don't be surprised if they don't--Wagner threads get started in this section all the time and rarely get moved to the Opera & Vocal board.  This location seems just right for discussing Debussy's Preludes to me, unless you'd prefer the discussion on the Composer's board.  I love them.  After Beethoven's Sonatas and Bach's keyboard music, they are my favorite solo piano works.  I love the colors and the atmosphere--or "impressions"--they convey.  I don't know the Zimerman recording--have Livia Rev, Paul Jacobs, and Alain Planès--the latter my fave, due to his thoughtful phrasing, the lucious sound of the period Bechstein he uses, and the superb harmonia mundi recording quality.

Welcome to the forum!
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Offline orbital

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2008, 05:56:04 AM »
It seems as though pieces such as 'no.8 vol 1' and 'no. 10 vol. 1' stand out more because they are actually developed and finished themes, while other pieces simply seem to be brief impressionist colors, with no real development or since of start or close...
Hence, they are called 'preludes'. Their improvisatory nature does not warrant any strict musical form. Although different composes have different concepts about the style, preludes, in general, are free flowing musical miniatures.

It's hard for me to think of Zimmerman in Debussy. But I may be in for a pleasant surprise. Thanks for the recommendation :)
The most notable Debbus-ists I have come across are Gieseking and Michelangeli. You may want to investigate their recordings as well.


Offline Todd

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2008, 11:52:55 AM »
Zimerman is very good, but his recording seems to infuse a bit of Liszt into Debussy.  That may or may not be to everyone's taste.

The best of the best are Gieseking, Michelangeli, and (for me at least) Daniel Ericourt.  If up to date sound is a must, then either Jean Efflam Bavouzet or Michel Beroff (on Denon) seem the way to go, though some may prefer Steven Osborne.
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Offline mjwal

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2008, 08:09:06 AM »
Apart from Casadesus, my historical reference, and Michelangeli, especially Bk.1, I find Richter riveting and commanding in 10 of Bk.1 and all of Bk.2 (BBC Legends live - there are other recordings). I also enjoy Dino Ciani in these works, though I only have the selection on DG Classikon.
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Offline MishaK

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2008, 05:18:28 PM »
Michelangeli and Gieseking are rightfully standard references, though I must say Gieseking somehow never grew on me and I vastly prefer Michelangeli's studio DG recordings to the live BBC version of Livre I, the sound of which I find suboptimal. Michelangeli is in Debussy an unreached model of sonority control, even if others may outshine him in spontaneity. I recently discovered Richter's live Preludes which are certainly very bold and unique. Absolutely worth hearing as a completely different conception compared to ABM or Gieseking! I have to say I find Paul Jacobs rather very plain and not memorable. One other pianist one should absolutely hear in Debussy is Moravec (who was a student of ABM). Unfortunately, there is no complete set of the Preludes of his, just bits and pieces strewn across various discs. Another very worthy contender is Jean-Yves Thibaudet, whose 2CD set includes a whole bunch of other Debussy goodies. I had the pleasure of hearing Thibaudet play Livre II live last season. He has a wonderful touch and spontaneity in these works and masterful pedaling.

As to development in these works, development isn't the point. Debussy was averse to traditional types of development. That doesn't mean there is no structure in the Preludes. All of them are little self-contained gems.

Thanks for the tip re: Alain Planes. I shall look into that. I heard him play an assortment of French music a number of years ago.

Offline Bogey

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2008, 05:48:31 PM »


The best of the best are Gieseking,

Which recordings do you have here of Gieseking, Todd?
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Offline Todd

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2008, 06:10:28 PM »
Which recordings do you have here of Gieseking, Todd?



The '36/'38/'39 set in the VAI incarnation, and the '53/'54 EMI set.  I'm hoping EMI reissues the '51 set sometime.
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Offline Bogey

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2008, 06:35:23 AM »


The '36/'38/'39 set in the VAI incarnation,

Complete?  Still available?
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Todd

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2008, 04:52:22 PM »
Complete?  Still available?






Yes and yes.
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Offline Bogey

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2008, 06:40:15 PM »





Yes and yes.

I have his Book I on the Pearl label, I believe from '38.....how are these transfers of the VAI, Todd?
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Todd

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2008, 07:35:20 AM »
I have his Book I on the Pearl label, I believe from '38.....how are these transfers of the VAI, Todd?



Possibly a bit too much noise reduction, but otherwise excellent.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2008, 06:32:47 AM »
Michelangeli's rather heavy-handed for my tastes in this, and I haven't heard Gieseking--the other standard answer--in too long to comment.  One other not mentioned yet whom I like is Pascal Roge, fine if you like a lighter touch.
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

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springrite

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2008, 06:36:04 AM »
So far my favorite Debussy player is Paul Jacobs. But some of that is on LP, which I can no longer play for lack of a player.

ezodisy

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2008, 11:21:41 AM »
The one I would not recommend buying is by Koroliov, on Tacet. It got some decent-to-very-good reviews, but for me it didn't bring any new insights to the music: he's careful with it, trying to make it colourful--unsuccessfully in my opinion--and is very much wooden/leaden in terms of rhythm, sort of plodding along, never taking flight, or conversely never really exploring depths in terms of stasis or isolated sounds. Dull, in a word. If anyone finds personality in his recording, let me know.

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2008, 05:48:44 AM »
The best of the best are Gieseking

Resounding no. Gieseking is what kept me away from Debussy for the longest time.

Offline Todd

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2008, 07:02:56 AM »
Resounding no. Gieseking is what kept me away from Debussy for the longest time.


You're one of the few.  So a resounding yes.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

ezodisy

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Re: Debussy's Preludes
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2008, 09:26:05 AM »
Gieseking is what kept me away from Debussy for the longest time.


You haven't said who brought to you to him, then. Was it Zimerman?

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