Another Frenchman joins the fray in Debussy's Preludes. A student of Gaby Casadesus and Vitaly Margulis, Philippe Bianconi's tutelage was first rate. His playing is, too. He plays the entire set at a somewhat brisk seventy-four-ish minutes, and yet he never sounds rushed, and on more than one occasion he imparts a nice, languid sensibility without ever overdoing it. Everything sounds natural, for lack of a better word, and no individual piece really stands out. (Okay, The Engulfed Cathedral could have been a bit grander in scale.) And both books sound roughly equal, whereas a fair number of pianists seem to be better in one or the other. The second book has more of a cool feel than a more modernist feel, which is to the good here.
Sound is close, a bit dry, and mostly about midrange, without a lot of lower register heft or upper register sparkle, but it is still superb.
La Dolce Vita's hit rate remains very high.