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Debussy

Discussion in 'classical' started by Tony L, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Very tempted by this Complete Debussy box on Decca/DGG. Anyone got any viewpoint as to the performances etc? I’m hopelessly Debussy-lite so it will be my first exposure to most work. I know I like the piano and small scale stuff as pieces, but I’ve not any pre-formed ideas as to performance etc.

    PS I’ve chucked it in my basket, though I can always cancel it!
     
  2. tuga

    tuga European

    The pianist are top.
     
  3. Todd A

    Todd A pfm Member


    With a few exceptions (eg, Webern), I tend to avoid complete sets of a given composer. Here, I'd lean more toward the Warner complete Debussy than the DG set. The DG has slightly stronger piano recordings (eg, Michelangeli, Thibaudet, Kocsis) though Warner has some good stuff there (eg, Egorov, Francois, Beroff). Both have Aimard, in different repertoire. The Warner box has some Giulini for orchestral, and the blockbuster Ebene Quartet recording of the String Quartet, as well as the new Piano Trio recording with Bertrand Chamayou and Renaud Capucon.
     
    ciderglider likes this.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    As an alternate question if I just wanted to get the piano works what would be a good option there? I’m pretty sure the piano stuff is my favourite Debussy, though I have the string quartet in G (Quartetto Italiano) and like that a lot.
     
  5. Todd A

    Todd A pfm Member

    ciderglider likes this.
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Thanks, will bare that one in mind.
     
  7. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    I don’t know if Bolet is packaged as a box, he plays Debussy beautifully
     
  8. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    I'd consider this for the orchestral music. I'm a big fan of Tortelier, loved his work in Manchester, and what I've listened to of his Debussy is very good indeed.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Debussy-Co...8-5&keywords=complete+debussy#customerReviews
     
  9. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    Tony
    I’m a Debussy piano nut and the best full set for performance, sound and value by far (in my collection) is Gordon Fergus-Thompson. He recorded it all around thirty years ago and it’s had (at least) three releases. I have the ASV discs separately then bought a Brilliant box set of five discs about 10 years ago - on a whim, really to see if it was the same recording and it is. It’s out again but crammed onto four discs rather than five but very cheap:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Debussy-Pi...000001HM8/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

    The very best piano sound would be Noriko Ogawa on BIS. That said, I also have sets by Thibaudet, Trpceski and an old set by Pascal Rogé. It’s difficult not to enjoy this music unless the sound’s atrocious.
     
    Weekender likes this.
  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Thanks, that is tempting, as is the BIS Ogawa set which has the distinct advantage of being available new and is a good bit cheaper than the out of stock Bavouzet. Very tempted to push the button on that one. Amazon reviews are very positive.
     
  11. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

  12. tuga

    tuga European

  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Cool, thanks - I bought the Noriko Ogawa earlier, but I’ve had that one too! If I hugely prefer one to the other I can always chuck the loser in the pfm shop! I think I need the piano trio and various sonatas too, but I’ll do that sometime later on once I’ve got to grips with the piano stuff. Piano is certainly what comes to mind when I think of Debussy, my memory of it is that it has a very unique feel/atmosphere all of its own. I associate it very much with the impressionist painters etc, will be very interested to see if the reality matches my preconceptions!
     
  14. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    That ‘impressionist’ label really stuck when he wrote Images and he got the hump on about it, describing such observers as imbeciles. Fact is, not many see it any other way so he’ll just have to turn in his grave (and wallow in the adulation).
    Enjoy the CDs when they arrive.
    Mick
     
  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’ve just pruned the Debussy strand out of the Bargain Classical Box Sets thread as it makes sense given the amount of discussion.

    The Noriko Ogawa piano set on BIS turned up earlier. I’m a good few tracks into disc one and it is beautiful. Exactly as my mental image of Debussy solo piano and I recognise a surprising amount given I’ve not played much of the set yet. Wonderful stuff, it has a kind of transcendental stillness and ambience that is unique to my mind aside from maybe Satie (who I also need to explore more thoroughly).
     
  16. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    You could also branch forward towards Milhaud, Honneger and Poulenc.
     
  17. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

  18. PsB

    PsB Citizen of Nowhere™

  19. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    Just bought a used CD of Kyoko Tabe on Chandos playing a selection including Estampes and the ubiquitous Claire de lune (of which I never tire). Very good sound and faultless performance (although I’m no musicologist).
    A billy-bargain at £1.
     
  20. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’m currently at disc 5 of the Ogawa box and enjoying it very much indeed. I’ll be interested to compare it to the Fergus-Thompson when that turns up, though I’m not hearing anything I don’t like about this one. Debussy’s piano stuff is wider and more varied than I realised, I had no idea there was six full CDs worth of it! As such it will take a long time to get to know, though I’m surprised how much sounds familiar to some extent (I assume via film/TV and obviously Tomita’s big Moog!).

    I was very tempted by the Ogawa Satie linked above, but googling reviews pulls up some pretty harsh negatives (apparently the vintage piano and her playing style don’t gel too well) so I think I’ll skip that one despite it being SACD. A decision for another day anyway, and there look to be quite a few full piano cycles in boxes out there for not a lot of cash. I’ll get a good few plays of the Debussy in first though.
     

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