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Bavouzet: Debussy – Complete Works for Piano vol.1-5 (5 CD, FLAC / APE)

Bavouzet: Debussy - Complete Works for Piano vol.1-5 (5 CD, FLAC / APE)
Bavouzet: Debussy - Complete Works for Piano vol.1-5 (5 CD, FLAC / APE)

Performer: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
Composer: Claude Debussy
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue), APE (image+cue)
Label: Chandos
Size: 1.06 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 01
01. Preludes, Book 1: No. 1: Danseuses de Delphes
02. Preludes, Book 1: No. 2: Voiles
03. Preludes, Book 1: No. 3: Le vent dans la plaine
04. Preludes, Book 1: No. 4: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir
05. Preludes, Book 1: No. 5: Les collines d’Anacapri
06. Preludes, Book 1: No. 6: Des pas sur la neige
07. Preludes, Book 1: No. 7: Ce qu’a vu le vent d’ouest
08. Preludes, Book 1: No. 8: La fille aux cheveux de lin
09. Preludes, Book 1: No. 9: La serenade interrompue
10. Preludes, Book 1: No. 10: La cathedrale engloutie
11. Preludes, Book 1: No. 11: La danse de Puck
12. Preludes, Book 1: No. 12: Minstrels
13. Preludes, Book 2 : No. 1: Brouillards
14. Preludes, Book 2 : No. 2: Feuilles mortes
15. Preludes, Book 2 : No. 3: La Puerta del Vino
16. Preludes, Book 2 : No. 4: Les fees sont d’exquises danseuses
17. Preludes, Book 2 : No. 5: Bruyeres
18. Preludes, Book 2 : No. 6: General Lavine – eccentric
19. Preludes, Book 2 : No. 7: La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune
20. Preludes, Book 2 : No. 8: Ondine
21. Preludes, Book 2 : No. 9: Hommage a S. Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C
22. Preludes, Book 2 : No. 10: Canope
23. Preludes, Book 2 : No. 11: Les tierces alternees
24. Preludes, Book 2 : No. 12: Feux d’artifice
25. Les soirs illumines par l’ardeur du charbon

CD 02
01. Ballade
02. Valse romantique
03. Danse, “Tarantelle styrienne”
04. Images oubliees: I. Lent melancolique et doux
05. Images oubliees: II. Dans le mouvement d’une Sarabande
06. Images oubliees: III. Quelques aspects de nous n’irons plus au bois
07. Estampes: No. 1. Pagodes
08. Estampes: No. 2. La soiree dans Grenade (Evening in Granada)
09. Estampes: No. 3. Jardins sous la pluie (Gardens in the Rain)
10. Pour le piano : I. Prelude
11. Pour le piano : II. Sarabande
12. Pour le piano : III. Toccata
13. Masques
14. L’Isle joyeuse
15. D’un cahier d’esquisses

CD 03
01. Nocturne
02. Suite bergamasque : I. Prelude
03. Suite bergamasque : II. Menuet
04. Suite bergamasque : III. Clair de lune
05. Suite bergamasque : IV. Passepied
06. Danse bohemienne
07. 2 Arabesques: No. 1 in E major
08. 2 Arabesques: No. 2 in G major
09. Reverie
10. Mazurka
11. Children’s Corner: I. Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum
12. Children’s Corner: II. Jimbo’s Lullaby
13. Children’s Corner: III. Serenade for a Doll
14. Children’s Corner: IV. The Snow is Dancing
15. Children’s Corner: V. The Little Shepherd
16. Children’s Corner: VI. Golliwogg’s Cake-Walk
17. Hommage a Haydn
18. Morceau de concours
19. La plus que lente
20. The Little Nigar
21. Page d’album, “Piece pour le Vetement du blesse”
22. Berceuse heroique
23. Elegie : Elegie

CD 04
01. Images, Book 1: No. 1. Reflets Dans L’eau
02. Images, Book 1: No. 2. Hommage A Rameau
03. Images, Book 1: No. 3. Mouvement
04. Images, Book 2: No. 1. Cloches A Travers Les Feuilles
05. Images, Book 2: No. 2. Et La Lune Descend Sur Le Temple Qui Fut
06. Images, Book 2: No. 3. Poissons D’or
07. 12 Etudes: No. 1. Pour Les Cinq Doigts, “D’apres Monsieur Czerny”
08. 12 Etudes: No. 2. Pour Les Tierces
09. 12 Etudes: No. 3. Pour Les Quartes
10. 12 Etudes: No. 4. Pour Les Sixtes
11. 12 Etudes: No. 5. Pour Les Octaves
12. 12 Etudes: No. 6. Pour Les Huit Doigts
13. 12 Etudes: No. 7. Pour Les Degres Chromatiques
14. 12 Etudes: No. 8. Pour Les Agrements
15. 12 Etudes: No. 9. Pour Les Notes Repetees
16. 12 Etudes: No. 10. Pour Les Sonorites Opposees
17. Etude Retrouvee
18. 12 Etudes: No. 11. Pour Les Arpeges Composes
19. 12 Etudes: No. 12. Pour Les Accords

CD 05
01. Khamma (version for piano): Prelude
02. Khamma (version for piano): Scene 1: Le Temple interieur du Grand-Dieu Amun-Ra
03. Khamma (version for piano): Scene 2: La grande porte s’ouvre et une legere forme voilee est
04. Khamma (version for piano): Premiere Danse
05. Khamma (version for piano): Deuxieme Danse
06. Khamma (version for piano): Troisieme Danse
07. Khamma (version for piano): Au Movement – Soudain
08. Khamma (version for piano): Scene 3: C’est l’aube froide et grise du matin qui lentement devient rose
09. Jeux (version for piano): Prelude
10. Jeux (version for piano): Du fond, a gauche, apparaissent deux jeunes filles craintives et curieuses
11. Jeux (version for piano): Une des deux jeunes filles danse seule
12. Jeux (version for piano): On apercoit le jeune homme au fond, a gauche, qui semble se cacher
13. Jeux (version for piano): Ils dansent ensemble
14. Jeux (version for piano): Le jeune homme a suivi cette derniere danse par curiosite d’abord
15. Jeux (version for piano): Dans l’emportement de leur danse, ils n’ont pas remarque l’attitude d’abord inquiete
16. Jeux (version for piano): Pourtant, le jeune homme intervient en ecartant leurs tetes doucement
17. Jeux (version for piano): Ils dansent desormais tous les trois
18. Jeux (version for piano): Une balle de tennis tombe a leurs pieds
19. La boite a joujoux : Prelude: Le sommeil de la boite (The Toy-box Asleep) – Tableau 1: Le magasin de jouets (The Toy Shop)
20. La boite a joujoux : Tableau 2: Le champ de bataille (The Field of Battle)
21. La boite a joujoux : Tableau 3: La bergerie a vendre (The Sheepfold for Sale)
22. La boite a joujoux : Tableau 4: Apres fortune faite – Epilogue

A real French Pianistic Real Deal: Top Notch, Amazing, Poetic Above All

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is a new keyboard artist name to me. Apparently he has started taking concert halls by storm, first in Paris and Rome at the invitation of Sir Georg Solti who was guesting at Orchestre de Paris at the time, with the substitution of Pierre Boulez when SGS died. Now Bavouzet is appearing in USA as well, including stints with Boston where he made a fine impression.

If you get a chance to hear him live, the swell of sudden musical reputation says, Take it. By all means.

Now to these Debussy recordings. What to say?

Wow, is the word. My Debussy exemplars include the likes of the magisterial Italian Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, the Czech Ivan Moravec, the American Paul Jacobs, and that sleeper Russian American Sergey Schepkin. Bavouzet easily joins this select group, or whatever select group of pianists you might care to conjure for a fav or desert island Debussy packing list.

This French guy manages a magical combination of Michelangeli’s hard, clear lines and musical mass with Moravec’s poetry and color, thus bridging the two supposedly distinct poles of the piano’s physical approach to what the composer meant and wrote. Like Schepkin or Paul Jacobs, one imagines one is hearing just a genius touch of modern, ironic distance and an awareness of hidden, intuitive musical structure, such that Bavouzet gives glinting lights to all the musical line and color which comes across as precise, rather than over-heated or saturated as if Debussy were subsumed by, say, Scriabin. This piano’s poetry is such that – as the cliche goes – Bavouzet reveals the art that conceals art.

This is lots, yet Bavouzet’s Debussy is also utterly natural, convincing, spontaneous.

The player’s repertoire is said to contain the complete concerti of Bartok, Beethoven, and Prokofiev, as he breezed his way through all five Prokofiev concertos in Novgorod for starters. If there was any leading candidate for a new complete recorded set of the Prokofiev piano concertos, hopefully in super audio surround sound, suddenly Mr. Bavouzet sounds like the real deal. This listener would truly like to hear Boulez at the helm of the Orchestre de Paris with Bavouzet riding the finest piano Paris can provide, freshly tuned.

One suspects the Russian to French deep connections – think Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Diaghilev and the Ballet Russe, and conductors like Pierre Monteux and Sergey Koussevitzky – would palpalby be revealed, whole and alive and well, in such an adventure.

In volume one, Bavouzet takes on both books of the Debussy Preludes. Like the printed page scores, these readings are music first, and poetic or impressionistic titles second. The narratives are shaped through typical keyboard means of phrasing, varied tempo, and yes of course, color. What is magical and much more difficult to explain or describe is their profoundly French and profoundly musical aptness, a sort of high poise that one associates with legendary world class pianists like Romania’s Dinu Lipatti. Or with Artur Rubinstein playing Chopin in his last stereo cycle.

One suspects that this cycle will take on reference weight, pretty much as this level of playing does, provided it can stay in the catalogue across two or three generations. Not displacing Michelangeli, Moravec, Jacobs, or Schepkin (or others of your own appreciation), but surely enduringly welcomed to the gifted wings of the musical family.

Given these startling abilities, one also cannot help but wonder what Bavouzet woud make of the three Bartok piano concertos, or of Bartok’s solo keyboard output, all. That is a recorded project just begging for attention, right after the Prokofiev concertos are safely vaulted in the super audio bank.

A glance at the existing catalogue also shows that Bavouzet has done the complete Ravel solo piano music – playing a real, turn-of-the-last-century instrument. If you feel any lure to Ravel on the piano, that set is also likely the real deal.

Fear not, Debussy fans, this one is way more than glitter and glitz, cheap perfume, and circus tent showmanship, and Debussy is revealed, larger than life, as the revolutionary of his era – inexhaustible as Beethoven.

Very highly recommended, Five Stars.

4 thoughts on “Bavouzet: Debussy – Complete Works for Piano vol.1-5 (5 CD, FLAC / APE)”

  1. first of all – thank you for so many true treasures you share with us.
    I was also very happy about Debussy/Bavouzet.
    Unfortunately, there are some noises in the back of CD4.
    e.g. title 18 etc.
    So if you still have access to the original CDs, it would be nice to have the CD4 without these slight interferences.
    Thanks ( PS – finally there is a nice complete alternative to Gieseking. )

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