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Walter Gieseking Plays Debussy - Historic Recordings 1927-39


Release Date: 09/22/1995 
Label:  Vai Audio   Catalog #: 1117   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 2 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

It can be said, without hesitation, that this two-disc reissue of Walter Gieseking's historic performances of Claude Debussy's piano music should be required listening for all music lovers. Recorded between 1927 and 1939, these recordings capture one of the greatest pianists in the history of piano playing at the peak of his interpretative and technical powers and playing the music that he somehow seemed to define. (As is well known, Gieseking's performances following World War II, perhaps due to the war, don't reach the rarefied heights of his pre-war performances.) No other pianist prior to him or since has realized Debussy's music in such mesmerizing, jaw-dropping ways. This compilation is pretty much exhaustive, including most of Read more Debussy's major contributions to the piano repertoire. Throughout, Gieseking brings to this music both a touch and use of the pedals so refined and varied that each performance is shot through with remarkably subtle insights, insights unavailable to the pianist with a lesser finger technique and a less sophisticated musical intelligence. Always the unsentimentalizing colorist, Gieseking's marvelously flexible and discreet sense of phrasing and rhythm plumbs the expressive depths of this sumptuous music in unmatched ways. Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Préludes, Book 1 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909-1910; France 
Date of Recording: 08/10/1938 
Venue:  Berlin, Germany 
Length: 33 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Notes: Prelude 10, "La cathédrale engloutie" , was recorded in London, Feb. 7, 1936. 
2. Préludes, Book 2 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; France 
Date of Recording: 04/14/1939 
Venue:  New York City 
Length: 32 Minutes 12 Secs. 
3. Children's Corner by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1908; France 
Date of Recording: 01/31/1937 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 14 Minutes 50 Secs. 
4. Suite bergamasque by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1905; France 
Date of Recording: 03/1931 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 14 Minutes 55 Secs. 
5. Estampes (3) for Piano by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
Date of Recording: 08/11/1938 
Venue:  Berlin, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Notes: Estampes no 2, "La soirée dans Grenade" was recorded in London (2/9/36). 
6. La plus que lente by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; France 
Date of Recording: 04/1927 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
7. Images for Piano, Set 1: no 1, Reflets dans l'eau by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; France 
Date of Recording: 02/09/1936 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 36 Secs. 
8. Images for Piano, Set 1: no 3, Mouvement by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; France 
Date of Recording: 08/11/1938 
Venue:  Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
9. Images for Piano, Set 2: no 1, Cloches à travers les feuilles by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; France 
Date of Recording: 08/11/1938 
Venue:  Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
10. Images for Piano, Set 2: no 3, Poissons d'or by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; France 
Date of Recording: 01/31/1937 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
11. Rêverie by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890; France 
Date of Recording: 04/04/1939 
Venue:  New York City 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
12. Arabesques (2) for Piano by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888-1891; France 
Date of Recording: 04/05/1939 
Venue:  New York City 
Length: 5 Minutes 45 Secs. 
13. L'isle joyeuse by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Walter Gieseking (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; France 
Date of Recording: 08/11/1938 
Venue:  Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 

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