Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Debussy: Complete Solo Piano Music / Larissa Dedova

Debussy / Dedova
Release Date: 05/24/2011 
Label:  Centaur Records   Catalog #: 3094/7  
Composer:  Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



DEBUSSY Complete Solo Piano Music Larissa Dedova (pn) CENTAUR 3094–97 (4 CDs: 309:54)


It hasn’t been since late 2004 and early 2005 that I last received for review a complete survey of Debussy’s works for solo piano; that one, by Roy Howat on the Tall Poppies label, came as individual discs over a period of two or three months. The current compilation comes neatly packaged in a four-disc set. Howat impressed me very favorably, nudging from first place my previously preferred complete version of this Read more repertoire performed by Paul Crossley on Sony, which, in any case, seems to have crossed over to that place of no return where nla CDs find rest among the deceased.


Larissa Dedova is a Russian-born and Moscow-trained pianist who, for more than 25 years, has performed extensively throughout Russia, Europe, and the U.S. as both soloist and in duo with her husband, Mikhail Volchok. Currently, she is a professor in the piano division of the University of Maryland School of Music.


In total, at least according to Dedova, the number of Debussy’s pieces for solo piano add up to 80—that’s how many tracks there are on these four CDs—but most are contained within collections or sets of as few as two or three pieces to as many as 12, as follows:


Collection Date Completed Number in Set


Deux Arabesques 1891 2


Images oubliées 1894 2*


Pour le Piano 1901 3


Estampes 1903 3


Suite bergamasque 1905 4


Images, Book 1 1905 3


Images, Book 2 1907 3


Children’s Corner 1908 6


Preludes, Book 1 1910 12


Preludes, Book 2 1913 12


Etudes, Book 1 1915 6


Etudes, Book 2 1915 6


62


This leaves only 18 short stand-alone pieces. Chronologically, they are:


Danse bohémienne 1880 1


Mazurka 1890 1


Reverie 1890 1


Tarantelle styrienne ( Danse ) 1890 1


Ballade slave ( Ballade ) 1890 1


Valse romantique 1890 1


Nocturne 1892 1


D’un Cahier d’esquisses 1903 1


Masques 1904 1


L’Isle joyeuse 1904 1


Morceau de concours 1904 1


Le Petit Nègre 1909 1


Hommage à Joseph Haydn 1909 1


La Plus que lente 1910 1


Berceuse héroïque 1914 1


Pièce pour le Vêtement du blessé 1915 1


Elégie 1915 1


Les soirs illuminés par l’ardeur du charbon 1917 1


18


You will note the asterisk after Images oubliées . This set of three pieces, aka Images inédites (“new”), wasn’t published as a set until 1977 and titled oubliées (“forgotten”) to avoid confusion with the two later sets of Images . It’s not known whether the composer intended the pieces to be played together. In any event, he later made minor changes to the Sarabande and reused it in Pour le piano . In her survey, Dedova relocates the Sarabande from the Images oubliées to the second number in Pour le piano , leaving the Images oubliées with just two numbers, Lent and Très vite.


Also, most surveys of a composer’s oeuvre that advertise themselves as “complete” must be taken with a grain of salt. Roy Howat, who has written extensively on Debussy and is recognized internationally as an authoritative scholar on the composer’s piano works, includes some miscellaneous unpublished items that Dedova doesn’t—namely, Étude retrouvée and Intermède.


Beginning with Book 1 of the preludes, Dedova’s anthology doesn’t follow a chronological order, though the pre-1900 stand-alone pieces are pretty much gathered on the first two discs, while the post-1900 stand-alone numbers come later on discs 3 and 4, ending with the very last to be written, Les Soirs illuminés par l’ardeur du charbon (Evenings lit by the burning coals). The manuscript was only recently discovered and, according to the composer’s complete list of works, it’s the last piece for solo piano he wrote. It has no “L” number entry in François Lesure’s catalog.


The collection was recorded over a fairly long period, beginning in 2002 with the two books of preludes. A lengthy hiatus followed, lasting until 2008, when Dedova picked up where she left off, recording the remaining works in May and June of 2008 and between April and November 2009. Steinway Ds are used throughout, but not the same ones; venues changed from the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, to the Concert Hall of Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow; and with them recording engineers. Overall, however, a good job has been done to assure that changes in tone production and aural perspective aren’t really noticeable.


Dedova’s approach to Debussy may not be the last word on the composer’s piano music, and it certainly isn’t the only one, but within the parameters of her interpretive point of view, it has validity and is supported by an unerring musical instinct and flawless technique. For the most part, Dedova chooses to emphasize the Impressionist aspects of Debussy’s Impressionism, which is to say she opts for softer, pastel tonal colorations, blurring lines with liberal use of pedals, and rounding off the rhythmic edges. The result, as expected, in such pieces as Les Fées sont d’exquises danseuses (Fairies are exquisite dancers) and Bruyères (Heather) from Book 2 of the Preludes is a sense of time suspended as if in a dream state that is ever so delicately perfumed and ever so slightly eroticized.


As noted, this is not the only way to play Debussy—Howat believes the composer was quite meticulous in matters of rhythmic exactitude and clarity of voicing—but it works quite well in a piece like Rèverie , which in title and intent gives itself over to a kind of semiconscious, nocturnal fantasy. In the faster-paced numbers of the etudes and Children’s Corner —doesn’t “Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum” echo the voice of Schumann?—my sense is they could do with a bit more rhythmic pointing and definition.


Don’t get me wrong; Dedova is an artist of the highest caliber and she takes the listener on this journey through Debussy’s landscape as a knowledgeable and confident guide. It’s just that the tone of voice and expression she summons from her instrument to illuminate each landmark do not quite match the music’s wide diversity of moods, colors, and characters. Debussy, I think, was not quite as two-dimensional as Dedova sometimes makes him seem.


For those who appreciate Debussy’s strong Impressionist streak and who may find Howat’s approach a bit too analytical or detached, Dedova is the perfect antidote. By any measure, this is attractive, shapely playing filled with many gratifying moments you will want to savor repeatedly, and at a budget selling price of $34.99 for four discs—that’s $8.75 per disc—you can, without too much strain on your wallet. This wouldn’t necessarily be my first or only choice for a collection of Debussy’s complete piano music, but it’s definitely recommended.


FANFARE: Jerry Dubins
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Préludes, Book 1 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909-1910; France 
2.
Préludes, Book 2 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; France 
3.
Images for Piano, Set 1 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; France 
4.
Images for Piano, Set 2 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; France 
5.
Danse bohémienne by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1880; France 
6.
Arabesques (2) for Piano by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888-1891; France 
7.
Valse romantique by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890; France 
8.
L'isle joyeuse by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; France 
9.
Tarentelle styrienne "Danse" by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1890; France 
10.
Ballade slave by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1903; France 
11.
D'un cahier d'esquisses by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
12.
Elégie by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
13.
Estampes (3) for Piano by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
14.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 1 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
15.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 2 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
16.
Etude retrouvée by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
17.
Hommage à Haydn by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; France 
18.
Intermède by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1880; France 
19.
Le petit nègre by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; France 
20.
Images oubliées by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; France 
21.
Les soirs qu'illuminait par l'ardeur du charbon by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; France 
22.
Masques by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; France 
23.
Mazurka for Piano by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1890; France 
24.
Morceau de concours by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; France 
25.
Nocturne for Piano in D flat major by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892; France 
26.
Page d'album by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
27.
Suite bergamasque by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1905; France 
28.
Children's Corner by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1908; France 
29.
Berceuse heroïque by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; France 
30.
La plus que lente by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; France 
31.
Rêverie by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Larissa Dedova (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890; France 

Sound Samples

Preludes, Book 1: No. 1. Danseuses de Delphes
Preludes, Book 1: No. 2. Voiles
Preludes, Book 1: No. 3. Le vent dans la plaine
Preludes, Book 1: No. 4. Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir
Preludes, Book 1: No. 5. Les collines d'Anacapri
Preludes, Book 1: No. 6. Des pas sur la neige
Preludes, Book 1: No. 7. Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest
Preludes, Book 1: No. 8. La fille aux cheveux de lin
Preludes, Book 1: No. 9. La serenade interrompue
Preludes, Book 1: No. 10. La cathedrale engloutie
Preludes, Book 1: No. 11. La danse de Puck
Preludes, Book 1: No. 12. Minstrels
Images, Book 1: No. 1. Reflets dans l'eau
Images, Book 1: No. 2. Hommage a Rameau
Images, Book 1: No. 3. Mouvement
Danse bohemienne
2 Arabesques: No. 1 in E major
2 Arabesques: No. 2 in G major
Valse romantique
Danse, "Tarantelle styrienne"
Preludes, Book 2: No. 1. Brouillards
Preludes, Book 2: No. 2. Feuilles mortes
Preludes, Book 2: No. 3. La puerta del vino
Preludes, Book 2: No. 4. Les fees sont d'exquises danseuses
Preludes, Book 2: No. 5. Bruyeres
Preludes, Book 2: No. 6. General Lavine - eccentric
Preludes, Book 2: No. 7. La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune
Preludes, Book 2: No. 8. Ondine
Preludes, Book 2: No. 9. Hommage a S. Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C
Preludes, Book 2: No. 10. Canope
Preludes, Book 2: No. 11. Les tierces alternees
Preludes, Book 2: No. 12. Feux d'artifice
Images, Book 2: No. 1. Cloches a travers les feuilles
Images, Book 2: No. 2. Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut
Images, Book 2: No. 3. Poissons d'or
Ballade
Mazurka
Nocturne
Reverie

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In