Notes and Editorial Reviews
The 150th anniversary of Claude Debussy’s birth also marks 20 years since Paul Crossley’s 1992 survey of the composer’s complete solo piano music, minus sundry ballet-score piano reductions and more recently discovered miscellany. That provides at least two excuses for its budget reappearance in the Sony Masters series. When they first appeared, the cycle’s individual releases met with mixed reviews in the British press, while eliciting high praise in the New York Times. While it’s true that Crossley employs a wider degree of rubato than the composer often requests, he brings off these tempo fluctuations with such a natural sense of ebb and flow and technical finesse that no one should really care. Furthermore, the slightly distant yet
well-detailed engineering accurately conveys what Crossley’s warm, luminous sonority sounds like in concert, helped by the Snape Maltings Concert Hall’s attractive ambience.
You may prefer the extra rhythmic edge of Bavouzet’s Etudes, Michelangeli’s incisive refinement in both books of Images, or Osborne’s tighter, more meticulous traversal of the 24 Preludes, yet Crossley’s beautiful pianism and overall high artistry surely will appeal to collectors seeking a bargain, world-class Debussy piano cycle. Too bad that Crossley’s provocative essays included with the original releases had to fall by the wayside in light of this series’ lack of booklet notes.
-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Be the first to review this title