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Debussy: Images, Études / Pierre-laurent Aimard


Release Date: 10/07/2003 
Label:  Teldec   Catalog #: 83940   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Debussy’s Études are the direct forerunners of those by Ligeti, so it’s hardly surprising that Pierre-Laurent Aimard, whose performances of Ligeti’s pieces are unsurpassed, should prove such a strong advocate for them. The earlier master’s studies for chromatic scales and for the ‘eight fingers’, as well as the piece called ‘Mouvement’ from the first Book of his Images, foreshadow the vertiginous, almost mechanical style of keyboard writing so strikingly exploited by Ligeti. Aimard not only dispatches these pieces with dazzling virtuosity, he also brings out all the richness and textural counterpoint of such seminal studies as those for contrasting sonorities and for compound arpeggios.

Mind you, he’s up against
Read more formidable competition from Mitsuko Uchida, whose version of the Études is surely one of the outstanding piano recordings of recent years. Where Uchida excels is in evoking the capriciousness of the scherzando writing that is such an important feature of these pieces. In her hands the brusque interruptions and tempo changes that punctuate the opening mock-Czerny piece sound wittier than they do in Aimard’s more sober account; and her slower tempo for the octaves study allows for greater rhythmic freedom, as well as more explosive outbursts of joy. But in the end it’s a close-run thing, and I wouldn’t want to suggest that Aimard’s performances of these endlessly fascinating pieces are anything short of masterly. It’s worth considering, too, that his disc, recorded with the same warmth and fullness of tone as Uchida’s, comes with the very considerable bonus of both books of Images.

Performance: 5 (out of 5), Sound: 5 (out of 5)

-- BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1.
Images for Piano, Set 1 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 14 Minutes 26 Secs. 
2.
Images for Piano, Set 2 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 13 Minutes 34 Secs. 
3.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 1: no 1, Pour les cinq doigts by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
4.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 1: no 2, Pour les tierces by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 4 Minutes 32 Secs. 
5.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 1: no 3, Pour les quartes by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 5 Minutes 13 Secs. 
6.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 1: no 4, Pour les sixtes by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 4 Minutes 38 Secs. 
7.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 1: no 5, Pour les octaves by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs. 
8.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 1: no 6, Pour les huits doigts by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 1 Minutes 33 Secs. 
9.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 2: no 7, Pour les degrés chromatiques by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
10.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 2: no 8, Pour les agréments by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 4 Minutes 43 Secs. 
11.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 2: no 9, Pour les notes répétées by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
12.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 2: no 10, Pour les sonorités opposées by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 5 Minutes 37 Secs. 
13.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 2: no 11, Pour les arpèges composées by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 4 Minutes 43 Secs. 
14.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Book 2: no 12, Pour les accords by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/2002 
Venue:  Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds 
Length: 4 Minutes 51 Secs. 

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