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Debussy: Complete Music for Piano Duo / Damerini, Rapetti

Debussy / Damerini / Rapetti
Release Date: 04/30/2013 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94448   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano DameriniMarco Rapetti
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

If it is true that the end of Romanticism coincided with the invention of electric light, then we can date this to 1880 -- the year in which Thomas Alva Edison patented the light bulb. At around this time, a brilliant student at the Paris Conservatoire, Claude Debussy, decided to embark upon a composing career that would soon 'illuminate' the history of music.

Debussy's output is roughly divided into three periods, each of which is represented by one of the three discs in this set. Focusing solely on his works for piano duo, the collection effectively represents a vantage point from which to analyse his stylistic development, since it touches on both Debussy's piano and orchestral writing simultaneously: as well as original
Read more keyboard works (Lindaraja is one example, the composer's first work inspired by Spain), there are piano pieces arranged for orchestra, vice-versa compositions (Prélude a l'après-midi d'un faune, for instance) and music that was clearly intended for the orchestra or for specific ensembles (one example is Le triomphe de Bacchus, for which the orchestration was never completed).

Performing these works are two of Italy's most celebrated pianists, Massimiliano Damerini and Marco Rapetti. Their accomplished readings highlight the unique relationship that exists between piano and orchestra -- the former can be seen as a monochromatic version of the latter, with the latter essentially describing the former in polychromatic terms -- and, at the same time, draw the listener's attention towards an important area of 19th-century music-making: namely piano transcriptions' vital role in making operatic and symphonic repertoire available to all.

Other information:
- The only really complete edition of Debussy's output for piano duo! Recorded in 2012, Carrara, Italy.
- This set not only contains the original works for piano 4-hands or 2 pianos (such as Petite Suite, En blanc et noir) but also the composer's transcriptions of orchestral works (such as the famous Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faun, La Mer). Several pieces receive their CD premiere in this set (the Symphony).
- Debussy, a skilled pianist himself, never made a dry piano reduction of his orchestral works, but took pains to create pianistic masterworks, able to stand on its own.
- Two of Italy's best pianists join forces in this beautiful and inspired performance of Debussy's output for piano duo: Massimiliano Damerini and Marco Rapetti.
- Includes comprehensive booklet notes and artist biographies.

R E V I E W:

DEBUSSY Symphonie— Allegro. Andante cantabile. Diane: Overture. Le triomphe de Bacchus: Suite d’orchestre. Intermezzo. Première suite d’orchestre . Divertissement. L’Enfant prodigue: Prélude, Cortège, et Air de danse. Printemps: Suite symphonique. Petite Suite. Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire. Prélude à après-midi d’un faune. Lindaraja. La Mer. Danses. Six épigraphes antiques. En blanc et noir Massimillano Damerini (pn); Marco Rapetti (pn) BRILLIANT 94448 (3 CDs: 214:02)

So far as I can ascertain, this is the only set available—perhaps the only set of its kind ever produced—of the complete works of Debussy for piano duo, both works for one piano four hands and for two pianos. The overwhelming majority of them are either sketches for or reductions of orchestral works, dating from the composer’s early and middle periods up to 1904. The only two compositions originally written for two pianos are En blanc et noir from 1915 and the unpublished Lindaraja from 1901. The set thoughtfully arranges the works in order by date of composition. CD 1 has works dated 1880-1883, CD 2 those dated 1884-1894, and CD 3 those dated 1901-1915. The performances, as one would expect from seeing the names of the two pianists, belong to the Italian school of Debussy interpretation, which is to say that they play with a rather bright tone, chiseled touch, and almost no use of the sustaining pedal, with an emphasis on clear projection of the vertical melodic line over emphasis on the horizontal harmonic structure to create an Impressionistic sonic atmosphere. While my own interpretive preferences tend toward the latter side, I have no cavils when the performances are as fine as the ones offered here. Damerini and Rapetti perform with perfect unanimity and a verve and élan that bring out all the vividness of the orchestral works, even without the extraordinarily colorful palette of Debussy’s orchestration. The recorded sound is fine and the booklet notes are informative. At Brilliant’s budget price, this set is a steal, and recommended accordingly.

FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

1.
Divertissement by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1884 
2.
L'enfant prodigue: Air de danse by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1884/1908; France 
3.
L'enfant prodigue: Cortège et Air de danse by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1884/1908; France 
4.
Printemps by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1887; France 
5.
Petite suite for Piano 4 hands by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1886-1889; France 
6.
Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1891; France 
7.
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1894; France 
8.
Lindaraja by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; France 
9.
La mer by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
10.
Danse sacrée et danse profane by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; France 
11.
Epigraphes antiques (6) by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; France 
12.
En blanc et noir by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
13.
Symphony in B minor by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1880; France 
14.
Andante cantabile by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
15.
Ouverture Diane by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1881 
16.
Le triomphe de Bacchus: Allegro by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1882; France 
17.
Le triomphe de Bacchus: Andante cantabile by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
18.
Le triomphe de Bacchus: Marche et bacchanale by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
19.
Intermezzo by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1882 
20.
Première Suite by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Massimiliano Damerini (Piano), Marco Rapetti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1883-1884 

Sound Samples

Symphony in B Minor (version for piano 4 hands): I. Allegro ben marcato
Symphony in B Minor (version for piano 4 hands): II. Andante cantabile
Ouverture Diane
Le triomphe de Bacchus (excerpts) (version for piano 4 hands): I. Divertissement: Allegro
Le triomphe de Bacchus (excerpts) (version for piano 4 hands): II. Andante - Andante cantabile
Le triomphe de Bacchus (excerpts) (version for piano 4 hands): IV. Marche et Bacchanale: Fragment 1: Allegro con fuoco
Le triomphe de Bacchus (excerpts) (version for piano 4 hands): IV. Marche et Bacchanale: Fragment 2: Maestoso - Allegro con fuoco
Intermezzo (version for piano 4 hands)
Premiere Suite (version for piano 4 hands): I. Fete: Allegro vivace
Premiere Suite (version for piano 4 hands): II. Ballet: Andantino con moto
Premiere Suite (version for piano 4 hands): III. Reve: Andante
Premiere Suite (version for piano 4 hands): IV. Cortege et Bacchanale: Moderato mais tres ferme
Divertissement
L'enfant prodigue (excerpts) (version for piano 4 hands): Prelude: Andante, tres calme
L'enfant prodigue (excerpts) (version for piano 4 hands): Cortege et airs de danse
Printemps (version for piano 4 hands): I. Tres modere
Printemps (version for piano 4 hands): II. Moderato
Petite Suite: I. En bateau
Petite Suite: II. Cortege
Petite Suite: III. Menuet
Petite Suite: IV. Ballet
Marche ecossaise sur un theme populaire (version for piano 4 hands)
Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune (version for 2 pianos)

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