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Debussy: Complete Music For Two Pianos / Coombs And Scott


Release Date: 07/13/1999 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55014   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claude Debussy
Performer:  Stephen CoombsChristopher Scott
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The names of Stephen Coombs and Christopher Scott were unknown to me until this issue came my way, and indeed it is their debut recording. But to judge from the evidence of their performance in this challenging Debussy repertory they are pianists possessing great individual fluency and resource and whose unanimity of ensemble and interpretative approach is outstanding. It sounds odd to say that En blanc et noir has a splendid yet wholly idiomatic range of colour, but I must, and do so gladly, for there are fine and subtle timbres. Yet at the same time there is no shortage of the élan that is such a feature of the first movement that the composer marks to be played A vec emportement. The battlefield turmoil and sadness of the second Read more piece is no less well realized, and the finale, dedicated to Stravinsky, dances as deftly and mysteriously as it should.

Inevitably the other pieces on the disc, apart from the short Lindaraja, are marginally less interesting because they are transcriptions (by Ravel in the case of the Nocturnes), but here too there is much to delight and indeed in performances of this quality one can hear and enjoy them without much difficulty as if they were originally written for keyboards. My only criticism of the playing is that here and there it seems more extroverted than Debussy, elusive creator that he was, might have wished—say in the processional middle section of "Fetes" and in "Sirenes" and also in the two Danses—but this in no way prevents me from saluting a fine issue. The recording location of Cranleigh School Chapel has proved an excellent one and the sound of the two wellmatched pianos, as captured by Andrew Keener and his engineer, is admirable; there is just the right amount of reverberation and the dynamic range is pretty well everything the composer asked for, which is saying something!

-- Gramophone [1/1990]
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Works on This Recording

1.
En blanc et noir by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Stephen Coombs (Piano), Christopher Scott (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1989 
Length: 15 Minutes 29 Secs. 
2.
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Stephen Coombs (Piano), Christopher Scott (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1894; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1989 
Length: 9 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Claude Debussy (1895)
Composition written: France (1892 - 1894). 
3.
Lindaraja by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Stephen Coombs (Piano), Christopher Scott (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1989 
Length: 3 Minutes 56 Secs. 
4.
Nocturnes (3) for Orchestra by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Stephen Coombs (Piano), Christopher Scott (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1897-1899; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1989 
Length: 21 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Maurice Ravel 
5.
Danse sacrée et danse profane by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Stephen Coombs (Piano), Christopher Scott (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1989 
Length: 8 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Notes: Transcribed: Claude Debussy 

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