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Debussy: Four-Hand Piano Music / Armengaud

Release Date: 04/30/2013 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572979   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claude Debussy
Performer:  Olivier ChauzuJean-Pierre Armengaud
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a highly realistic-sounding recording of a piano four-hands recital from the position of the players. In other words the keyboard is spread in front of the listener with the top end distinctly to the right. One can hear the pedalling and even the breathing of these two. I do slightly question the decision to record from this perspective in that no audience member is able to sit like this. However such a view is not unique in the recording world and they can be forgiven because it sounds so good. The engineering is not 100% perfect - there is a clear editing error in track 4 at 3.08, as if the digital scissors slipped. A reminder that modern recordings are made up of often hundreds of edits, considering which it is well disguised the Read more rest of the time.

What of the music? Most collectors will have a substantial amount of Debussy's delicious piano music, but this collector discovered that most of this CD was new to him, a pleasure in itself. The early Petite Suite is the most famous music present. The even earlier Première Suite d'orchestre was only published in 2008 in this four-hand version. It is a lovelypiece throughout its full 26 minutes and does not sound like anyone except Debussy. The Six Épigraphes antiques are late Debussy and display his extraordinary command of advanced harmony. The ear is constantly tickled by the most strange sounds. The recital is completed by the rare 1st version of the Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire.

The two pianists are new to me and display a high degree of togetherness, if not the pin-sharp unity of, say, Aloys and Alfons Kontarsky. Given such unusual fare this is a fine set of performances and mostly very well recorded indeed. The notes by Gérald Hugon are detailed and well structured - and translated into elegant English by Susannah Howe. Hugon tells the purchaser everything he is likely to want to know about the discovery of the early compositions and their complex history, and then goes on to discuss each piece thoroughly. We have grown to expect such quality from Naxos, another star to them.

– Dave Billinge, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

Epigraphes antiques (6) by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Olivier Chauzu (Piano), Jean-Pierre Armengaud (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; France 
Premičre Suite by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Olivier Chauzu (Piano), Jean-Pierre Armengaud (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1883-1884 
Petite suite for Piano 4 hands by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Olivier Chauzu (Piano), Jean-Pierre Armengaud (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1886-1889; France 
Marche écossaise sur un thčme populaire by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Olivier Chauzu (Piano), Jean-Pierre Armengaud (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1891; France 

Sound Samples

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) (1st version)
6 Epigraphes antiques: No. 1. Pour invoquer Pan
6 Epigraphes antiques: No. 2. Pour un tombeau sans nom
6 Epigraphes antiques: No. 3. Pour que la nuit soit propice
6 Epigraphes antiques: No. 4. Pour la danseuse aux crotales
6 Epigraphes antiques: No. 5. Pour l'egyptienne
6 Epigraphes antiques: No. 6. Pour remercier la pluie au matin
Premiere Suite (version for piano 4 hands): I. Fete
Premiere Suite (version for piano 4 hands): II. Ballet
Premiere Suite (version for piano 4 hands): III. Reve
Premiere Suite (version for piano 4 hands): IV. Cortege et Bacchanale

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Debussy with a difference April 15, 2014 By Louis R. (DeLand, FL) See All My Reviews "A "find" for the Debussy-lover. Four hands yields an interesting "sound" not heard before, in those Debussy standards. A good value." Report Abuse
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