Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Claude Debussy, Jean-Yves Thibaudet|
Jean-Yves Thibaudet - Debussy · images, études ~ complete works for piano, vol. 2
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Jean-Yves Thibaudet is not a pianist to be pigeonholed. Alongside the recordings of his fellow countrymen Debussy and Ravel, he has recorded a tribute to a jazz giant, Conversations with Bill Evans, and he plays on the sou... more »
Jean-Yves Thibaudet is not a pianist to be pigeonholed. Alongside the recordings of his fellow countrymen Debussy and Ravel, he has recorded a tribute to a jazz giant, Conversations with Bill Evans, and he plays on the soundtrack of the film Portrait of a Lady. Perhaps this catholic approach accounts for the freshness of his Debussy playing. Not for him the "stick the pedal down and make an impressionistic wash of sound" approach. His playing is clean and refreshing without losing any of the voluptuous sensuality of Debussy at his most beguiling. There are lollipops to be found among the extensive repertory on these two discs, including the celebrated "Clair de Lune" from the Suite Bergamasque and the "Golliwogg's Cake-Walk" from Children's Corner. The mainstay of the release is the two sets of Images and the two books of Études, 12 studies whose demands are not for the faint of heart. Luckily for us, Thibaudet's heart is strong. He offers virtuosic, thoughtful performances of pieces that, while written to help develop pianists' technique, stand up magnificently as music to be listened to. --Keith Clarke
Mesmerising and musically imaginative performances
Vincent Lau | 06/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jean-Yves Thibaudet may not be the ideal pianist for every kind of music that he plays. His Rachmaninoff is disappointingly tepid and his Chopin uninteresting. His Liszt recordings, while being technically assured, often lacks a sense of abandon and frisson (or should I say "showmanship") which, in my view, is an indispensable element in that kind of music, and his Schubert (as heard in the soundtrack for ) sounds contrived and mannered.However, he is definitely a force to be reckoned with in his native French repertoire, as shown by his marvellous traversal of Ravel's piano pieces in 1992, a set which has won lots of accolades and unanimous praise from critics. He then embarked on a project to record all the solo piano works of Debussy and, in 1996, released the first instalment thereof, a 2-CD set which includes the Preludes, Estampes and Pour le piano. While these recordings aren't able to efface one's memory of the legendary recordings of Walter Gieseking, they're convincing interpretations which further confirm Thibaudet's stature in this repertoire.Decca has now released the 2nd (and concluding) volume of Debussy's solo piano pieces with Thibaudet, and the results are, if anything, even better. As Thibaudet employs the pedal comparatively sparingly, he doesn't perhaps command the magically luminous and shimmering tone which is the hallmark of Gieseking's Debussy recordings (as can be heard in a 4-CD set released by EMI). Nevertheless, Thibaudet offers here an extraordinary wide range of tonal colours (mostly achieved by the pianist's fingers alone, and is therefore no less impressive from a technical perspective), as well as great sensitivity in phrasing and tempo adjustments that always sound natural and even enchanting while at the same time bringing out the music's many possibilities. Besides, in certain instances (for example in some of the pieces in Children's Corner and the Valse romantique), there exist a degree of charm, wit and sarcastic humour which are mostly absent in Gieseking's recordings of the same pieces. Thibaudet's performance of the Images is mesmerising. His reading is wonderfully evocative and deeply atmospheric and his tonal gradations and sense of control are both cause for marvel. Under Thibaudet's crisp fingers and sensitive hands, the Etudes are not merely virtuosic pieces composed in an innovative idiom, but are also subtly expressive and musically imaginative vignettes, making one wonder why these gems of the keyboard aren't being performed (and recorded) more often. Indeed, such is the standard of the performances here that, besides some faster than average tempo choices for a few of the pieces (which, however, still sound convincing even if they may not actually be sanctioned by Debussy's markings in the relevant scores), this reviewer has hardly any reservation throughout the 151 minutes of music on offer in this 2-CD set. In fact, the recordings, which are well supported by the Decca engineers, are so musically fascinating and tonally alluring that this reviewer was immediately transported to a trance like state when listening to them for the very first time! This, surely, is one of the most enjoyable new piano releases that have come out in the past few years.Highly recommended and definitely a set worthy of being investigated by pianophiles."
Evocative and mesmerizing if a little distorted in places
madamemusico | Cincinnati, Ohio USA | 04/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I shall try to be as brief as possible. My standards in Debussy are Alfred Cortot and Walter Gieseking, but unfortunately they didn't record everything and the sound of their recordings is getting a little dated. I own Cortot's recordings of Debussy songs with Maggie Teyte and Gieseking's recordings of the Preludes, but was looking for good modern recordings of "La plus que lente," "Suite Bergamesque," "Images" and the "Children's Corner Suite." After listening to excerpts on the Amazon site, I bought this recording.Thibaudet has a gorgeous tone and touch. His musical styling, however, is sometimes accurate, sometimes phlegmatic. He plays the Song of the Doll in "Children's Corner" a little too fast, and in both "Golliwog's Cakewalk" and "Clair de lune" he employs an odd sort of rubato that seems to add a half-beat to certain measures. (In these pieces I know because I used to play them). Despite these quirks, however, his playing has charm, color and a dashing technique reminiscent of Gieseking. The reason I only gave this set 4 stars instead of 5 is because the Etudes are trashy music, mere technical exercises without any redeeming (to me) musical value. If you feel differently, however, I suppose you will rate this as a 5-star album, but to me it was a half-hour of listening time totally wasted. Otherwise, a beautiful album that you will listen to again and again."
Superior recordings and performances
Gontroppo | Bathurst, NSW Australia | 09/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Penguin Guide to CDs and DVDs has Thibaudet's sets of the complete Debussy solo piano music at the top of the digital recordings, and this is certainly high quality.
We have several recordings of the Preludes and some other works, but there is nothing to come close to Thibaudet for great performances and superior recording quality.
The liner notes are very helpful, and in the first set you get different articles in English, French, German and Italian. Great if you are multilingual, but only of marginal interest to me. The second set has one article and translations, not separate articles.
Well worth purchasing."