Search - Walter Gieseking, Debussy :: Plays Debussy

Plays Debussy
Walter Gieseking, Debussy
Plays Debussy
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #2

No Description Available. Genre: Classical Music Media Format: Compact Disk Rating: Release Date: 24-JUL-2007


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CD Details

All Artists: Walter Gieseking, Debussy
Title: Plays Debussy
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Video Artists Int'l
Release Date: 9/22/1995
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Forms & Genres, Short Forms, Suites, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830), Modern, 20th, & 21st Century
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 089948111726


Product Description
No Description Available.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 24-JUL-2007

CD Reviews

Reference recording, beyond words
John Grabowski | USA | 04/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This will be a short review, because this disc is so stunning I really can't translate its virtues into words, and thus urge everyone who has even a mild interest in this music to check it out. I saw "even a mild interest" because after hearing these recordings you may find yourself in love, infatuated. This is as great as Debussy playing gets, and far far better than Gieseking's post WWII efforts (though those aren't shabby either). It leaves modern Debussy playing in the dust. Even on weathered 78s surfaces from the late 1930s you can still hear the nuance, the color, so effortlessly rendered in each piece. But it's more than just coloration. His tempi are perfect in each work and he gives each little gem real shape and structure (something many modern Debussy interpretors do not; maybe it was his German roots). He inter-relates the Preludes so that they build one on the other and aren't just considered as separate works. But mostly it's his *sound* at the keyboard, and the sheer efforrtlessness of it. Even on faded surfaces the effect is impressive. I can only imagine what Gieseking sounded like in person. (Actually, I probably can't.) Lightness mixed with authority--this is neither heavy nor billowy Debussy. After he finished recording these works, it's amazing to me anyone else had the guts to play them in his wake.Seventy years later we're still waiting for Gieeking's heir. Buy these stunning CDs before they foolishly are let slip out of print. Like Annie Sophie Mutter's Berg Concerto recording, like Claudio Arrau's Appassionata on EMI, like Furtwangler's Brahms, like Kurt Sanderling's Shostakovich 5th, this is one of the greatest moments of classical music."
Reference performances of Debussy
R. J. Claster | Van Nuys, CA United States | 05/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This contains nearly all of Gieseking's pre-WWII recordings of Debussy's solo piano music. I find these performances significantly superior to his worthy 1950s recordings of these pieces on EMI. More specifically, he plays here with much greater fluency, tonal nuance, and technical control. Listen to his floating tone, which sounds like it is emanating from thin air rather than hammers hitting strings, and the nuances in his dynamic shadings, especially at the softer end. I have never heard anyone else playing Debussy come close in those respects.
The sound, though obviously more limited than a modern recording, is, nonetheless, clear and detailed.
Although other pianists, such as Richter, have sometimes brought out more overt drama and characterization in some of these pieces, no one else has equalled him as a poet of sonic sensuousness in this repertoire.
An essential purchase for Debussy lovers!"
Immortal recordings, but beware
Mark E. Farrington | Albany, NY | 11/11/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"After being tantalized by this set for years, I broke down and ordered it last week. Just got it today...Giesking is astounding: celestial and erotic at the same time. This SHOULD be given five stars for the interpretations- but these 78-to-CD transfers leave something to be desired...Heavy surface noise AND heavy, obstrusive "No-Noising" or CEDARING (the best of ALL worlds).

Now, granted, we're talking about issued 78 copies dating from 1927 to 1939, and these last were probably war-time Columbia 78s, which (as I've noted elsewhere) are notorious for their high noise floor and "fuzziness." Still, is this is merely a "war-time Columbia 78" source problem?...Case in point: Fritz Reiner's Columbia/Pittsburgh "Don Quioxte," which dates from 1941...Compare the LYS transfer (done by the same engineer who transferred this Giesking set) with the Reiner/Pittsburgh Strauss transfers of Rick Torres, on Biddulph (both the LYS and the Biddulph sets being based on issued 78 copies). So, although it may be a challenge to extract the "breath of life" from those war-time Columbia 78s, the point is, IT'S BEEN DONE. (Enough said.)

Sadly, with THIS set out there, and the classical CD market such as it is, the chances are slim that anyone ELSE will undertake the labor-of-love remastering effort which these precious sides demand. (Naxos Historical appears to be more or less through with 78-to-CD transfers, at the moment being rather busy with the early LP era).

It is frustrating - and tantalizing- to have these immortal interpretations transferred as they are, here...Tantalizing, because just enough of Gieseking's tonal magic shines through to show that we're just NOT getting the best of what was on those old shellac grooves. It's one thing to be tantalized by Debussy's suggestive music; quite another to be tantalized by the TRANSFER.

Thanks, but No Thanks...Rather than be teased & tantalized, in this one instance (until someone decides to do it right), I'll go without."