Zoltán Kocsis

Debussy: Images

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There's all sorts of beauty. There's Mozart's beauty and Bach's beauty and there's Debussy's beauty and Bartók's beauty. But Mozart's beauty is not Bach's beauty and Debussy's beauty is not Bartók's music. So while one can admire the hard beauty of Zoltan Kocsis' 1988 recording of Debussy's recording, it is impossible to approve of it. Kocsis' playing is beyond reproach: whatever is on the page comes out of the piano, every nuanced dynamic, every glancing grace note, every subtle rhythm. But his clarity is cold and his lucidity is cruel. Reflects dans l'eau is frozen into crystal. Cloches à travers les feuilles rings clangorously. Poissons d'or glints but does not gleam. Reverie is sleep with no rest and the Berceuse héroïque is a last post over a dead fort in the desert. It is all very beautiful, but it is all an awful beauty. Philips' early digital piano sound is clean, dry, and efficient.

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