The piano pieces of Frédéric Chopin and Claude Debussy may be regarded as coming from either side of the great Romantic divide, conceived in reaction against the movement's excesses yet often embodying its ideals. Chopin never considered himself a Romantic, and Debussy struggled to eradicate its influence. Both composers had a common interest in avoiding the grandiose forms and sweeping gestures of Liszt and Wagner, and instead sought beauty in intimate forms, such as miniatures and character pieces. Yet, insofar as they were both poets of the piano, they expressed the Romantic passion for evoking moods and love of tone painting, and in terms of expression, Chopin and Debussy have much in common. Javier Perianes perceives the way Debussy absorbed Chopin's refined musical language and shaped it into his own, without overtly borrowing or quoting, and this accounts for many of their shared sonorities, effects, and mannerisms. For this Harmonia Mundi album, Perianes alternates tracks between Chopin and Debussy, so listeners can draw their own conclusions about the many similarities as well as the obvious differences, and appreciate Perianes' subtle treatment of such diaphanous and iridescent music. This trifold package also includes a DVD of Joseph Molina's film Deux chercheurs d'absolu (Two Seekers of the Absolute).
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2