Claude Debussy

Daniel Barenboim / Martha Argerich / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin

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Claude Debussy Review

by James Manheim

Daniel Barenboim has sometimes performed the music of Debussy, especially during the later part of his career, but Debussy interpretations are not something for which he is particularly known. Thus this release of Debussy works, on the rare side except for La Mer at the end, is commendable; it shows Barenboim, approaching his 80th year, continuing to take chances and explore new repertory. The show opens with the Fantaisie for piano and orchestra, L 73, not commonly heard, although it is really Debussy's only piano concerto. It's an early work, but more than most other Debussy pieces from the period, it shows the composer injecting his own style at every turn into a framework of Massenet and, especially, Franck. Barenboim teams with pianist Martha Argerich, and the pair offers a relaxed performance that brings out the proto-Impressionist touches. In the terse, dark Violin Sonata, L 140, and Cello Sonata, L. 135, Barenboim at the keyboard is joined by son Michael Barenboim and Kian Soltani, respectively, with impressively spare results. La Mer, with Barenboim leading the Staatskapelle Dresden, is clean and effective if not revelatory. Recorded in 2018 and released in 2021, this is a worthy entry in Barenboim's remarkable late-life catalog.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Fantaisie pour piano et orchestre L73
1 Martha Argerich / Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin 08:08 Amazon
2 Martha Argerich / Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin 06:31 Amazon
3 Martha Argerich / Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin 08:34 Amazon
Sonate pour violon et piano L140
4 Martha Argerich / Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin 04:48 Amazon
5 Martha Argerich / Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin 03:57 Amazon
6 Martha Argerich / Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin 04:11 Amazon
Sonate pour violoncelle et piano L135
7 Martha Argerich / Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin 04:14 Amazon
8 Martha Argerich / Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin 03:07 Amazon
9 Martha Argerich / Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin 03:32 Amazon
La Mer - Trois Esquisses symphoniques L109
10 Martha Argerich / Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin 09:23 Amazon
11 Martha Argerich / Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin 07:16 Amazon
12 Martha Argerich / Daniel Barenboim / Michael Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin 08:39 Amazon
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