Pascal Rogé

Debussy: Children's Corner; Estampes; Suite Bergamasque

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As beautiful a disc of Debussy's piano music as could be imagined, Pascal Rogé's second disc in his series of recordings of the master impressionist's piano music is as sublime as his first. Far more than his Debussy recordings for Decca from nearly 30 years earlier, Rogé's 2007 disc is intense, concentrated, and consistently inspired. His Estampes are amazingly evocative, his Children's Corner is incredibly affectionate, his Arabesques are charmingly insouciant, and his Suite Bergamasque is palpably sensuous. It goes without saying the Rogé's technique is up to the demands of the music -- his control of every aspect of piano playing is manifest in the elegance of every melody, in the balance of every harmony, and in the motion of every rhythm -- but unlike some of his contemporary countrymen. Rogé is far more a poet of the piano than a virtuoso of the keyboard and his performances breathe the air of the nights in Granada, glow with the radiant light of the moon, and dance with the swirl of the snow. Superbly recorded with lifelike fidelity for Onyx by the masterful Marijke de Villiers, this disc will please even those finicky Debussy fans who only approve of Michelangelo, Arrau or, in a pinch, Pollini.

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