Jean-Efflam Bavouzet

Debussy: Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 3

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AllMusic Review by

Another winner in Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's survey of Debussy's complete piano music for Chandos, Vol. 3 brings together sentimental favorites and nearly unknown works. On the one hand, there are Clair de Lune, Réverie, and Children's Corner, on the other, the extremely early (the composer was 18) Danse bohémienne and the extremely late (the composer died three years afterwards) Élégie. Perhaps surprisingly to those who recall his brilliantly austere Images from Vol. 1 and his blazingly virtuosic Préludes from Vol. 2, Bavouzet's interpretations of the sentimental favorites are lush-toned and warmhearted, with wonderfully sustained legato and tastefully discrete use of the sustaining pedal. Unsurprisingly, however, Bavouzet is totally under the skin of Debussy's music. His Children's Corner balances wry wit with deep affection, and his La plus que lente waltz balances dry irony and profound emotion. Though there are certainly other great recordings of Debussy's piano music from Gieseking through Rogé, Bavouzet's recordings surely belong in that company. Chandos' piano sound is rich and ringing, with plenty of detail and amazing presence.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
5:43
Suite bergamasque, for piano, L. 75
2
3:44
3
4:06
4
4:50
5
3:43
6
2:03
Arabesques (2) for piano, L. 66
7
4:04
8
3:13
9
4:22
10
3:02
Children's Corner, suite for piano (or orchestra), L. 113
11
2:06
12
3:08
13
2:24
14
2:29
15
2:23
16
3:11
17
2:26
18
0:58
19
4:40
20
1:14
21
1:09
22
4:18
23
2:30
blue highlight denotes track pick