Jean-Efflam Bavouzet

Debussy: Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 5

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The fifth volume of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's survey of the complete piano music of Claude Debussy is at least as fine as the previous four, and perhaps even more interesting. Throughout this series, Bavouzet has shown himself to be not only a stupendous virtuoso -- nothing in the Études or the Préludes is technically beyond him -- but also an exemplary Debussy pianist. He knows how to blend, balance, shade, and shadow so that the music always sounds like it is by Debussy and no other composer. In this volume, Bavouzet takes on three works rarely programmed or recorded in any form and plays them in their nearly unknown piano versions: the ballets Khamma, Jeux, and La boîte à joujoux. Though the piano versions were intended only as aids for dance rehearsal and not as a substitute for the full scores, they prove wholly persuasive in these performances. Bavouzet tosses off the most challenging passages as easily as if they were five-finger exercises, but more importantly, he makes compelling cases for these rare pieces, revealing each as a fully worthy work, something at which many conductors have failed. Though no fan of the composer should be without the orchestral versions of these scores, this disc should be of interest to anyone who loves Debussy. Chandos' digital sound is warm, deep, detailed, and colorful.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Khamma
1 1:02
2 3:49
3 2:41
4 3:28
5 1:35
6 1:42
7 1:49
8 3:33
Jeux
9 2:05
10 1:01
11 1:14
12 1:14
13 2:09
14 2:07
15 1:40
16 1:34
17 3:04
18 0:48
La Boîte à joujoux
19 11:56
20 8:06
21 5:07
22 2:52
blue highlight denotes track pick