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Debussy - Complete Works for Piano
Collectors' edition - 5 discs

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet piano

Chandos CHAN 10743(5)

Debussy: Préludes - Books 1 & 2 (24, complete) Les soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbon Valse romantique (L. 71) Ballade Danse - Tarantelle styrienne Images oubliées (3) for piano Pour le piano Estampes (3) (Complete) Masques D'un cahier d'esquisses L'isle joyeuse
Children's Corner Suite Bergamasque Danse bohemienne Nocturne La plus que lente Mazurka Rêverie Arabesque No. 1 Arabesque No. 2 Morceau de concours Le petit nègre Hommage à Haydn Berceuse héroïque Page d'album Élégie, L138 Images pour piano - Études pour piano (12) (complete) Etude retrouvée
Khamma version for piano;
La Boite A Joujoux
Jeux - Poème dansé
version for piano

CHAN 10421, 10467, 10443, 10497 & 10545 "...Debussy playing does not come any better than this, and anyone starting to collect this excellent Chandos series need not really look any further. The CDs are available separately each in turn was given a ’Gramophone Award..."

The quality of Bavouzet's research and Debussy playing is incontrovertible and this is one of few intégrales which amply reward collecting.

This new boxed set is highly desirable, especially for the inclusion of three ballets for Disc 5. It is all well rcorded, and with up to date presentation - even a special help to get the discs in and out !

The main notes are by the reliable and readable Roger Nichols, with fascinating additional Notes by the Artist.

For Vol 5, Bavouzet explains that it was an afterthought, after he came across the piano score of Khamma by chance in a Parisian music shop. That made him decide to bring the piano versions of the three ballets for a final disc.

Though almost contemporaneous (1912/13) the problems they pose are very different, being "curiously written in very different ways".

Khamma, which remained unperformed until 1924, after Debussy's death, will be unknown to most collectors; its score has extras above and below the normal two staves, often making Bavouzet wish he'd been born with extra hands. The piano score of Jeux is so complex as to be virtually incomprehensible and genuinely unplayable, "one of the most difficult woorks that I have ever played", Bavouzet tells us. The children's ballet The Toybox for his seven year old daughter, is simpler and quotes many composers.

Conceived for marionettes, later for children to dance with 'simple movements", it is a delight.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Haydn Piano Sonatas Vol 5 (Bavouzet) CHAN 10763

This volume of the Haydn sonatas series (well under way) is a delight.

Played on a Yahmaha CFX with impeccable skill and subtlety, this is a good choice for listeners (and domestic piano players) not quite ready for authentic instruments of the period (c.f. http://www.musicalpointers.co.uk/reviews/cddvd11/VirtualHaydn.html)

The sound is something like you might aspire to on a venerable upright at home - ours is an elderly Steinway, far more suitable than a modern Steinway grand !). Technical teamatPotton Hall fine, and there are extensive notes by the aartist himself, just as for Debussy above. He explains that these volumes are like "postcards" which he will be sending from time to time alongside his main work with the virtuoso repertoire. But there is virtuosisty of its own type here; far better than most haydn recordings on modern piano.

Peter Grahame Woolf