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Thread: Recommended Recording of Debussy's Piano Works

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    Default Recommended Recording of Debussy's Piano Works

    I am looking for a more recent recording of Debussy's piano music. I have came across Roge, Thibaudet and Arrau's collection. Which one is the best?

    P.S. I already have Gieseking's collection and Zimerman's preludes.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    The recent Chandos recordings of Debussy's piano works (5 vols.) performed by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet are exquisite. They are my contemporary recording of choice (I have the classic Gieseking set as well as Uchida's marvelous recording of the Etudes).

    Pascal Roge's recent efforts have also been highly acclaimed, although I cannot speak directly of them... not having heard them. Nevertheless, Roge is quite marvelous at capturing the more Impressionistic French piano music.

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    Etudes-Boffard, Preludes-Jacobs. Others with Jacobs, Michelangeli, Weissenberg, Crossley, Moravec.

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    Although I've given up with most of my piano music, Arrau's double album of Preludes issued on the Phillips original sticks with me. Although the Penguin Guide calls him an Encyclopaedist (a virtuoso pianist who plays breadth, rather than specialised repertoire), his works are very moving and extremely well recorded with just enough foregrounding of the piano's timbres without being too in-yer-face.

    The Gieseking classic suggests that you might need to look a bit more recent than Thibaudet, Roge or Arrau. Arrau's version is not recent - I bought mine when I was a student in Paris over 15 years ago. Unless it's been reissued or something of late. The Thibaudet version is typically Thibaudet - narcissistic and self-focussed whereas the Roge is interesting, but not perhaps as soft and gentle as Arrau. I'm sure there are other versions worth looking at. Roge does some interesting work on Erik Satie's populist pieces which I still like. Whatever his merits are in playing the Preludes....elude me.

    Arrau it is.

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