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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Once Upon the Internet - Francine Kay plays Debussy

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Our second Once Upon the Internet post this month shares a download of the Second book of preludes by Claude Debussy.

The Works

Two weeks ago, we looked at the first book of preludes , and this week we turn to the second book, composed about two years after, between the last months of 1912 and early April 1913. The works in Debussy's second book of préludes are similar in intent to those of Book I (1907 - 1910). Several of them look ahead to Debussy's later style, in which the composer's earlier impressionistic, almost Romantic poetry was supplanted by a greater concentration upon technique and neoclassical objectivity. In addition, perhaps because Debussy's style is so prone to mannerism, several of the préludes in Book II bear strong similarities to those from the earlier set.

The Artist

Canadian pianist Francine Kay received her early musical training at L’Ecole de Musique Vincent D’Indy in Montreal, where she studied with Sr. Rita de la Croix and Yvonne Hubert. A scholarship from the government of France took her to Paris to study with Yvonne Lefebure as part of “Juillet Musical”, held in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the birthplace of Debussy. She obtained her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees on scholarship at the Juilliard School, where she studied with Adele Marcus. Ms. Kay then pursued her studies with Marek Jablonski and Leon Fleisher. As a participant at the Banff School of Fine Arts, she was frequently featured soloist. She also received the Artist’s Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music and a full fellowship from Tanglewood Music Centre.

Noted for interpretations “compelling in their individuality” (Ottawa Citizen). Ms. Kay is widely recognized as a pianist with a unique artistic voice. As a recitalist and chamber musician, she has performed throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, in cities such as London, New York, Paris and Nice, and in concert halls such as the Salle Gaveau and Carnegie Hall. She is also featured regularly on CBC Radio and on many other international radio and television broadcasts.

Her debut recording of the complete set of Debussy Preludes was nominated for a Juno Award in 1996, winning unanimous critical acclaim and a ranking with the most important recordings of this work to date. When she made her debut at the St. Lawrence Centre in Toronto, the Toronto Star headline read “Francine Kay played with poetic brilliance”.

Her debut performance with the Toronto Symphony was in 1988. In 1989, she became the first winner of the “Career Development Award” presented by the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto. That same year, she gave the world premiere performance of distinguished Canadian composer Oscar Morawetz’s Four Contrasting Moods.

Francine Kay is on the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto and Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.

The Performance

Captured in superb sound by engineer Clive Allen, the recording was made in a small church in Elora, Ontario, using only a single pair Sony C-28 microphones in omni mode.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
  • Préludes II, pour piano, L. 123
  • Ballade (slave), pour piano, L. 70

Francine Kay, Piano

MP3.COM Download 21 mar 2003
Read more:

October 26, 2012, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will feature a new podcast "Birthdays: Claude Debussy - Part 1I" at its Pod-O-Matic Channel. Read more October 26 on the ITYWLTMT Blogspot blog.

Updated Oct-23-2012 at 10:36 by itywltmt

Classical Music , Recorded Music