Debussy: Complete Music for Piano Duo (Full Album)

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If it is true that the end of Romanticism coincided with the invention of electric light, then we can date this to 1880 – the year in which Thomas Alva Edison patented the light bulb. At around this time, a brilliant student at the Paris Conservatoire, Claude Debussy, decided to embark upon a composing career that would soon ‘illuminate’ the history of music.

Debussy’s output is roughly divided into three periods, each of which is represented by one of the three discs in this set. Focusing solely on his works for piano duo, the collection effectively represents a vantage point from which to analyse his stylistic development, since it touches on both Debussy’s piano and orchestral writing simultaneously: as well as original keyboard works (Lindaraja is one example, the composer’s first work inspired by Spain), there are piano pieces arranged for orchestra, vice-versa compositions (Prélude a l’après-midi d’un faune, for instance) and music that was clearly intended for the orchestra or for specific ensembles (one example is Le triomphe de Bacchus, for which the orchestration was never completed).

Performing these works are two of Italy’s most celebrated pianists, Massimiliano Damerini and Marco Rapetti. Their accomplished readings highlight the unique relationship that exists between piano and orchestra – the former can be seen as a monochromatic version of the latter, with the latter essentially describing the former in polychromatic terms – and, at the same time, draw the listener’s attention towards an important area of 19th-century music-making: namely piano transcriptions’ vital role in making operatic and symphonic repertoire available to all.

00:00:00 Symphonie: Allegro
00:09:54 Andante cantabile
00:18:27 Diane: Ouverture
00:25:20 Le triomphe de Bacchus: Suite d’Orchestre: I. Divertissement
00:28:59 Le triomphe de Bacchus: Suite d’Orchestre: II. Andante
00:32:29 Le triomphe de Bacchus: Suite d’Orchestre: IV. Marche et Bacchanale: (fragment A)
00:33:39 Le triomphe de Bacchus: Suite d’Orchestre: IV. Marche et Bacchanale: (fragment B)
00:38:17 Intermezzo
00:42:49 Première Suite d’Orchestre: I. Fête
00:48:49 Première Suite d’Orchestre: II. Ballet
00:53:22 Première Suite d’Orchestre: III. Rêve
01:01:47 Première Suite d’Orchestre: IV. Cortège et Bacchanale
01:10:47 Divertissement
01:22:46 L’Enfant prodigue: Scène lyrique, three excerpts: I. Prélude
01:25:21 L’Enfant prodigue: Scène lyrique, three excerpts: II. Cortège – III. Air de danse
01:29:36 Printemps: Suite symphonique: I. Très modéré
01:39:54 Printemps: Suite symphonique: II. Modéré
01:47:45 Petite Suite: I. En bateau
01:51:26 Petite Suite: II. Cortège
01:54:56 Petite Suite: III. Menuet
01:58:16 Petite Suite: IV. Ballet
02:01:38 Marche écossaise sur un Thème populaire: ‘The Earl of Ross March’
02:09:09 Prélude à l’après-midi d’un Faune
02:19:36 Lindaraja
02:25:54 La Mer: Trois Esquisses symphoniques: I. De l’Aube à midi sur la Mer
02:34:40 La Mer: Trois Esquisses symphoniques: II. Jeux de vagues
02:42:17 La Mer: Trois Esquisses symphoniques: III. Dialogue du Vent et de la Mer
02:50:25 Danses: I. Danse sacrée
02:55:23 Danses: II. Danse profane
03:00:33 Six Épigraphes antiques: I. Pour invoquer Pan, dieu du Vent d’été
03:03:00 Six Épigraphes antiques: II. Pour un Tombeau sans Nom
03:06:55 Six Épigraphes antiques: III. Pour que la Nuit soit propice
03:09:18 Six Épigraphes antiques: IV. Pour la Danseuse aux crotales
03:11:53 Six Épigraphes antiques: V. Pour l’Égyptienne
03:15:03 Six Épigraphes antiques: VI. Pour remercier la Pluie au matin
03:17:15 En blanc et noir: I. Avec emportement
03:21:42 En blanc et noir: II. Lent, sombre
03:29:22 En blanc et noir: III. Scherzando


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