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.
- The only really complete edition of Debussy’s output for piano duo! Recorded in 2012, Carrara, Italy.
- This set not only contains the original works for piano 4-hands or 2 pianos (such as Petite Suite, En blanc et noir) but also the composer’s transcriptions of orchestral works (such as the famous Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faun, La Mer). Several pieces receive their CD premiere in this set (the Symphony).
- Debussy, a skilled pianist himself, never made a dry piano reduction of his orchestral works, but took pains to create pianistic masterworks, able to stand on its own.
- Two of Italy’s best pianists join forces in this beautiful and inspired performance of Debussy’s output for piano duo: Massimiliano Damerini and Marco Rapetti.
- Includes comprehensive booklet notes and artist biographies.