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Debussy: 24 Preludes / Craig Sheppard, piano

Album Summary

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book I, L. 117
>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book II, L. 123
>Debussy, Claude : Les soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbon, album leaf for piano
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Pianist Craig Sheppard studied at the Curtis Institute and Juilliard. He won the Silver Medal at the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition in 1972, which launched him on an international career. Sheppard spent 20 years in London teaching at the Yehudi Menuhin School, performing with all the leading orchestras of Great Britain and Europe, and giving master classes at Oxford and Cambridge. He became a faculty member at the University of Washington in 1993 and since that time has built a reputation as one of America's leading pedagogues. Since 2002, Sheppard has traveled 11 times to the Far East to perform and give master classes. This recording is an amalgamation of two concerts given in 2012 at Seattle's Meany Theater. Sheppard performed on his own Hamburg Steinway D for the concerts.

American Record Guide, September/October 2013
This recording is taken from two concerts Sheppard played in October 2012. The same kind of overall logic to the interpretation of a large group of shorter pieces that I liked in his Bach recordings is fully evident here. My guess is that a lifetime of performance and teaching experience is embodied in these cornerstones of the piano repertoire. Each group of 12 moves along in a larger interpretive plan, either emphasizing the contrasts ('Ce Qu'a Vu le Vent d'Ouest' and 'La Fille aux Cheveaux de Lin') or relationships ('Brouillards' and 'Feuilles Mortes'). Sheppard's booklet notes deserve special mention. He wrote a substantial paragraph for each Prelude, with mention of most of the poetic and literary references, unusual harmonic devices, and musical influences past and contemporary. As with his Bach recordings, the sound quality is excellent for a concert venue, with nary an intrusive peep from the audience and polite. This recording, even in a very crowded field, is quite special. I have been playing 'The Sunken Cathedral' for nearly 50 years and several more for at least 40 years; and even with that level of familiarity, I heard nuances from Sheppard that sounded fresh and new. He is truly a great pianist, and I have to imagine also a great teacher. We should be very grateful to Romeo for keeping the great recordings coming.



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Works Details

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book I, L. 117
  • Performer: Craig Sheppard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 36 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1907-1910

>Debussy, Claude : Préludes (12) for piano, Book II, L. 123
  • Performer: Craig Sheppard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 37 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1910-1912

>Debussy, Claude : Les soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbon, album leaf for piano
  • Performer: Craig Sheppard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1917