Personnel: John Wubbenhorst (bamboo flute); Timothy Anderson, Robert Jenkins (gamelan); Sandip Burman (tabla); Barry Dove (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Robert Macht.
Recording information: Baltimore, MD.
Perhaps the supreme interpreter of the piano music of Claude Debussy, the German-born and French-reared pianist Walter Gieseking bathes this music with a sumptuous intelligence and precise tonal control. He achieves the latter with one of the most refined pedaling techniques known to piano playing, a technique that exploits not only sophisticated combinations of the three pedals but also a masterful handling of half-pedal effects. In Gieseking's hands, a piece like "L'Isle joyeuse" becomes a study in shimmering ecstasy, as he renders the pearly passage-work with a dazzling, rippling delicacy. Gieseking's structural understanding of and emotional restraint in this repertory enables him to strike just the right aesthetic chord, as it were, with a piece like "Pagodes," in which dynamic pacing is the key to building giant slabs of sound. Gieseking's impeccable pacing compels the listener to hear a majestic monument of sound rising to form some sonic pagodas.
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