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Achille-Claude Debussy - Complete Works for Piano Vol. 5

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> Khamma (version for piano) - Prelude
> Khamma (version for piano) - Scene 1: Le Temple interieur du Grand-Dieu Amun-Ra
> Khamma (version for piano) - Scene 2: La grande porte s'ouvre et une legere forme voilee est
> Khamma (version for piano) - Premiere Danse
> Khamma (version for piano) - Deuxieme Danse
> Khamma (version for piano) - Troisieme Danse
> Khamma (version for piano) - Au Movement - Soudain
> Khamma (version for piano) - Scene 3: C'est l'aube froide et grise du matin qui lentement devient rose
> Jeux (version for piano) - Prelude
> Jeux (version for piano) - Du fond, a gauche, apparaissent deux jeunes filles craintives et curieuses
> Jeux (version for piano) - Une des deux jeunes filles danse seule
> Jeux (version for piano) - On apercoit le jeune homme au fond, a gauche, qui semble se cacher
> Jeux (version for piano) - Ils dansent ensemble
> Jeux (version for piano) - Le jeune homme a suivi cette derniere danse par curiosite d'abord
> Jeux (version for piano) - Dans l'emportement de leur danse, ils n'ont pas remarque l'attitude d'abord inquiete
> Jeux (version for piano) - Pourtant, le jeune homme intervient en ecartant leurs tetes doucement
> Jeux (version for piano) - Ils dansent desormais tous les trois
> Jeux (version for piano) - Une balle de tennis tombe a leurs pieds
> La boite a joujoux (version for piano) - Prelude: Le sommeil de la boite (The Toy-box Asleep) - Tableau 1: Le magasin de jouets (The Toy Shop) -
> La boite a joujoux (version for piano) - Tableau 2: Le champ de bataille (The Field of Battle) -
> La boite a joujoux (version for piano) - Tableau 3: La bergerie a vendre (The Sheepfold for Sale)
> La boite a joujoux (version for piano) - Tableau 4: Apres fortune faite - Epilogue

Album Summary

>Debussy, Claude : Khamma, ballet, L. 125
>Debussy, Claude : Jeux
>Debussy, Claude : La boite a joujoux (The Toybox), ballet, L. 128
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"As Jean-Efflam Bavouzet explains in his helpful booklet essay, while La boite a joujoux's keyboard version easily stands on its own, the piano scores for Khamma and Jeux range between thinly utilitarian to literally unplayable. For this reason Bavouzet prepared his own editions that brilliantly merge orchestral intention with pianistic viability, as well as correcting note errors in the original printed editions. More importantly, Bavouzet plays them stunninglyThe engineering counts among this cycle's best, which is to say it's as top-of-the-line as Bavouzet's artistry. This is an unusual and valuable capper to one of the two or three greatest Debussy piano cycles on disc - not to be missed." - Classics Today (10/10)

"A marvellous conclusion to Bavouzet's absolutely essential Debussy series

A statue that moves, a girl dancing herself to death, balletic tennis players and a lovestruck cardboard soldier all rub shoulders on this delightful disc, the last in Bavouzet's consistently revelatory Debussy cycle.

Debussy was in the habit of preparing a short score before orchestrating a work, and what's striking is that these three stage pieces sound as pianistic as Stravinsky's - indeed in Le boîte à joujoux there are a fair few echoes of Petrushka. It's also full of more overt borrowings, too, both from Debussy's own music and that of others, notably Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" and the "Soldiers' Chorus" from Gounod's Faust, gently taken down a peg or two. The figures and the far-fetched action come alive in Bavouzet's hands, from the tender, far-off opening phrases right up to the final tableau with its hints of Schumann's Carnaval and its strangely ambiguous ending.

This series has been as much an exploration of the mind of Debussy as a traversal of the works themselves. Bavouzet combines a probing intellect with a sensuality of touch that is enthralling. That's never more telling than in Khamma and Jeux, the latter Bavouzet's second transcription of the work, having already made one for two pianos.

Khamma suffered from two things: the fact that the dancer Maud Allan - who commissioned it - was simultaneously indecisive and a control freak, and its proximity to the It-girl among sacrificial virgins, that of Stravinsky's Rite. Though the settings, musically and geographically, are quite different, it prompted one of Debussy's most adventurous scores; more's the pity he never completed the orchestration. But Bavouzet shows that it can stand alone as a piano work every bit as compellingly as Petrushka or Ravel's La valse.

As for that remarkable work, it's extraordinary first of all that such a complex score could be articulated by just one pair of hands - at times it does sound as if Bavouzet must have sprouted an extra pair. The fact that he knows every semiquaver intimately allows him a profound knowledge of its detail but also the way it works: you also become aware of the sinews that give this music its shape and its power, aspects that tend to be enveloped by Debussy's orchestration.

Altogether, a remarkable achievement, and the disc is every bit as essential - perhaps more so for the rarity of the repertoire - as previous installments." -Gramophone Awards, 2010 / Instrumental nominee

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (2009-05-05_2009-05-06&2009-).


Great Composition and Excellent Performance
I am an amateur classical music listener, but am a huge fan of piano. This CD is absolutely wonderful. The production quality is fantastic, and Bavouzet truly knows how to make every range of the piano sing with life. This composition is filled with a roller coaster ride of emotions, and I truly enjoyed the ride.
Submitted on 12/18/09 by SRA 
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Works Details

>Debussy, Claude : Khamma, ballet, L. 125
  • Performer: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (2009-05-05_2009-05-06&2009-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1911-1912

>Debussy, Claude : Jeux
  • Performer: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (2009-05-05_2009-05-06&2009-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1912-1913

>Debussy, Claude : La boîte à joujoux (The Toybox), ballet, L. 128
  • Performer: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (2009-05-05_2009-05-06&2009-)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1913