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Comp Wks For Pno [Box set, Import]

Claude Debussy Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 45.47 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

Disc: 1
1. I. Danseuses de Delphes
2. II. Voiles
3. III. Le vent dans la plaine
4. IV. 'Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir' - Ch. Baudelaire
5. V. Les collines d'Anacapri
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. I. Prélude
2. II. Sarabande
3. III. Toccata
4. I. Pagodes
5. II. La soirée dans Grenade
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Pour les cinq doigts
2. Pour les tierce
3. Pour les quartes
4. Pour les sixtes
5. Pour les ocatves
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Prélude
2. Menuet
3. Clair de lune
4. Passepied
5. Danse bohémienne (1995 Digital Remaster)
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description


These classic performances belong in the collection of anyone who cares about Debussy's piano music. Walter Gieseking's career was a troubled one--his pandering to the Nazi party cast a shadow over his last years, but the greatest irony of all was that this German nationalist turned out to be the greatest exponent of French music of his era. His Debussy playing marries an effortlessly subtle control of the keyboard to a real sense of fantasy. The music truly shimmers in his hands, and despite the limited range of the mono recording, the ear quickly adjusts. This is, in short, one of those classic recordings that critics and music lovers have enjoyed for nearly 50 years. So should you. --David Hurwitz

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Save me, I'm drowning... March 10 2002
Format:Audio CD
The watery allusions to Debussy music seem to have been taken far too literally by many pianists as well as piano music fans. Attempting to describe something inexpressible in concrete terms is inherently flawed, and to take an irrational "impression" and attempt to distill it down even further, results in loss of clarity. Though the music may be "softer," and less "rigid" and thus more flexible to subjective interpretation, it is distanced from the artist's first message; the music itself. Debussy's music speaks clearly, without the need for "Gaullic" over-sentimentalizing. I've never understood the arguments about Gieseking's Germanic interpretation, as if genetics and not culture were the main influence in one's artistic make-up. Though other great pianists who have recorded these pieces caress wonderful tones from their instruments, compared to Gieseking's mastery and control of colors and his tonal variety they sound overly warm, mushy even. Listening to Gieseking playing Debussy is to be at the water's edge, sight unimpeded by any mist rising from the surface of the pond, gazing upon a reflection of the moon that is not hazed in by clouds. After him, listening to other recordings is like peering at the same lunar image from the bottom of the pond. Save me Gieseking, I'm drowning...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still fresh after nearly 50 years. Oct. 13 2000
Format:Audio CD
Walter Giesking's Debussy recordings are nearly 50 years old yet they still continue to pleasently surprise listeners. There is a warmth and freshness to his playing of these works that have the ability to make it seem you are hearing them for the first time. Gieseking's secret? Well there isn't one as he pointed out in numerous interviews over the years. Debussy, he said, probably made more notes on his scores as to how the music should be played than any other composer. He, Debussy, very clearly laid out how his music should sound and to Gieseking that appears to be enough. There are still those who hold the old prejudice about the allegedly scholarly German musician playing the delicate piano works of Debussy but a few bars of any the works here will put that ridiculous and non-sensical argument to rest. While the Preludes were previously available CD this is the first CD release of all the Debussy EMI recordings he made. Recorded in the early 1950's the sound is excellent mono and it has been finely remastered. At mid price it is a bargin.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Gieseking�s Klaus Debussy April 25 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I must confess Walter Gieseking's much acclaimed recordings of these masterpieces of French piano literature did not appeal to me as much as they did to other reviewers. He admittedly draws wonderful colors and shadings from the piano, yet this does not change the fact that he plays Debussy in a German translation, if I may be forgiven the metaphor. The power of his playing, those strong accents, those sharp attacks and contrasts create in most places corners, edges, protruding cliffs and deep valleys that belong more to Beethoven than Debussy and render to the music a solidity which mars the impressionist poetry of fluid lines, reduced dynamics and cloud-like harmonies. This is more discomforting in the works of his impressionist period, like Images, Estampes and Preludes (esp. volume 1) and less important in the Etudes. The former, played by Arrau or Moravec, takes you to another world, a dream world; when listening to Gieseking, nothing of the sort happens: it is as if you are listening to abstract music, admittedly with wonderful playing - which fits the etudes, but gives to the other works a more abstract quality than Debussy might have liked. Take the "Canope" prelude from the second book, for example. It is about an ancient Egyptian urn two of which Debussy owned. At the start a nostalgic theme is heard, as if we are contemplating the urn; it is repeated, but one begins to feel something ominous hangs in the air; like in a bad dream. Hardly having felt, the thing happens; something very ancient comes to life! Only to disappear again and leave the listener astonished and unsure. All is the same again - the theme is reheard, and the piece "ends" without an end. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good memories Sept. 22 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
No, I haven't heard this exact album but I have enjoyed portions of it on the original mono which was the first album we purchased as newlyweds. The album remained our favorite but eventually it disappeared from our shelves; many times we have tried to replace it. Lo and behold, on a rainy Saturday in Pittsburgh, I discover that Amazon.com has a The Complete Works of Debussy by Walter Gieseking! Halleluh!
I have heard other pianists work through Debussy's music but none seem to have the crisp tartness, or the tender caressing that Gieseking intersperses throughout the recording. German rendition? How amazing that some of your other reviewers apparently can asertain nationalities through listening to their artistry. All I know is that I will thoroughly enjoy having this old friend return to my home. ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pittsburgh, again Oct. 5 2001
Format:Audio CD
Now that I've received the album I can provide a first-hand review. I'm so glad I purchased this reissue. Thank you for having it available.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Debussy will never sound best!
You must recognize after listening the incorporean , seductive , evocative , sugestive and landscape depicter style of Walter Gieseking ; that is hard to find out another player... Read more
Published on June 30 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
4.0 out of 5 stars ALMOST The Greatest
In rating this collection a mere four stars, I do so not against all of the other Debussy piano offerings out there (alongside which it would rate a hard-and-fast five stars), but... Read more
Published on June 15 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Teutonic Debussy
This is supposed to be the greatest recording of Debussy's piano music but I must confess that I found it a disappointment. Gieseking plays in a literal, abrupt fashion. Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2001 by Walter Boldys
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice recording if it wasn't in mono !
I was very excited to get Walter Gieseking's performance of Debussy's complete piano works, and I was as much disappointed when I listened to it the day I received it. Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2000 by Annas Al Maleh
5.0 out of 5 stars Debussy's Complete Works for Piano
My desert island pick. Other Debussy interpreters: Don't bother.
Published on March 30 2000 by David Govett
5.0 out of 5 stars A very nice collection of the complete Debussy Piano Music
This is a mavrelous and peaceful work of some of the most beautiful and relaxing works for the piano. A wonderful selection for Debussy.
Published on June 12 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars This CD is a must for any Debussy fan
This is great piano playing in very good remastered mono sound. Recorded in the early 50's
Published on Feb. 10 1999
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