Monday, September 2, 2013

Walter Gieseking Plays Debussy

Major classical artists often re-record their specialties, from Stokowski’s four Scheherezades to umpteen Karajan Beethoven cycles. Similarly, the great German pianist Walter Gieseking seemed to have dibs on the Debussy Preludes. His 1938/39 versions were staples of the 78 (rpm) catalog, as well as his 1951 and 1953 LP remakes. The present release in EMI’s Great Recordings of the Century series marks the third time Gieseking’s 1953 versions are reissued on CD. Listening to these new transfers, the mid-range seems boosted to the point where we can perceive Gieseking’s micro-managed pedal effects more readily than before. But those background pops and ticks make me wonder if the source material used is not the original session tapes. In any event, Gieseking achieves miraculous tonal shadings and half-tints that fully subscribe to Debussy’s concept of a piano without hammers. Yet I prefer the sharper profile and more pronounced dynamic contrasts characterizing his traversals on 78s, reissued on Philips, limited sound and all. Their virtues equally apply to the fine-sounding 1951 Columbia LPs (once reissued on Odyssey), which are the Gieseking Debussy Preludes to own. Will they soon be reissued on CD ? Don’t hold your breath !
Jed Distler

Source : http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-4245/

Walter Gieseking
Plays
Debussy

Tracks

Préludes I & II
(1909-1913) 

1er Livre

1 Danseuses de Delphes. Lent et grave  3:13
2 Voiles. Modéré  2:43
3 Le Vent dans la plaine. Animé  1:58
4 Les Sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir. Modéré  3:31
5 Les Collines d'Anacapri. Très modéré  2:48
6 Des pas sur la neige. Triste et lent  3:29
7 Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest. Animé et tumultueux  2:46
8 La Fille aux cheveux de lin. Très calme et doucement expressif  2:26
9 La Sérénade interrompue. Modérément animé  2:15
10 La Cathédrale engloutie. Profondément calme  6:34
11 La Danse de Puck. Capricieux et léger  2:27
12 Minstrels. Modéré  2:06

*

2e Livre

13 Brouillards. Modéré extrêmement égal et léger  2:50
14 Feuilles mortes. Lent et mélancolique  2:58
15 La Puerta del Vino. Mouvement de Habanera avec de brusques oppositions d'extrême violence et de passionnée douceur  2:50
16 "Les Fées sont d'exquises danseuses". Rapide et léger  2:47
17 Bruyères. Calme - Doucement expressif  2:34
18 "General Lavine" - eccentric. Dans le style et le Mouvement d'un Cake-Walk  2:28
19 La Terrasse des audiences du clair de lune. Lent  3:50
20 Ondine. Scherzando  2:50
21 Hommage à S. Pickwick, Esq., P.P.M.P.C. Grave  2:10
22 Canope. Très calme et doucement triste  2:47
23 Les Tierces alternées. Modérément animé  2:26
24 Feux d'artifice. Modérément animé  3:23

*  
Walter Gieseking - p

Recorded at N° 3 Studio, Abbey Road, London ; August 15 & 16, 1953 [# 1-12] ; & December 10, 1954 [# 13-24]

See also an interpretation by Michelangeli Benedetti

3 comments:

Melanchthon said...

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cooljazz said...

Thank you.

stringbender said...

Many thanks for posting this exquisite music.