Claude Debussy: Early Works For Piano Duet
Artists: Adrienne Soos & Ivo Haag, piano duoLabel: NaxosReviewed by Mark Antonelli, host of Classic Examples, Bel Musica and Sunday Breakfast
Our CD of the Week this time 'round really surprised me. I thought I'd heard most of Claude Debussy's music for both one and two pianos and for piano 4-hands but this recording features four pieces I've never heard before and another three Debussy rarities all played by a top-notch piano duo from Switzerland...Adrienne Soos and Ivo Haag. They've played together for fifteen years now and are one of the leading chamber ensembles in the country. Their recitals not only include pieces from the standard repertoire, but also music that has been long forgotten, and newly commissioned works too.
Debussy's music on this disc is from the 1880s and all of it predates his early pair of Arabesques (1888 - 1891) and his Reverie (1890). The music may be inspired by poetry (Intermezzo and Le Triomphe de Bacchus), one of Botticelli's famous paintings (Printemps), or by nothing extramusical at all (Symphony in b and Divertissement). One of the pieces (Ouverture Diane) was never published and was discovered at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris almost one hundred years after it was written and very definitely points a clear way towards Debussy's later, more familiar impressionistic style.
All in all an ear-opening listening experience and a fine addition to any classical music collection. September 2, 2011