Javier Perianes plays Chopin and Debussy

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Claude Debussy, Fryderyk Chopin

Genre:

Instrumental

Label: Harmonia Mundi

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: HMC90 2164

HMC90 2164. Javier Perianes plays Chopin and Debussy

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(12) Etudes Claude Debussy Composer
Javier Perianes
(3) Nocturnes Javier Perianes
Fryderyk Chopin Composer
(L') Isle joyeuse Javier Perianes
Claude Debussy Composer
Ballade No. 4 Fryderyk Chopin Composer
Javier Perianes
Barcarolle Javier Perianes
Fryderyk Chopin Composer
(La) Plus que lente Claude Debussy Composer
Javier Perianes
(24) Préludes Claude Debussy Composer
Javier Perianes
Berceuse Javier Perianes
Fryderyk Chopin Composer
Suite bergamasque Claude Debussy Composer
Javier Perianes
(27) Etudes Javier Perianes
Fryderyk Chopin Composer
(24) Préludes Javier Perianes
Claude Debussy Composer
(26) Preludes Javier Perianes
Fryderyk Chopin Composer
(24) Préludes Javier Perianes
Claude Debussy Composer
(3) Grandes valses brilliantes Fryderyk Chopin Composer
Javier Perianes
One could quite easily listen to this beautifully recorded disc simply as one which alternates short works by Chopin with short works by Debussy. It’s a novel idea which, though unique in my experience, is an entirely apt and, indeed, obvious pairing. ‘I loved Chopin almost from the moment I began to love music,’ Debussy told the critic René Doire in 1910, ‘and I have continued to do so.’ Debussy’s earliest piano teacher, Madame Mauté de Fleurville, claimed to have had lessons from Chopin himself, though there is no reliable evidence to support this. ‘The important thing was,’ as booklet-writer Yvan Nommick observes, ‘that Debussy believed it, and that this certitude impregnated his musical sensibility at a very early age.’

But this recital goes further. In the booklet and the spoken contributions on the brief, engaging DVD that comes with the recital CD, Nommick and Javier Perianes are keen to pair particular works because of precise, deep-rooted connections. Thus, Chopin’s Berceuse is followed by ‘Clair de lune’, both in the same key of D flat, evoking ‘the magical character of the night’ and ‘affirming the poetic affinities that exist between Chopin and Debussy’. More persuasively, Chopin’s Etude in A flat major, Op 25 No 1, because it shares the same tonality, concentration on arpeggio motifs and even the same circular hand movement in performance, is coupled with Debussy’s Etude ‘Pour les arpèges composés’ (No 11 of the set dedicated ‘to the memory of Frédéric Chopin’).

I am not convinced that the role of trills in Chopin’s Barcarolle and Debussy’s L’isle joyeuse, and the fact that the secondary themes of both are in A major and ‘unfold a flexibly undulating melodic line’, amount to evidence of an ‘obvious kinship’. No matter. It adds to the pleasure of hearing this refined Spanish artist whose sensitivity in these predominantly soft-voiced works is matched by an unerring handling of shape and structure (the fermata before the F minor Ballade being a case in point). And whether or not you think such connections are central or tenuous, the Nommick-Perianes thesis is intriguing and, more importantly for us, works as a most satisfying musical sequence.

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