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Track(s) taken from CDA67898

L'isle joyeuse, L109


Angela Hewitt (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: December 2011
Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: October 2012
Total duration: 6 minutes 42 seconds

Cover artwork: Night (1897) by Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904)
Musée d'Orsay, Paris / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

Lívia Rév (piano)


'This is one of the better offerings for Debussy's 150th anniversary … it should come as no surprise that Hewitt is a remarkably fine Debussy pianist. This generously filled disc finds Hewitt utterly persuasive in the three suites at its heart … Hyperion captures the sound marvellously … special mention should be made of Clair de lune: it is quite an achievement for its lyrical beauty to be heard afresh' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This is a Debussy recital that will delight aficionados of the piano as well as those coming to the music for the first time … the playing is most distinguished … the 'Passepied' , with its left-hand staccato phrases, is a perfect example of the Fazioli's velvety touch' (International Record Review)

'An ideal introduction to Debussy … one that can be enjoyed equally by experienced listeners—thanks to the artless touch and precise colours the Canadian pianist brings to each piece' (Financial Times)
The trills and cadenza-like passage-work that open L’isle joyeuse were described as ‘a summons’ by the composer. The whole piece is one long crescendo, and its tremendous energy needs to be held slightly in check, as notated by Debussy, before the final outburst of unbounded joy. For me, no one has described this work better than the pianist Marguerite Long, who studied it with Debussy: ‘It is a gorgeous vision, inspired with joy and prodigious exuberance: a “Feast of Rhythm” in which, on the vast waves of its modulations, the virtuoso must maintain, under the sails of his imagination, the precision of his technique.’ Debussy’s inspiration, besides Emma and their trip to the Isle of Jersey, was Watteau’s L’Embarquement pour Cythère (Cythera, an island in Greece, was, for the ancient world, the birthplace of Venus, goddess of love). Other than the joy given to him by his daughter Chouchou, this was probably the happiest period of his entire life.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2012

Les trilles et traits comme des cadences qui ouvrent L’isle joyeuse furent décrits comme «une injonction» par le compositeur. L’ensemble de ce morceau est un long crescendo et son énorme énergie doit être légèrement contrôlée, comme l’a noté Debussy, avant l’ultime explosion de joie sans bornes. Pour moi, personne n’a mieux décrit cette œuvre que la pianiste Marguerite Long, qui l’a travaillée avec Debussy: «C’est une vision fastueuse, un vent de joie d’une prodigieuse exubérance, une “Fête de rythme” où, sur de vastes courants de modulations, le virtuose devra maintenir une technique exacte, sous les voiles tendues de son imagination.» Debussy trouva son inspiration, en dehors d’Emma et de leur voyage à l’île de Jersey, dans L’Embarquement pour Cythère de Watteau (l’île grecque de Cythère était pour le monde antique le lieu de naissance de Vénus, déesse de l’amour). Différente de la joie que lui procura sa fille Chouchou, ce fut probablement la période la plus heureuse de toute sa vie.

extrait des notes rédigées par Angela Hewitt © 2012
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Die Triller und kadenzartigen Passagen, mit denen L’isle joyeuse beginnt, wurden von dem Komponisten als „eine Aufforderung“ beschrieben. Das ganze Stück ist ein langes Crescendo und seine ungeheure Energie muss etwas unter Kontrolle gehalten werden, bevor es am Ende—gemäß den Anmerkungen Debussys—in grenzenlose Freude ausbricht. Meiner Ansicht nach hat niemand dieses Werk besser beschrieben als die Pianistin Marguerite Long, die es bei Debussy studiert hatte: „Es ist eine hinreißende Vision, die von Freude und gewaltiger Überschwänglichkeit inspiriert ist: ein «Fest des Rhythmus’», in dem der Virtuose auf den riesigen Modulationswellen und unter den Segeln seiner Vorstellungskraft die Präzision seiner Technik beibehalten muss.“ Debussys Inspirationsquelle, neben Emma und ihrer Reise auf die Insel Jersey, war L’Embarquement pour Cythère von Watteau (die griechische Insel Kythira ist der griechischen Mythologie zufolge der Geburtsort der Liebesgöttin Aphrodite). Neben der Freude, die ihm seine Tochter Chouchou bereitete, war dies wahrscheinlich die glücklichste Zeit in seinem ganzen Leben.

aus dem Begleittext von Angela Hewitt © 2012
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Debussy: Piano Music
CDS44061/33CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service
Debussy: Preludes Book 1
CDA66416Archive Service
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