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Hyperion Records

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Night (1897) by Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904)
Musée d'Orsay, Paris / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67898
Recording details: December 2011
Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: October 2012
Total duration: 7 minutes 43 seconds

'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)

Deux Arabesques, L74
circa 1890; published in 1891

Andantino  [4'01]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Debussy’s first compositions for solo piano to be issued in print were his Deux Arabesques. Already in his lifetime some 123,000 copies were sold of the first one, making it then, as now, one of his most popular pieces. It is funny to read that, even though they were published in 1891, as late as 1903 the newspaper Le Figaro published the first one as a musical supplement in which they called it a ‘new and entirely recent composition’ by a ‘young composer’ (Debussy was forty-one by then), stating how perplexing the music might be to even the most experienced pianist. They were no doubt trying to cash in on his success the previous year with his opera Pelléas et Mélisande, which had made him famous overnight. Now nothing seems simpler than these totally charming pieces, with their flowing and decorative writing. Debussy once used the term ‘arabesque’ in describing a movement of a Bach violin concerto, speaking of the ‘principle of “ornament”, which is the basis of all forms of art’.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2012

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