Hyperion Records

Images I, L105
composer
published in October 1905

Recordings
'Debussy: Images & Préludes II' (CDA67920)
Debussy: Images & Préludes II
CDA67920  To be issued soon November 2014 Release  
'Debussy: Piano Music' (CDS44061/3)
Debussy: Piano Music
Buy by post £41.97 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDS44061/3  3CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service  
'Debussy: Preludes Book 1' (CDA66416)
Debussy: Preludes Book 1
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66416  Archive Service   Download currently discounted
'Moriz Rosenthal – The complete recordings' (APR7503)
Moriz Rosenthal – The complete recordings
APR7503  5CDs Download only  
'Eileen Joyce – The complete Parlophone & Columbia solo recordings' (APR7502)
Eileen Joyce – The complete Parlophone & Columbia solo recordings
APR7502  5CDs Download only  
'Irene Scharrer – The complete electric and selected acoustic recordings' (APR6010)
Irene Scharrer – The complete electric and selected acoustic recordings
APR6010  2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only  
'Paderewski – His earliest recordings' (APR6006)
Paderewski – His earliest recordings
APR6006  2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only  
'Walter Gieseking – The complete Homocord recordings and other rarities' (APR6013)
Walter Gieseking – The complete Homocord recordings and other rarities
APR6013  2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only  
Details
No 1: Reflets dans l'eau
Track 1 on CDA67920 [5'19] To be issued soon November 2014 Release
Track 1 on CDA66416 [5'01] Archive Service
Track 1 on CDS44061/3 CD2 [5'01] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service
Track 17 on APR6006 CD1 [4'26] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 19 on APR7503 CD2 [4'08] 5CDs Download only
Track 20 on APR7503 CD2 [4'10] 5CDs Download only
Track 21 on APR6010 CD2 [4'07] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 21 on APR7502 CD3 [4'01] 5CDs Download only
Track 18 on APR6013 CD1 [3'57] 2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only
No 2: Hommage ŕ Rameau
Track 2 on CDA67920 [7'09] To be issued soon November 2014 Release
Track 2 on CDA66416 [6'43] Archive Service
Track 2 on CDS44061/3 CD2 [6'43] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service
No 3: Mouvement
Track 3 on CDA67920 [3'27] To be issued soon November 2014 Release
Track 3 on CDA66416 [3'52] Archive Service
Track 3 on CDS44061/3 CD2 [3'52] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service

Images I, L105
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The six Images were in Debussy’s mind in some form as early as December 1901, when he played versions of two of them (Reflets dans l’eau and Mouvement) to the pianist Ricardo Viñes, but the complete list of titles was not fixed until July 1903, when he sent these to the publisher Fromont. He had just completed the Estampes, and the Images, the first book of which was published in October 1905, can be heard as a development along the same colouristic lines, following earlier intimations in various pieces by Chabrier and in Ravel’s Jeux d’eau. The technique has been called one of illusion—what you see on the printed page is often not at all what you get, depending largely on your use of the sustaining pedal—but equally Debussy shared the concerns of such ‘colourful’ composers as Berlioz and Liszt that overtly descriptive music should also work in purely structural terms.

The small wave forms of Reflets dans l’eau and its key of D flat major might suggest it was a spin-off from La mer, except that the above chronology points, if anything, to the relationship being reversed. Debussy jokingly referred to the piece as being written ‘according to the most recent discoveries in harmonic chemistry’. While this is perhaps a trifle exaggerated, what is disturbing is the way the dreamlike opening, a standard eight-bar phrase, is immediately interrupted by chromatic chords: throughout the piece, the reflections in the water go on being unsettled by pebbles thrown from an unseen hand. The essential circularity of this piece is echoed in the final Mouvement, which is almost an early Étude (‘Pour les triolets’?). Marked to be played ‘with a fantastical but precise lightness’, it achieves an extraordinary rapprochement between academic note-spinning and imaginative atmosphere, with a few fanfares added for good measure. The central Hommage à Rameau, while outwardly placid and monumental, partakes of more traditional rhetorical structures and of the effortless internal dynamism that is so much a part of the genius of Rameau, ‘without any of that pretence towards German profundity, or to the need of emphasizing things with blows of the fist’, as Debussy put it when reviewing a performance of the first two acts of Rameau’s Castor et Pollux in 1903—which possibly inspired his piece, although searches for direct quotations from the earlier composer have so far proved fruitless.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2014

Track-specific metadata
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Details for APR7503 disc 2 track 20
No 1: Reflets dans l'eau
Artists
ISRC
GB-SAM-10-50220
Duration
4'10
Recording date
29 May 1929
Recording venue
Berlin, Germany
Recording producer
Recording engineer
Hyperion usage
  1. Moriz Rosenthal – The complete recordings (APR7503)
    Disc 2 Track 20
    Release date: December 2011
    5CDs Download only
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