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Discussion: Debussy: Complete Piano Music - Walter Gieseking

Posts: 6

Post by Beagle April 16, 2012 (1 of 6)
In case you were wondering...

DISC 1
Preludes Book 1 :
- Danseuses de Delphes
- Voiles
- Le vent dans la plaine
- Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir
- Les collines d'Anacapri
- Des pas sur la neige
- Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest
- La fille aux cheveux de lin
- La serenade interrompue
- La cathedrale engloutie
- La danse de Puck
- Minstrels
Preludes Book 2 :
- Brouillards
- Feuilles mortes
- La Puerta del Vino
- Les fees sont d'exquises danseuses
- Bruyeres
- General Lavine
- La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune
- Ondine
- Hommage a S Pickwick Esq PPMPC
- Canope
- Les tierces alternees
- Feux d'artifice

DISC 2
Images Book 1 :
- Reflets dans l'eau
- Hommage a Rameau
- Mouvement
Images Book 2 :
- Cloches a travers les feuilles
- Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut
- Poissons d'or
Pour le Piano :
- Prelude
- Sarabande
- Toccata
Estampes :
- Pagodes
- La soiree dans Grenade
- Jardins sous la pluie
Berceuse Heroique
Hommage a Haydn

DISC 3
12 Etudes :
- Pour les cinq doigts
- Pour les tierce
- Pour les quartes
- Pour les sixtes
- Pour les ocatves
- Pour les huits doigts
- Pour les degres chromatiques
- Pour les agrements
- Pour les notes repetes
- Pour les sonorites opposees
- Pour les arpeges composes
- Pour les accords
D'un cahier d'esquisses - Equisse
Tarantelle Styrienne
Nocturne in D Flat Major
Valse Romantique
Le Petit Negre
Masques
Danse Bohemienne
Ballade - Andantino con moto
Mazurka - Scherzando assez anime

DISC 4
Suite Bergamasque :
- Prelude - Moderato tempo rubato
- Menuet - Andantino
- Clair de lune - Andante tres expressif
- Passepied - Allegretto ma non troppo
- Reverie
Deux Arabesques :
- No.1 Andantino con moto
- No.2 Allegretto scherzando
Children's Corner :
- Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum
- Jimbo's Lullaby
- Serenade for the Doll
- The Snow is Dancing
- The Little Shepherd
- Golliwogg's Cake Walk
La Plus que lente
L'Isle joyeuse

Post by SnaggS April 30, 2012 (2 of 6)
I'm new to Debussy, and his own quote best describes this disc (at least the first so far!)

'Music is the expression of the movement of the waters, the play of curves described by changing breezes"

The music on this disc is wonderful, and performance is gentle and sublime. Mono recording means you can sit anywhere in the room and it sounds the same, perfect for filling the house with music on a quiet day. Analogue EQ was a good call by EMI, has that classic earthy sound.

Post by undertone May 11, 2012 (3 of 6)
A translation of Manche50's review, in part, with some comments:

"One invests in high-end amps such as a Pioneer LX-75; one sets up (Linn Cabasse) tower and satellite speakers everywhere only to hear hiss everywhere? Frankly, EMI, the SACD format wasn’t conceived in order to cause gnashing [or grinding] of teeth! How can one appreciate Debussy’s music itself and how does one comment on a website where one is a neophyte if the product is so defective?"

Manche50 gave the performance 1 star and 0 stars for sonics. May I suggest that this review is less useful as an analysis of the purported failings of the reissue than as a kind of self-portrait. Note especially his reference to "gnashing of teeth".

I have listened to a number of revealing high-end audio systems and have never heard any recordings that caused me to gnash my teeth, either figuratively or literally. My own audio system (details in my profile) is capable of resolving the low-level sonic details of SACDs without producing teeth-gnashing levels of hiss.

This is not to diminish the real discomfort that some people endure when listening to unpleasant sounds. Individuals have unique temperaments and different ideas about what consititutes intolerably harsh sound.

I own the Gieseking set, and recently commented positively about the qualities of the performance on the EMI Signature thread. Manche50 seems to share my estimation of the performance, yet inexplicably, he awards the set only a single star. Surely, even listening through clenched teeth, he can detect the touch of genius at the keyboard.

The EMI Signature series has engendered a contentious discussion and a wide range of expressed views on this site, especially concerning the audio restoration. Regarding the Gieseking SACDs, there seem to be two opposing camps: those (like myself) who find the sonics to be warm and detailed, and those who gnash their teeth.

To anyone who hasn't heard the set but may be drawn to these justly legendary performances, remember that the SACD sound is a constant; our audio systems, nervous systems, musical tastes and expectations are the variables.

Post by Claude May 11, 2012 (4 of 6)
At least he didn't bash Debussy for the tape hiss.

Post by canonical May 11, 2012 (5 of 6)
undertone said:

I have listened to a number of revealing high-end audio systems and have never heard any recordings that caused me to gnash my teeth

Thanks for the translation. Much better than google :)

I too find the first disc to be rather teeth gnashing ... 3 or 4 tracks and I exceed my tolerance levels and have to stop it. Fourth disc does not cause me such problems.


> Manche50 seems to share my estimation of the performance, yet inexplicably, he awards the set only a single star. Surely, even listening through clenched teeth, he can detect the touch of genius at the keyboard

He is a new, presumably non-English speaking user of the site. I think it is fairly clear that his single 1 star is a reflection of his disappointment with the set, ... not with Gieseking who he praises in his review:


---> "La beauté exprimée par Gieseking est indéniable"

Post by SnaggS May 12, 2012 (6 of 6)
undertone said:

A translation of Manche50's review, in part, with some comments:

"One invests in high-end amps such as a Pioneer LX-75; one sets up (Linn Cabasse) tower and satellite speakers everywhere only to hear hiss everywhere? Frankly, EMI, the SACD format wasn’t conceived in order to cause gnashing [or grinding] of teeth! How can one appreciate Debussy’s music itself and how does one comment on a website where one is a neophyte if the product is so defective?"

Linn's current range of speakers are bright to the point of brittle and a Pioneer LX-75 home theatre amp is not an amp without compromises. I would't be willing to make such definitive statements about a recording with such a system.

The Debussy sounds wonderful on my system.

Daniel.

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