Alexander Melnikov – Debussy: Preludes du 2e Livre, La Mer (2018) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Alexander Melnikov – Debussy: Préludes du 2e Livre, La Mer (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:03:23 minutes | 977 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © harmonia mundi

A century after his death on 25 March 1918, many harmonia mundi artists are eager to pay tribute to Claude Debussy, the magician of melody and timbre, the great ‘colourist’ and father of modern music. Alexander Melnikov is among those pianists increasingly committed to playing the works of the past on the instruments on which they came into being (or could have done so). And so it is on a ‘period’ piano (an Érard piano ) that he breathes new life into Book II of the Préludes, but also – with the help of Olga Pashchenko – the extraordinary transcription of La Mer by the composer himself.

Released as one of nine new albums dedicated to Debussy by harmonia mundi to mark the centenary of the French composer’s birth, this volume offers the Second Book of thePreludes played by Alexander Melnikov on an Erard piano. The world of Debussyan piano relied so heavily on timbre that pianists and editors alike often prefer one or another make so as to get a grip on the specificities of the music. Alexander Melnikov is one of those rare Russian artists to take an interest in ancient instruments. This student of Sviatoslav Richter was quickly captivated by this kind of work, working with Andreas Staier and Alexey Lubimov and playing with specialised ensembles like the Concerto Köln or the Berlin Akademie für Alte Musik. His performance of the Preludes by Debussy at London’s Wigmore Hall was particularly well received by critics who described the Russian pianist as a “sorcerer” who is highlighting “ravishing”, “violent”, “terrifying” music. An iridescent orchestral masterpiece, La Mer is difficult to boil down to a four-handed piano piece, and Debussy disowned his transcription, leaving it to André Caplet to prepare another one for two four-handed pianos. Alexandre Melnikov and Olga Pashchenko have taken up the challenge to prove that the auteur’s transcription is not at all “unplayable”.  – François Hudry

1. Préludes, Livre 2, L. 123: I. Brouillards. Modéré 03:11
2. Préludes, Livre 2, L. 123: II. Feuilles mortes. Lent et mélancolique 03:17
3. Préludes, Livre 2, L. 123: III. La Puerta del vino. Mouvement de “Habanera” 03:16
4. Préludes, Livre 2, L. 123: IV. Les fées sont d’exquises danseuses. Rapide et léger 02:55
5. Préludes, Livre 2, L. 123: V. Bruyères. Calme 02:47
6. Préludes, Livre 2, L. 123: VI. General Lavine”- excentric. Dans le style et le mouvement d’un Cake-Walk 02:48
7. Préludes, Livre 2, L. 123: VII. La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune. Lent 05:01
8. Préludes, Livre 2, L. 123 : VIII. Ondine. Scherzando 03:07
9. Préludes, Livre 2, L. 123: IX. Hommage à S. Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C. Grave 02:36
10. Préludes, Livre 2, L. 123: X. Canope. Très calme et doucement triste 03:17
11. Préludes, Livre 2, L. 123: XI. Les tierces alternées. Modérément animé 02:31
12. Préludes, Livre 2, L. 123: XII. Feux d’artifice. Modérément animé 04:29
13. La Mer, L. 109: I. De l’aube à midi sur la mer (Transcribed for four-hand piano) 08:09
14. La Mer, L. 109: II. Jeux de vagues (Transcribed for four-hand piano) 07:22
15. La Mer, L. 109: III. Dialogue du vent et de la mer (Transcribed for four-hand piano) 08:37

Alexander Melnikov, piano
Olga Pashchenko, piano