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Debussy as a Pianist


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Debussy's beloved Blüthner boudoir grand of 1904 (Musée Labenche, Brive)

From a review of Debussy’s piano playing (Le Guide Musical, 1914)

“ …exempte de tout maniérisme, elle surprend même par sa simplicité. Nulle insistance sur les subtilités harmoniques : les lignes mélodiques sont dessinées en traits fins ; point d’altérations de rythmes ni de vains éclats. Cette grande simplicité, qui d’abord déconcerte, ne tarde pas à séduire et l’on garde de chaque page entendue une impression pénétrante de netteté. ”

“…devoid of all mannerisms, it surprises by its very simplicity. No underlining of harmonic subtleties: the melodic lines are drawn in fine traits; absolutely no distorsions of rhythm or vain effects. This great simplicity, at first disconcerting, quickly captivates, and every page we hear leaves a penetrating impression of clarity.”

Cited in François Lesure, Claude Debussy, biographie critique, Paris (Klincksieck) 1994, p. 382.

 


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