One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!


Quite splendid


Winning performances


Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc


a huge talent


A wonderful disc


Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!


Roth’s finest Mahler yet


Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Hommage à Debussy
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)

Images Books I (1905) and II (1908) [16:17 + 14:11]
Estampes (1903) [15:43]
Arabesque No.1 (1888) [4:08]
Carlo GRANTE
Debussy-Pastiche (1999) [3:54]
Alfredo CASELLA (1883-1947)
À la manière de…Claude Debussy (1911) [3:14]
Paul DUKAS (1865-1935)
La plainte, au loin, du faune…(1920) [4:09]
Roberto PIANIA (b.1971)
Image d’un faune (2012) [5:11]
Carlo Grante (piano)
rec. February 2012, Glanzing Studio, Vienna
MUSIC & ARTS CD-1267 [67:02]

This sumptuously recorded recital was given in Glanzing Studio, Vienna in February 2012. Added lustre comes from the use of a the use of a 1924 Bösendorfer belonging to Eva and Paul Badura-Skoda who receive special thanks ‘for making this recording possible’. If an instrument of this type is hardly one that comes to mind as authentically part of the Debussy bloodstream, it makes a richly evocative sound and one that responds well to the particular demands of Carlo Grante’s recital.
 
Those demands centre on Debussy’s Images and Estampes. Grante plays with richly engaged intelligence and a variegated tonal response. Sonorous and well balanced, Reflets dans l’eau augurs well. It is a balanced and pedal-heavy experience, in the lineage of Gieseking rather than George Copeland or, pertinently here, Daniel Ericourt whose 1962 recording, transferred by Ivory Classics [73006] offers less in the way of effect or more kinetic, indeed icier water painting. Copeland was much admired by Debussy, and some of his recordings of the composer’s music can be found on Pearl Gemm 0121. Grante is heavier in tone and touch than both Copeland and Ericourt, who as a boy of 15 had turned the pages for the composer at one of Debussy’s last concerts.
 
Thus Grante’s balanced and cogent expression in Cloches è travers les feuilles is an aesthetic and tonal choice that governs his playing of the composer’s music as a whole. Ericourt’s aesthetic here is toward a more bracing, crystalline brilliance, without much pedal or impressionistic haze: anti-Gieseking, if you will. In truth these strands of Debussy interpretation have been present from the start. So whilst Grante beautifully projects the sombre intricacies of Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut it’s Ericourt who is the more timbrally striking in his searching for the harmonic complexities of the shifts. Grante will certainly please in Poissons d’or, where his measured control of colour is striking. But do not neglect the rather more brisk, cool and in some ways ungovernable approach of a Debussy disciple such as Ericourt - and indeed Copeland in his way - whose greater insistence and probing brashness may well bring an unexpected gloss on Debussian interpretation. 

There’s a timeless quality to Grante’s Pagodas in Estampes; mellifluous, austere, and forbidding. Ericourt’s voicings are more incursive, less hypnotically abstract and very much faster. Time here is not suspended. Throughout, as in La soirée dans Grenade, Grante’s chording - and that of almost all contemporary pianists - is heavier and deeper than Ericourt’s brighter, treble-orientated sound. This may be a result, in part, of his less satisfactory recording; but it’s also a question of tonal weight, colour, chordal balance and pedal use.
 
Grante also draws out from this close focus to include other works; the Arabesque No.1 goes well and is considerably faster than Ericourt’s. Then we have a programme-within-a-programme in which Grante plays Casella’s À la manière de…Claude Debussy in a sombrely expectant fashion, as well as Dukas’s evocative tribute La plainte, au loin, du faune…which was written two years after Debussy’s death. Grante himself contributes his Pastiche, a water study with some dissonances, and the recital ends with Roberto Piana’s clever Image d’un faune.
 
Grante’s strengths as a Debussy interpreter are seconded both by the excellent studio recording and by the documentary booklet, which has been intelligently and lovingly compiled by Grante himself.
 
Jonathan Woolf