Album + Compilation

Œuvres pour pianoDebussy; Samson François2×CD23 + 17
Pathé Marconi EMI (record company, renamed EMI Pathé Marconi in 1986)CMS 769434 2077776943428
Œuvres pour pianoClaude Debussy; Samson François2×CD23 + 18
EMI Classics (absorbed into Warner Classics since 2013-07-19)5754342724357543422

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Pascal Roge's collection of Debussy's 'Preludes' marks both the launch of new classical label ONYX, and one of the most productive periods of compositional activity for the composer himself. Claude Debussy had been toying with the idea of writing a book of preludes for some time, and once he began, the process was a speedy one with his first volume completed within two months.

These preludes capture Debussy's love for tonal colouring. As he pushed aside the traditional harmonic pulls of the classical and romantic eras, his regard for harmony over form stamped a dreamlike quality on what many term his 'impressionist' style.

Pascal Roge makes this collection all the more memorable with his effortless interpretation of Debussy's style through his own sensitive tone and expression. Performing Debussy's preludes since the tender age of eight has left Roge with an ingrained love for the composer's music and a similar attitude towards the colour and tone of each note itself.

Debussy's much-loved theme of nature appears from the first few notes of 'La vent dans le plaine' through to the rippling, blustering force of 'Ce qua vu le vent d'ouest'. Distinctly differing in style and tone are the preludes reflecting the themes of the vulgar and modern. 'La puerta del vino' depicts the violence and political unrest of Granada at the turn of the twentieth century, whilst the final prelude 'Feux d'artifice' draws on Debussy's grave dislike of chauvinism.

As Roge brings the collection of preludes to a close, his own moving interpretation of these works ensures that we witness the many shades of Debussy's ever-changing tonal colour scheme.

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