Debussy: Préludes – review

Alexei Lubimov (piano)

Debussy's piano repertoire is not a novelty on disc but there is an intriguing back story here: Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov came across two old pianos which inspired a new, more authentic "period instrument" approach to Debussy's Préludes (1909-12). One was a 1913 Steinway, gathering dust in the Polish Embassy in Brussels, the other a 1925 Bechstein. "Like Ulysses bewitched by the Sirens, I let my pianos sing… and guide me into uncharted realms," Lubimov says. He uses the Bechstein, light-toned and translucent, for the Préludes Livre 1, the Steinway, more vivid and rich, in Livre 2. Both are used in the two-piano arrangement of Trois Nocturnes and Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, in which Lubimov is joined by Alexei Zuev. The results are at once fresh and enigmatic.


Fiona Maddocks

The GuardianTramp

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