Decca Classics commemorates the centenary of the death of Claude Debussy through a new best-of anthology honoring French performers: Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Pierre Boulez, Philippe Cassard, Jacques Crespin, Jacques Février, Maurice Gendron, Hélène Grimaud , Katia and Marielle Labèque, Pierre Monteux, Pascal Rogé, Manuel Rosenthal, Gérard Souzay, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and many others.
In terms of Debussy's interpretation, to speak of a real French school would be reductive.
In this album, only one of these artists knew Debussy well and brings a direct testimony: Pierre Monteux, who was the assistant of André Messager during the creation of Pelléas et Mélisande, and the creator of Games in 1913.
Others were children or adolescents at the death of Debussy: Jean Fournet, Manuel Rosenthal and Jacques Février, the latter two being also relatives of Maurice Ravel.
All the others have in common a form of interpretative tradition inherited from the teaching they received from professors whose names are Pierre Barbizet, Lucette Descaves, Yvonne Loriod, Claire Croiza, Lazare Levy or Robert Casadesus.
This tradition can be summed up simply: no great effusions, it is rather in search of the color that must be attached.
Debussy's music, like Ravel's, is sensitive but never extroverted.
Their style to all could be summed up in three words: clarity, modesty and sensitivity.
Did not Debussy himself say: "The French spirit is something like fantasy in sensibility"?
1. Two arabesques - No. 1 Andante con moto - Jean-Yves Thibaudet
2. Two arabesques - No. 2 Allegretto scherzande - Jean-Yves Thibaudet
3. Small piano suite with 4 hands - 1. By boat - Katia Labèque
4. Small suite for piano with 4 hands - 2. Procession - Katia Labèque
5. Small piano suite with 4 hands - 3. Menuet - Katia Labèque
6. Small suite for piano with 4 hands - 4. Ballet - Katia Labèque
7. - Scottish Walk on a Popular Theme, L 77 - Orchestral Version - Manuel Rosenthal
8. Bergamask Suite - 3. Moonlight - Jean-Yves Thibaudet
9. - Afternoon prelude of a fauna, L. 86 - Jean Fournet
10. - 3. Slowly expressive Andantino - Loewenguth Quartett
11. - Yes, it's here, here we are - Jean Fournet
12. For the piano - 1. Prélude - Jean-Yves Thibaudet
13. For the piano - 2. Sarabande - Jean-Yves Thibaudet
14. For the piano - 3. Toccata - Jean-Yves Thibaudet
15. 3 songs of bilitis - 1. The flute - Régine Crespin
16. 3 songs of bilitis - 2. The hair - Régine Crespin
17. 3 songs of bilitis - 3. The tomb of Naiads - Régine Crespin
1. Nocturnes - 1. Clouds - Pierre Boulez
2. Nocturnes - 2. Festivities - Pierre Boulez
3. Nocturnes - 3. Sirens - Pierre Boulez
4. Prints - 1. Pagodas - Pascal Rogé
5. Prints - 2. Evening in Granada - Pascal Rogé
6. Prints - 3. Gardens in the rain - Pascal Rogé
7. 3 pieces from 1904 - 3. The happy island, L. 106 - Philippe Cassard
8. The sea three symphonic sketches - 1. From dawn to noon on the sea - Pierre Boulez
9. The Sea Three Symphonic Sketches - 2. Wave Games - Pierre Boulez
10. The sea three symphonic sketches - 3. Dialogue of the wind and the sea - Pierre Boulez
11. Dances for harp and strings - 1. Sacred dance - Igor Markevich
12. Dances for harp and strings - 2. Profane dance - Igor Markevich
1. Gallant Festivities ii - 1. The Ingenuous - Gérard Souzay
2. Gallant Festivities ii - 2. Wildlife - Gérard Souzay
3. Fetes galantes ii - 3. Sentimental Symposium - Gérard Souzay
4. Images for orchestra - 1. By the streets and by the ways - Pierre Monteux
5. Images for orchestra - 2. The perfumes of the night - Pierre Monteux
6. Images for orchestra - 3. The morning of a holiday - Pierre Monteux
7. Children's corner - 1. Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum - Jacques February
8. Children's corner - 2. Jimbo's lullaby - Jacques February
9. Children's corner - 3. Serenade for the doll - February Jacques
10. Children's corner - 4. The snow is dancing - Jacques February
11. Children's corner - 5. The little shepherd - Jacques February
12. Children's corner - 6. Golliwogg's Cakewalk - Jacques February
13. Preludes book 1 - 8. The girl with linen hair - Monique Haas
14. Preludes book 1 - 9. The serenade interrupted - Monique Haas
15. - 10. The sunken cathedral - Hélène Grimaud
16. - 1. Mist - Pierre-Laurent Aimard
17. - 2. Fall leaves - Pierre-Laurent Aimard
18. - 12. Fireworks - Pierre-Laurent Aimard
19. - 1. Prologue (slow) - Maurice Gendron
20. Sonata for cello and piano in D minor - 2. Serenade (moderately animated) - Maurice Gendron
21. Sonata for cello and piano in re minor - 3. Finale (Animated) - Maurice Gendron