With "a poetic sensibility that evokes the fantastical sound world of the early Romantics" (San Francisco Chronicle), 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition winner Seong-Jin Cho explores the music of Claude Debussy in honor of the 100th anniversary of the composers death. Seong-Jin Chos third album on Deutsche Grammophon features Debussys most popular works and cycles, such as Images I & II, Suite Bergamasque and Childrens Corner.
In his latest recording the 23-year-old South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho presents an all-Debussy programme. Debussy follows Chos two best-selling Chopin recordings.
It is entirely fitting that Seong-Jin Cho, winner of the 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition, should now turn to Debussy. Towards his lifes close, the French composer edited the piano works of Chopin, an experience that reignited his creativity, opening his heart to music he had loved since childhood. In turn, Chos connection to Debussy runs deep. He performed "Golliwoggs Cake-walk" from Childrens Corner as part of his first public recital at the age of eleven, and his passion for the composer developed in parallel with his exploration of Chopin. He was therefore delighted to have the opportunity of commemorating the centenary of Debussys death, which falls in March 2018, with his own tribute.
Since childhood, Cho has felt many affinities with Debussy and he was keen to mark the centenary in his own style. The album features both books of Images, each comprising three pieces of breathtaking imagination, in company with Childrens Corner and Suite Bergamasque, the latter including the hugely popular "Clair de lune". Rounding things off in jubilant fashion is the beautiful "LIsle joyeuse".
Chos album begins with music that sounds as if it could have existed for all eternity, despite bearing the hallmarks of what its composer described as "the most recent discoveries of harmonic chemistry." The enigmatic opening of Reflets dans leau from Images I sets the mood for the pianists tribute to one of the last centurys most original creative minds. He goes on to perform the remaining works of the two books of Images, bringing out every subtle nuance of music that demands true virtuosity. The Childrens Corner suite offers inventiveness, fantasy and touches of humour followed by the elegant Suite bergamasque, at whose heart lies the haunting "Clair de lune". Rounding off proceedings is LIsle joyeuse whose atmospheric, energetic writing makes it the ideal finale to this homage to Debussy.
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Made in Germany
Seong-Jin Cho, piano
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
1-3. Images I
1-3. Images II
1-6. Children's Corner
1-4. Suite bergamasque
5. L'Isle joyeuse