Lilya Zilberstein has already taken on some of the virtuoso pillars of the repertoire for DG—Brahms's Paganini Variations, the Mussorgsky Pictures, Rachmaninov's Third Concerto and so it is fascinating to hear her in music of a more subtle evocation and delicacy. And although her Debussy and Ravel are hardly consistent or to the manner born, they are rarely less than individual or distinguished. Like other Russian pianists before her she places greater emphasis on the music's sensuous and expressive warmth than on its formal clarity. Her response to say, ''Le soiree dans Grenade'' (from Estampes) is richly coloured and inflected (a reminder, perhaps, of Falla's awe of Debussy's Hispanicism) and in ''Jardins sous la pluie'' her virtuosity evokes a coldly drenched and windswept garden its flowers momentarily bejewelled by passing sunlight. She is also highly successful in the more objective patterning of Pour le piano, making the opening Prelude's fortissimo chording and shooting-star glissandos resonate with unusual power.
Steven Osborne’s unerring command of the elusive ambiguities of Debussy’s piano-writing has already been amply confirmed by his earlier recording of the two books of Préludes; these lustrous new accounts of the Images, Estampes and Children’s Corner are every bit their equal.
Considered as one of the most inspired pianists of his generation, Severin von Eckardstein explores three major cycles of French music from the 1900s, associating Claude Debussy’s two revolutionary books Images (1904-1907) and Gabriel Dupont’s La Maison dans les dunes (1907-1909) as part of this debut album under the Artalinna label: this suite of 10 pieces with memorable atmospheres filled with luminous colours and heady melodies will stand out for many as a musical revelation!