Debussy, Bertrand Chamayou

During the First World War, unwell and disillusioned, the self-styled “musicien Française” Claude Debussy embarked on a series of six sonatas for diverse instruments. He only lived to complete three, but these elusive late works can be numbered among his masterpieces. All are in classical three movement form, but there the relationship to tradition ends: Debussy’s harmony, fluid thematic development and muted colours are all his own.

This exquisite new recording couples the sonatas with the early Piano Trio, written when the composer was 18 but unpublished until 1986. An exuberant work, it is barely identifiable as Debussy, containing hints of Fauré, Franck and the composer’s teacher Massenet. Still, despite its immaturity it is worth a listen, especially...

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