On this week's CD of the Week, Japanese pianist Takahiro Yoshikawa plays some of Debussy’s most mesmerizing works.
Claude Debussy’s works are among the most famous examples of the Impressionism movement of the early twentieth century, though he was not a fan of that term. The floating, ethereal impressions that Debussy’s works conjure are created, in part, by his use of carefully-crafted sets of tonalities borrowed from Asian and Middle Eastern musical traditions. With its unique tone colors and wandering paths, Debussy's music leaves the listener with an impression, rather than a structured, catchy tune one would walk away humming.
Beyond playing the notes, a performer playing Debussy must also serve as a musical painter. Japanese pianist Takahiro Yoshikawa does just that in his new album, which includes four of Debussy's suites for solo piano. Each suite contains a handful of short pieces evoking a particular image. Through these images, Debussy and Yoshikawa bring us on a journey from a soirée in Granada to the long-standing pagodas of Japan, and everywhere in between.
Listen to a track:
1-4. Suite bergamasque
8-10. Images – 1st Series
11-13. Images – 2nd Series