Evocative Debussy with Stephen Hough

Pianist Stephen Hough brings the listener on a musical and visual journey through six of Debussy’s most contemplative works.

“The six pieces contained in the two books of Debussy’s Images were, as their name indicates, the product of Debussy the art-lover (one might say Debussy the ‘see-er’). They perhaps derive ultimately from his early reading of Baudelaire, who declared that ‘the whole visible universe is nothing but a storehouse of images and signs to which the imagination will give a relative place and value; it is a kind of pasture for the imagination to digest and transform.’”

At the turn of the twentieth century, the great minds of French Impressionism were trailblazing new frontiers of artistic expression. After decades of harsh criticism, Monet rose as the most popular figure of the artistic movement, and his analog in the music world was his compatriot Claude Debussy.

Bored by (what he found to be) the strict confines of contemporary classical music practices, Debussy made it his mission to explore new sounds. In a fortuitous case of being at the right place at the right time, the  Impressionism movement in the visual arts provided just the inspiration he needed. What resulted was Debussy’s uniquely characteristic use of mysterious, swirling sonic textures.

In his newest recording, pianist Stephen Hough plays six of Debussy’s most captivating music-painting explorations. From the international journey that is Estampes to musical depictions of everyday life with his daughter in Children's Corner, Hough creates a rich atmosphere of colors.

Listen to a sampler from the album:

For more information and to purchase this recording, visit ArkivMusic.

Track listing:
1-3. Estampes
4-6. Images, Book I
7-9. Images, Book II
10-15. Children's Corner
16. La plus que lente
17. I'isle joyeuse