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Famed for tackling the most ridiculously difficult scores, Marc-André Hamelin here presents some of the most subtle. The filigree is impeccable throughout, articulated and modulated so that it is enfolded within the confines of Debussy’s Impressionist world. The Homage à Rameau (the second movement of Book 1 of Images) is almost whispered; Hyperion’s recording is simply beautiful here. Strangely, the top register seems a little thin in the third piece of that set, Mouvement. The second book of Preludes exudes yet more whispered secrets: Feuilles mortes is here a mezza-voce funeral processional for nature itself. And there is more contrast, with Général Lavine – eccentric and Hommage à S Pickwick getting the most laughs. Feux d’artifice is predictably stunning technically. This is truly special Debussy playing.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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