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Following on from her Chopin disc (reviewed in IP Jul/Aug 2017), Angela Brownridge has turned to Debussy with both books of Préludes. She contains these on a single disc and adds a vivacious account of L’isle joyeuse to boot (unlike Krystian Zimerman’s DG recording which ran to 84 minutes just for the Préludes across two mid-priced discs!)

This is a field crowded with excellent competitors: Zimerman, Osborne, Bavouzet. Brownridge’s interpretations are not quite in that league but she is preferable to Michel Dalberto’s Book II, which I reviewed in 2016. There is power in ‘La cathédrale engloutie’ and delicacy in ‘La fille aux cheveux de lin’and ‘Feuilles mortes’. Tempi are on the swift side (although Gieseking, remastered on Warner Classics, is faster overall); yet she lingers where she feels fit. Challenge Classics’ recording, made in Westvest Church, Schiedam, is clear and natural, if a little recessed.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica


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