Simon Trpceski | Debussy: Images

EMI Classics 5099950027224 • www.emiclassics.com

Simon Trpceski’s 4th album for EMI is marked by his understated but flawless technique and a kind of objective sense of the music that releases the freshness nascent in the (amply recorded) solo piano music of Debussy. I have enjoyed repeated listenings of “Images: Bks I and II” because Trpceski's style brings out both mysteriousness and passion that are substantial in the floating vagueness of Debussy’s middle period music, following the transfer of his affections from his first wife to Emma Bardac.

Nowhere is the freshness of Trpceski’s approach more evident than in the over-exposed “Claire de lune” which one hears as if for the first time, due to the thoughtful musicality of his phrasing. One has the sense of a lovely sea-breeze blowing through French doors that open onto a patio overlooking a moonlit sea murmuring of endless love.

“L’isle joyeuse”, from the same happy period, is crisp and extroverted in its unfolding. Here the passion is clothed in high spirits and the virtuosity required is characteristically under the control of Trpceski's good taste. There are examples of Debussy’s earliest ornamental salon music — the “Arabesques” of 1891, and the dramatic, playful 6 sections of the suite “Children’s Corner” dedicated to his daughter Chou-chou and full of impish good humour (“Golliwog’s Cakewalk”) but fine enough to serve as a piano method work (“Serenade for the Doll”).

Trpceski has recorded Rachmaninoff, Chopin, and several Russians. I had the good fortune to hear him in a Toronto performance that included some later Brahms that would be worth having on disc.

by Stanley Fefferman June 2008

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Stanley Fefferman
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The Live Music Report
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Stanley Fefferman is a writer/photographer on the Toronto music scene and elsewhere. His work appears online at www.showtimemagazine.ca and here at The LMR.

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