Debussy - Preludes Book 2, La Mer (transcr. 2 pianos) | Harmonia Mundi HMM902302

Debussy - Preludes Book 2, La Mer (transcr. 2 pianos)


Currently out of stock at the UK suppliers. Available to order, but is likely to take longer than usual to despatch

Label: Harmonia Mundi

Cat No: HMM902302

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 29th June 2018

Gramophone Editor's Choice



Alexander Melnikov (piano)
Olga Pashchenko (piano)


Debussy, Claude

La Mer (piano duo)
Preludes (12), Book 2


Alexander Melnikov (piano)
Olga Pashchenko (piano)


A century after his death – 25 March 1918 – many Harmonia Mundi artists are eager to pay tribute to Claude Debussy, the magician of melody and timbre, the great ‘colourist’ and father of modern music.

Alexander Melnikov is among those pianists increasingly committed to playing the works of the past on the instruments on which they came into being (or could have done so) and so it is on a ‘period’ piano (an Érard piano) that he breathes new life into Book II of the Préludes but also, with the help of Olga Pashchenko, the extraordinary transcription of La Mer by the composer himself.


In recent years Melnikov has been showcasing his own collection of pianos from various times and locations, in both concerts and recordings. His Érard dates from around 1885 and was restored in 2014 (take a bow, Markus Fischinger). The range of colour and attack he conjures from it is nothing short of breathtaking... In some climactic moments in La mer the Érard cannot deliver the full brassiness of its modern equivalents. But there are many more passages that are jaw-droppingly beautiful, and I can truly say that the duet version has never so completely made me forget about the orchestra (bravo to Olga Pashchenko here, too). ... To say that Melnikov matches Lubimov for imaginative flair would be high enough praise. But in point of fact he is in a league above. We’ll be lucky if the Debussy centenary throws up any release as distinguished as this one.  David Fanning
Gramophone August 2018

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