Chopin and Debussy
FAZIL SAY, piano
Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849)
Nocturne No. 19, Op. 72 , No. 1 in E Minor
Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor, Op. Posth., KK IVa, No. 16,
Nocturne KK Ivb 8 in C Minor, Op. Posth.
Claude Debussy (1862–1918)
“Clair de lune» from «Suite bergamasque”
“La cathédrale engloutie”
“La fille aux cheveux de lin”
“La danse de Puck”
“Danseuses de Delphes”
“Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir”
Recorded live on 2 August 2019 at the Church of Saanen
Night in all its forms… yet all but gloomy since it is inhabited – brightened, lit up – by the moon, soothing and protective. From Beethoven to Debussy through Chopin, its white halo and poetic crescent are put to music by Fazil Say, one of the most original pianists of his generation, in-between other impressionist and passionate pages.
Paul Verlaine’s Clair de lune, from his Fêtes galantes collection: a delicate universe inspired by the comme- dia dell’arte that seduced the young Claude Debussy around 1890. After reading this work, the French musician created, for the piano, his first score showing a truly personal style, foreshadowing in particular the Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and Nuages. The piece, named Bergamasque Suite – with reference to Verlaine precisely and this original link between Bergamo and its masks –, has four movements. Clair de Lune takes up third place in the cycle, after the Prélude and Menuet and before the Passepied. Some see in it a relationship with Borodin and the Nocturne of his Second String Quartet – that Debussy heard during the 1889 Exposition Universelle –, but it was mostly thanks to the development of a total personal language that it stood out, portraying one of the master’s first “impressionist pictures”. Hovering between humility and emotional intensity, played pianissimo virtually from one end to the other, the score gained posthumous glory in the cinema world, carried up to the Himalayan summits in the intimacy of a music box by Jean-Jacques Annaud’s film Seven Years in Tibet.