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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: March 1, 2006 Archive

It bears repeating

Posted at 2:04 AM on March 1, 2006 by Valerie Kahler (1 Comments)
Filed under: Claude Debussy, Musical philosophy

Recently, a friend approached me with a request. He said he�d become obsessed with Debussy�s Claire de Lune, had been working his way through all the recordings of it he could find�and could I recommend my own favorites?

I threw the question out to my colleagues at MPR and got some lovely responses. Rex Levang and Brian Newhouse suggested Ivan Moravec (unfortunately, hard to find), and Melissa Ousley chimed in with Zoltan Kocsis and Samson Francois. Rex also mentioned that the recent Leon Fleischer recording (which marked his return to 2-hand repertoire after a forty-year struggle with focal dystonia in his right hand) was pretty special. Michael Barone added that organist Virgil Fox�s �organization� of Claire de Lune is beautifully nuanced.

This conversation led Brian to ask: why ARE there so many versions of this piece? What is it about Claire de Lune - or any piece - that inspires such attentions?

And, tangentially, what does it say when the same performer RE-records something? I�m thinking of Yo Yo Ma�s releases (1990 and 1998) of the Bach suites, but there are many other examples.

Anyone care to weigh in?

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