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12 Clare Longendyke…of dreams unveiled
Clare Longendyke
Independent (


Pr​é​ludes, Livre I: La danse de Puck - Listen on Bandcamp

Piano Portraits, Book II: Frieda - Listen on Bandcamp

To Anacreon in the US - Listen on Bandcamp


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The discography of Debussy’s Préludes is already distinguished but here is a remarkable addition to it. What makes this so in the first instance is that the performer, pianist Clare Longendyke, abjures dancing her way dreamily through Debussy’s deux livres des Préludes. The very inclusion of the Préludes came about after Longendyke planned a programme around a commissioned set of Piano Portraits by her composer friend Amy Williams. Also included in this musical palimpsest are works by a fellow composer and Impressionist Anthony R. Green. 

The result is a work of remarkable pianistic invention. For one thing few other piano recordings contain so many unique features of Impressionism – and particularly Debussy’s genius. For instance, few pianists in recent memory play Debussy – and consequently the music of Williams and Green – with such wondrous ease in conveying both profundity and levity. Moreover, with her sheer mastery of the dynamics of the keyboard, combined with the nuances of)pedalling, Longendyke brings to the fore the most important aspect of this repertoire: its intimacy. 

Williams’ music is written in the form of portraits. Each is so vivid that the characters shimmer through the speakers like holographic images, dancing (as holograms do) as they are conjured by Longendyke’s pianism. They are interspersed – as are Green’s – in sets of Debussy’s Préludes. The most eloquent moments come during the set that begins with the Prélude Voiles, through Williams’ Yvar to Les sons et les parfums tournenet dans l’air du soir.

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