Debussy’s piano preludes have become staples of the repertoire and with so many fine recordings, it is difficult to say something different – a feat that virtuoso Martine Vialatte achieves with subtle mastery. The phrasing and careful use of the pedals creates a sonorous palette not heard in many recordings of Debussy’s set of Préludes (Premier livre).
Also found on this release, aptly titled Echos et résonances, are two pieces by French composer Tristin Murail – a short piece titled Cloches d’adieu et un sourire and the spectral masterpiece, Territoires de l’oubli. In the former, a piece dedicated to Messiaen, chords swing before the listener like memories becoming ever more elusive. In the latter, Vialatte’s delicate touch provides a stunning resonance necessary for this hypnotic and intriguing work. In spite of the composer’s reluctance to be labelled an impressionist, the two pieces by Murail do make for perfect companions to Debussy’s preludes with clearly similar evocations of the natural world. Vialatte delivers world-class interpretations of some of the most resonant works written for her instrument, making for a rich and rewarding listen.