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James Harrington
American Record Guide, March 2017

I hear Ravel’s piano solo and duo arrangements of his own La Valse more often than the original orchestral version. I have no doubt that his transcription of Debussy’s work required the same skill and ear for piano colors.

Debussy’s arrangement of La Mer is for one piano, four hands and was deemed unplayable by Madame Debussy. Clearly from the performance here that is proved untrue, though one glance at the score and its 55 pages of very difficult piano writing makes one tend to agree with her. All of the notes that blend into waves of orchestral color are here clearly delineated and give you a new view of this piece.

All of these comments apply also to André Caplet’s transcription of Images. He did both 2-piano and piano 4-hands versions of this large, Spanish-influenced work. As one who has learned and performed some large symphonic works at one piano, shoulder to shoulder with another pianist for 45 minutes, I have great admiration for the work of Armengaud and Chauzu. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, February 2017

As they did several years ago in Vol. 1 of Debussy’s four-hand piano music, Jean-Pierre Armengaud and Olivier Chauzu give revealing and illuminating performances of their subject. In the earlier release, they presented comparative Debussy rarities. This time, they serve up some of the composer’s best-known symphonic music in four-hand arrangements. © 2017 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, January 2017

The duo plays all with a gracious poetic sense. © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2016

In the absence of original keyboard works for four-hands, this second series disc presents Debussy’s orchestral music in the unlikely guise of piano arrangements. La Mer is the only one to have come from the composer’s own hand, La Mer, and at the time of writing was described as being totally unplayable. The Prelude was affectionately transcribed by Maurice Ravel, while Debussy’s good friend, André Caplet, was responsible for adapting the multi-coloured Images. As I commented when reviewing the first disc in 2013, we have become so used to hearing these work’s in a wash of impressionist sound, the percussive nature of a piano creates very different scores. That is nowhere more apparent than in the dreamy world of the fawn as it awakens from sleep. Yet, as we listen to La Mer, it is interesting to hear the bare bones that provide the basis for the orchestral textures, and though I enjoy the result, stripping out the orchestral colours from Images I feel is taking robbery too far. These arrangements were, of course, made as a way of allowing people who were far distanced from orchestras to hear the music, and now, a hundred years later, we should count ourselves fortunate to have numerous recordings of the original works to impart all of their resplendent orchestral beauty. The two pianists, Jean-Pierre Armengaud and Olivier Chauzu, enjoy solo concert careers, the clarity of their playing is admirable, with the challenges of La Mer swept aside by their technical command. Two recording venues have been used, as you can tell from the differing ambiance, though the clarity throughout is unimpaired. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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