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Alex Baran
The WholeNote, September 2015

DEBUSSY, C.: Préludes, Book 1 / Estampes / Arabesque / Golliwogg’s Cake-Walk / Nuit d’etoiles (Starry Night) (Lewin) DSL-92190
DEBUSSY, C.: Piano Music (Lewin) DSL-92175

Anyone undertaking a recording project on this scale has to understand the composer at the most profound level. Lewin’s approach seems to be one that allows the music to take all the time it needs to unfold. He never rushes a phrase or resolution but prefers to let it hang until it completes itself as in Des pas sur la neige.

His performance avoids the pitfall of self-indulgence, so tempting with this repertoire. He never loses himself in the hypnotic but stays in complete control. Recorded a year apart, the set should be owned together. © 2015 The WholeNote Read complete review




Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, May 2015

It’s hard to fault Michael Lewin’s performances on this spectacularly recorded disc…

He does play with a subtle and couched energy that I admire, and one is hard-pressed to think that Debussy would not have enjoyed the sonic platform Lewin enjoys. This is Stokowski-style piano orchestration in sound that the conductor only heard in his dreams, and this alone does indeed add an immense element of thralldom to the experience. © 2015 Audiophile Audition Read complete review



James Harrington
American Record Guide, September 2014

Lewin chooses a variety of piano works from all periods of Debussy’s compositional life from the very early Valse Romantique to the last piano composition, Elegie. He includes L’Isle Joyeuse, the very popular virtuoso piece…and I never tire of a good performance like this. A number of dances are here as well, both brilliant and subdued, all played with the technique and panache required. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Bryce Morrison
Gramophone, September 2014

…Michael Lewin’s recital opens with…one of Debussy’s earliest songs…[and] it is played with a cantabile full enough…Lewin takes a firm if never less than musicianly hand to many of the composer’s most fragile and intimate confidences. In ‘Brouillards’, ‘Feuilles mortes’ and most of all in ‘La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune’, Lewin steps into broad daylight when he should retreat into the shadows. ‘Feux d’artifice’ is…a greater success, with an impressive descent before the ghostly sound of the Marseillaise. All these performances are admirable… © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Jed Distler
Listen: Life with Classical Music, June 2014

Even in a catalog crowded with world-class Debussy Préludes Book II cycles, Michael Lewin has a lot to offer. The intricate fingerwork in Nos 1, 4, 8, 11 and 12 combine muted hues and blueprint clarity, while sustained neutral tones create haunting long lines throughout Nos 2 and 10. The disc opens with pianist/transcriber Koji Attwood’s beautiful reworking of the song “Beau Soir,” followed by myriad short works…L’isle joyeux and Etude pour les octaves release their pent-up tension to impressive effect. © 2014 Listen: Life with Classical Music



Joseph Newsome
Voix des Arts, February 2014

The ingeniously chameleonic piano music of Claude Debussy is the vehicle with which Michael Lewin coaxes an engrossingly individual performance from the impersonal keys of his piano, and Beau Soir is nothing less than an intimate discourse between a great composer and a preeminent interpreter of his music. Eavesdropping for a little more than an hour, the cares of the world melt into aural spectacles that comfort and confound. © 2014 Voix des Arts Read complete review





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