Released on five separate discs, Noriko Ogawa’s traversal of the solo piano music of Claude Debussy has been receiving consistent praise in the international music press, with distinctions such as Gramophone Editor’s Choice (twice); a top recommendation (‘10/10/10’) on the German website Klassik Heute, ‘Recording of the Month’ on MusicWeb International.com and ‘CD of the Week’ on BBC Radio 3 CD Review. Along with general acclaim for Noriko Ogawa’s approach to the music (‘a Debussy interpreter of exceptional class’ – International Record Review; ‘a most elegant, scrupulously sensitive interpreter’ – Gramophone), performances of individual works and sets of works have been singled out. In BBC Music Magazine Ogawa’s Images and Children's Corner were named benchmark recordings, while Classica-Répertoire placed the second book of Préludes and the set of Études among the most important and convincing versions in the discography. Less well-known works have also been cited, such as the piano score of the children’s ballet Boîte à joujoux (‘A superlative performance… worth the price of the disc alone’ – Gramophone) and Debussy’s own transcription for solo piano of Six Èpigraphes antiques (‘the pianist creates a poetic atmosphere which leaves the listener breathless’ – Classica-Répertoire).
The original five discs have now been brought together as a boxed set with the addition of a sixth CD, containing Noriko Ogawa’s previously unreleased recordings of Debussy’s only work for piano and orchestra, the Fantaisie pour piano et orchestre from 1890, and five school fugues, written as part of Debussy’s training at the Paris Conservatoire, and transcribed from the original manuscripts for this occasion.
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