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Vikingur Olafsson's beautiful tribute to Debussy and Rameau is the 90.1WRTI: Classical Album of the Week

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Vikingur Olafsson writes......Debussy has been with me as far back as I can remember, but my first encounter with the keyboard music of Rameau was Emil Gilels' 1951 recording of "Le rappel des oiseaux", which I came across during my student days in New York. I was immediately fascinated by the music and how well it lends itself to the modern piano, at least in Gilels' noble rendition, with its layered textures and light and shades. But it wasn't until the spring of 2019, as I waited (and waited and waited) for the birth of my first child that I finally had the chance, having cleared some weeks in my concert schedule, to sit down with all of Rameau's published keyboard works and read through every one of them. A world of wonder revealed itself: ingenious works of remarkable diversity, rarely programmed or recorded on the modern instrument.

90.1WRTI: Philadelphia's DEBRA LEW HARDER writes......Icelandic pianist Vikingur Ólafsson's third release for Deutsche Grammophon captivates with every note and poses an intriguing question. What connects two French masters-Claude Debussy and Jean-Philippe Rameau-despite the difference of over a century, the difference of the keyboard instruments they wrote for, and the difference of two contrasting stylistic eras of music?

It turns out, under Ólafsson's hands, a lot.

This generous album of 28 selections shows how Jean-Phillipe Rameau, Baroque master of the harpsichord, and Claude Debussy, Impressionist composer who wrote for the modern piano, share common threads. The pianist brings to each composer's works a similar elegance, clarity of line, and emotional coherence.

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