December 19, 2023
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Stéphane Tétreault & Olivier Hébert-Bouchard – Images oubliées

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Paolo Pietropaolo, CBC Music

13 outstanding Canadian classical albums of 2023

This album’s title is French for “Debussy’s back catalogue.” OK, I jest. It actually means “forgotten images,” a poetic way of summing up what it’s all about, namely a deep, sonorous and gorgeous exploration of some lesser-known musical gems by Claude Debussy. But there’s a twist: Debussy didn’t actually write much music for cello and piano. So cellist Stéphane Tétreault and pianist Olivier Hébert-Bouchard decided to raid the well-stocked pantry of Debussy piano pieces, do a little arranging, and voilà: this record that looks at Debussy’s music through a new lens, adding another shade and texture, you might say, to his impressionist sound world. (In the liner notes, they quote Debussy: “L’art est le plus beau des mensonges” — “Art is the most beautiful of all lies.”) Of course, they do include the one major statement Debussy wrote for cello and piano: his Cello Sonata. Gorgeous stuff.

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