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Marius-François Gaillard and his Debussy recordings: Performance, style and pianistic aesthetic

Rae, Caroline 2020. Marius-François Gaillard and his Debussy recordings: Performance, style and pianistic aesthetic. In: Branger, Jean-Christophe, Moron, Nicolas, Pimentel, Juliana and Rae, Caroline eds. Claude Debussy d’hier à aujourd’hui, Paris: Société française de musicologie,

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In 1920, the young Marius-François Gaillard (1900-1973) marked the Debussy commemorative year by becoming the first pianist to perform the composer’s complete piano works in public in a series of three mammoth recitals at the Salle Gaveau. Repeating his Debussy cycle in 1922 both at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Gaillard subsequently released the largest collection of commercial recordings of Debussy’s piano works by any individual pianist prior to World War Two. This essay assesses the legacy of Gaillard’s Debussy recordings through investigating his pianistic technique, style and aesthetic, and through comparing his performances with other recordings of selected Debussy piano works by his now better known contemporaries. It will be shown how Gaillard was not only frequently more accurate in his reading of the published scores but also that his recordings represent an important document for tracing the development of performance traditions in Debussy during the interwar period. His approach demonstrates a level of musical understanding, precision and refinement that places him among the pantheon of great twentieth-century French pianists.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Submitted
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Publisher: Société française de musicologie
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2019 16:42

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