Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Gabriel Dupont, Complete Piano Music, Bo Ties
It is a good deal of music to hear and it is good music. The liners to this disk ask, "Why is it we do not know this composer?" And indeed, why? I have no idea about the rest of his oeuvre, and so I cannot say, but once you listen to this music a few times you do find a great deal to like. Much of the music here is in the form of character pieces, gathered into thematic suites. The whole of disk one is the fourteen-part "Les Heures Dolentes," a rather remarkable thing in itself. CD2 has a ten-part "Le Maison Dans Les Dunes" along with two shorter, less overtly thematic groupings.
What stands out in this music is the lyric charm, the very French proto-Modern atmospherics, at times very much in a pioneeringly Impressionist mode, other times as tumultuously cascading Romanticism slightly closer to the edge than perhaps a Rachmaninoff, which nonetheless at times is less startling, less original to our ears, though of course at the early turn of last century this was daring fare in any event. But it is the atmospheric quasi-Impressionistic pieces that wake us up to the fact that had he lived, he might have been considered up there with Debussy and Ravel and possibly beyond them, who can say? That is moot now for he left us pretty quickly.
What matters is what he composed. It is very pianistic in the very French sense of those times.
The performances are quite nice, the sound is very good. Above all, though, this is music one can and no doubt should come to know via this rewarding two-CD set. I could wax on but instead I will suggest you listen--and discover for yourself what is going on here. Bravo.