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Pascal Roge - Debussy Piano Works 3

...The sound thourghout the recording is beautifully lively, yet warm enough to illuminate Roge's consdierable scale of colours and insights. Recorded at the Salle de Musique, Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in November 2007, this is a Debussy trbute to rival any available.
TELERAMA ffff (highest accolade)
GRAMOPHONE - JULY 2008 - Bryce Morrison

Pascal Rogé’s album arrived more or less in tandem [with Bavouzet] and a greater study in contrast in “composer and interpreter” would be hard to imagine. Where Bavouzet breaks out into blazing Mediterranean sunlight, Rogé (radically enriching his earlier Decca Debussy discs) is happy to withdraw into shadow-land. Time and again his playing suggests emotion recollected in tranquillity rather than turmoil; and in, say, “Hommage à Rameau” or the Sarabande from Pour le piano he discovers the mysterious, still centre of Debussy’s art. “Poissons d’or” is a marvellous distillation of indolence and flashing disruption, and “Mouvement” is a perky and vivacious rejoinder to all former introspection. And so too is the Toccata, played with unerring ease and grace, and with many ear-catching details.

To summarise, the ever-elusive truth lies somewhere between Rogé the dreamer, Bavouzet the sinewy but always musical athlete, Thibaudet, the teasing wit and sophisticate and, of course, the legendary Gieseking. You pays your money and you takes your choice; personally, I would never be without all four.

THE OBSERVER 30.3.08 - Stephen Pritchard
Pascal Roge's interpretations of Ravel, Satie, Poulenc and Saint-Saens have placed him among the front rank of French pianists for many years and this, his third volume of a complete Debussy cycle, strengthens that further. His delicate, elegant playing in series one and two of 'Images' and the suite 'Pour Le Piano' could hardly be surpassed. Individual highlights in this fantastic volume include 'Berceuse Heroique', Debussy's unwarlike tribute to Belgium in the face of Germany's advance in 1914, and the ever-popular 'Reverie', played with ravishing sensuality.
Rumor has it that a beautiful piano sound follows Pascal Rogé from recording session to recording session. However, it must have taken him a while to warm up when he set down Images Book I. Perhaps that explains why he gingerly broaches Reflets dans l'eau's wide, rapid arpeggios, or why Mouvement comes off atypically dry and stiff-jointed. Furthermore, Rogé's slow and stagnant Hommage à Rameau clocks in at a little more than eight record minutes.

The pianist proves less harmfully sedate in the Book II selections. L'Isle joyeuse's Lisztian gestures do not sparkle and scintillate as they do elsewhere (Horowitz, Bavouzet, Ashkenazy, Gieseking). Pour le piano's closing Toccata begins at a leisurely, eloquently controlled pace, only to grow heavier in texture and slower in speed as it progresses. Yet similar moderation in Danse allows Rogé the luxury of shaping the busy keyboard writing so that the syncopations speak rather than scramble. I enjoyed Rogé's quirky, jazz-like phrasing in Hommage à Haydn; Bill Evans would have approved. As for the closing Réverie, it embodies the proverbial five "Ls": leisurely, lilting, liquid, lovely legato. In sum, Rogé/Debussy/Onyx's Volume 3 is similar to Volumes 1 and 2: not consistently fine, but full of nice moments, and excellently recorded.