This is the Malaysian pianist Dennis Lee’s eagerly awaited second instalment of Debussy’s complete piano music: the Préludes, Books I and II. With his Préludes, Debussy had accomplished the subtlest of music revolutions. Piano music after the Préludes would never be the same again. They are almost unparalleled in their evocative potency: any child with a vivid imagination will be able to create a story by listening to them, yet their titles appear (in brackets) at the end of each prelude, an unusual practice to encourage a more personal response from the interpreter.
Dennis Lee embarks on these landmarks of piano music with intensity and passion. Many musicians before him have recorded the Préludes; Dennis’s version captivates the listener with his restrained but apposite gestures, multi-layered sound finesse and rhythmic exactness. In this pianist’s hands the Préludes blossom like exquisite flowers and cannot but touch the soul. Unforgettable.