Paavali Jumppanen, piano
These collections form one of the cornerstones of French Impressionism: it would be impossible to imagine 20th-century music without this cluster of 24 scintillating piano miniatures. Published in two books, the Préludes have inspired generations of composers and are enjoyed by amateur musicians and legendary keyboard virtuosos alike.
Debussy was on the search for new means of musical expression throughout his career. He was engaged in several abortive projects combining various branches of the arts, alongside which minor compositions – such as piano works in his late period – provided an aesthetic refuge. Written in the run-up to the First World War, between 1909 and 1913, the Préludes reflect on the state of the world from the perspective of French exoticism on the one hand and the death throes of European colonialism on the other.
Paavali Jumppanen is widely acclaimed internationally for his performances of French music. He is a regular guest at the Messiaen Festival and has recorded the Sonatas of Pierre Boulez at the composer’s request. He is currently preparing to record the Debussy Préludes, and he will be performing them in recital in Australia and the USA, among other places.