Spend a lovely hour with Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski and the music of Claude Debussy, whose sound always manages to convey a liquid, pearly, water element. From the opening E Major Arabesque to the brilliant pyrotechnics of the 1904 L’Isle joyeuse, Trpceski performs beautifully graduated nuances in this most idiomatic set of Debussy staples. Recorded May-October 2007 at Potton Hall, Suffolk under the guidance of engineer Arne Akselberg, the mid- and upper range of the keyboard glistens, the sonic patina soft and even-toned. The opening of the Children’s Corner, Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum, immediately transcends the exercise medium to become a silken road to musical excellence; the Serenade for the Doll chants, totters, sings, sidles, and deftly jounces our youthful sensibilities. Crunchy, elephantine chords in seconds for Jimbo’s Lullaby, the passing allusions to Mussorgsky’s Bydlo gracing the episode. Tender figurations for The Snow is Dancing, gorgeous arpeggiations with a hint of plainchant. The Little Shepherd becomes a solo flute in recitative-arioso. Steely fingers stride forth in Golliwogg’s Cakewalk, softening appropriately for the Tristan mystique that suggests the fundamental things still apply, even in the midst of life’s ironies.
Trpceski breaks out the Aeolian harp for the first of the Images, Reflets dans l’eau, an Andantino quite which proves capable of becoming a torrent of scintillating waves of sound, much in the manner Gieseking, Casadesus, and Michelangeli brought to this effective music. Ceremonial dignity follows in Homage a Rameau, a studied, harmonically intricate nod at the great clavecinist. Silver triplets grace Mouvement, and Trpceski’s flawless tremolos apply no less to this pearly, impassioned rendering of Poissons d’or in Book II. The union of the timely and timeless marks both Cloches a travers les feuilles and El la lune descend sur le temple qui fut, where light dynamics and oriental syntax dominate. Trpceski takes the Joyous Isle at a ferocious clip, yet it retains its sinewy, elegant eroticism without any loss of motivic shape; kaleidoscopic, athletic, piercing music. Well done on all counts.
— Gary Lemco