Alice Sara Ott

Alice Sara Ott
Alice Sara Ott (Photo by Ester Haase)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Claude Debussy: Images, D'un cahier d'esquisses, L'Isle joyeuse, Deux arabesques, etc. – Zoltán Kocsis (Audio video)

In Memoriam Zoltán Kocsis (30/05/1952 - 06/11/2016)

Gramophone, Instrumental Award 1990

Zoltan Kocsis is certainly one of the most talented pianists of our time and in the two books of Debussy's Images one can hear him at something like his peak. As soon as he plays the first few bars of ''Reflets dans l'eau'' one is engulfed in the extreme refinement of the sound. The shimmering lights on the water's surface come and go in the most fascinating manner...

In the Second Book the images are more specific. I felt that in ''Cloches a travers les feuilles'' Kocsis handled the initial right-hand theme too heavily, but none the less there is a wonderful sense of light and of the mysterious medley of shadows and delicate sounds playing on the ground and in the air. Kocsis has an ability to layer and control the dynamics between his hands that is quite superb. The classical purity and serenity of ''Et la lune descend'' are also caught with amazing insight and culture. The Images close with ''Poissons d'or'', in which the agitated fish appear and disappear in the water in an almost impudent manner; there is real humour and spontaneity here...

The other shorter pieces in Kocsis's recording generally maintain the same high standard. Especially noteworthy is the extraordinary balaneing of chords in the 6/8 au mouvement section of D'un cahier d'esquisses – this is a measure of his superb craftsmanship...

Philips have pulled out all the stops for Kocsis and have come up with a magically vivid recording, especially in the Images.

Source: James Methuen-Campbell, 2/1990 (

Ο Ούγγρος βιρτουόζος πιανίστας Zoltán Kocsis ερμηνεύει έργα του Κλωντ Ντεμπυσσύ. Ο δίσκος, ο οποίος το 1990 τιμήθηκε με το Βραβείο Γκράμοφον Ενόργανης Μουσικής, ηχογραφήθηκε στο Αμβούργο τον Οκτώβριο του 1988 και κυκλοφόρησε από τη Philips Classics το 1990.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

♪ Images Livre 1 (1905)

1. Reflets dans l'eau

2. Hommage à Rameau
3. Mouvement

♪ Images Livre 2 (1907)

4. Cloches à travers les feuilles

5. Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut
6. Poissons d'or

7. D'un cahier d'esquisses (1903)
8. L'Isle joyeuse (1904)
9. Arabesque No.1 (1888-1891)
10. Arabesque No.2 (1888-1891)
11. Hommage à Haydn (1909)
12. Rêverie (1890)
13. Page d'album (1915)
14. Berceuse héroïque (1914)

Zoltán Kocsis, piano

Recorded: Hamburg, 10/1988

Philips Classics 1990

(HD 1080p – Audio video)

Photo by Sebestyén László
The important Hungarian pianist and conductor Zoltán Kocsis has passed away aged 64. Kocsis, who has been the Music Director of Hungary's National Philharmonic Orchestra since 1997, died on November 6 "after a long illness borne with dignity" the Philharmonic said in a statement.

Kocsis was born in Budapest in 1952 and studied with Pál Kadosa, Ferenc Rados and György Kurtág at the Liszt Academy of Music, graduating in 1973. He rose to prominence when he was 18, however, when he won the Hungarian Radio Beethoven Piano Competition. He toured to the USA the following year and soon built an impressive international career. He was awarded the Liszt Prize in 1973 and the Kossuth Prize in 1978. He was appointed to teach at the Liszt Academy in 1976 and several years later he co-founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra in 1983 with fellow maestro Ivan Fischer.

Kocsis was a passionate exponent of contemporary music and Hungarian music. He gave the first performances of a number of compositions by Kurtág, worked with the Hungarian avant-garde New Music Studio and recorded the a benchmark set of the complete piano works of Béla Bartók on the Philips label. He was also well respected for his performances of works by Rachmaninov and his recording of Debussy's piano works won him a Gramophone Award in 1990. "He has an impressive technique", wrote musicologist Péter Várnai, "and his forthright, strongly rhythmic playing is nevertheless deeply felt and never mechanical".

Kocsis underwent major heart surgery in 2012 but was still conducting and had been scheduled to conduct concerts throughout the 2016/2017 season. In October 2016 he cancelled most of his concerts on medical advice, to rest and recuperate after ill health. "The vacuum he leaves is immeasurable", said the Philharmonic.


Zoltan Kocsis in 1972. Photo by Urbán Tamás
Σε ηλικία 64 ετών έφυγε από τη ζωή, την Κυριακή 6 Νοεμβρίου 2016, ο Ούγγρος βιρτουόζος πιανίστας και διευθυντής ορχήστρας, Zoltán Kocsis, όπως ανακοίνωσε η Εθνική Φιλαρμονική της Ουγγαρίας στο πρακτορείο ειδήσεων MTI.

«Η Εθνική Φιλαρμονική ανακοινώνει με βαθιά λύπη το θάνατο του Zoltán Kocsis το απόγευμα, έπειτα από μακρά ασθένεια που αντιμετώπισε με αξιοπρέπεια», αναφέρεται στην ανακοίνωση.

Ο Kocsis, διευθυντής της Εθνικής Φιλαρμονικής από το 1997, υποβλήθηκε σε εγχείρηση καρδιάς το 2012. Τον περασμένο μήνα ματαίωσε όλες τις συναυλίες του έπειτα από συμβουλή των γιατρών του.

Γεννημένος στη Βουδαπέστη το 1952, άρχισε διεθνή καριέρα μετά τη βράβευσή του με το Βραβείο Μπετόβεν της ουγγρικής ραδιοφωνίας μόλις στα 18 του χρόνια.

Γνωστός για τη στενή του σχέση με τη σύγχρονη μουσική, ο παθιασμένος αυτός μουσικός με τα γαλάζια μάτια και τα πλούσια άσπρα μαλλιά είχε διακριθεί για την εντυπωσιακή τεχνική του στο πιάνο. Είχε στενή συνεργασία με τη Φιλαρμονική του Βερολίνου και άλλες μεγάλες ορχήστρες σε ολόκληρο τον κόσμο.

Πηγή:, 6/11/2016

See also

Claude Debussy: Suite bergamasque, Pour le piano, Estampes, Images (oubliées) – Zoltán Kocsis (Audio video)

Zoltán Kocsis (1952-2016) – In Memoriam

Claude Debussy: Poèmes – Stella Doufexis, Daniel Heide (Audio video)

Claude Debussy, the First Modernist – An article by John Adams in the New York Times

“Debussy: one of the most original of moderns”, 1908, & “French composer Claude Debussy dies”, 1918 – Two articles from the Guardian archive

Javier Perianes plays Claude Debussy: Préludes Book I, & Estampes (Audio video)

Claude Debussy: Violin Sonata in G minor – Renaud Capuçon, Lahav Shani (HD 1080p)

Claude Debussy: Préludes, Books I & II – Walter Gieseking (Audio video)

Claude Debussy: Violin Sonata in G minor – Alina Pogostkina, Jérôme Ducros (HD 1080p)

Claude Debussy: La Mer –  Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Fabien Gabel (HD 1080p)

Claude Debussy: Les Trois Sonates (The Late Works) – Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Javier Perianes, Xavier de Maistre, Antoine Tamestit, Magali Mosnier, Tanguy de Williencourt (Audio video)

Claude Debussy: La Mer – Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacek Kaspszyk (HD 1080p)

Claude Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune – National Youth Orchestra of the USA, Valery Gergiev (HD 1080p)

Claude Debussy and the Poetic Image

Nikolai Lugansky plays Claude Debussy: Suite bergamasque, Deux Arabesques, and οther works for solo piano (Audio video)

100 Years After Debussy's Death, He Remains the First ‘Modern’ Composer – An essay on Claude Debussy by Stephen Hough in the New York Times

Terrified and delighted: Works by Claude Debussy and André Caplet inspired by Edgar Allan Poe – Musicians from the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (HD 1080p)

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