Javier Perianes reveals the mystery of Debussy | Babelia

Javier Perianes reveals the mystery of Debussy | Babelia

Debussy hardly liked music. Or rather, the one that others who were not he had composed until then. He despised Brahms, Tchaikovsky charged him, and Beethoven bored him supremely. He believed that the sound of nature was the best masterful inspiration to recreate something that came close to his imagination.

Few exceptions, according to him, had prowled his true essence except Chopin, Bach and a handful more. To begin with, it was necessary to break the form and development through which many, previously, had tried to pass to posterity. It was to seek pure emotion within that instant called surprise, rather than a wealth of repetitions. Javier Perianes has followed its dictation in the last year of its centenary and he just published the first book of his Preludes for piano next to some Prints: "Somehow or other I had to go back to him. I interpret it since I was trained in the conservatory ".

Go back to the bottom, the Andalusian pianist refers (Nerva, Huelva, 1978). At the root of what has been one of his persistent obsessions since the beginning. So far, in previous albums or programs, Perianes had approached Debussy fragmented or in combination with others, like Chopin or Falla.

The Andalusian interpreter has developed a special taste for little-used repertoires and microforms

From a recital of his in the Patio de los Arrayanes de la Alhambra emerged ... les sons et les parfums, recorded in 2013. It was born as an idea within the Granada fortress, which Debussy himself used as a distant inspiration and even dedicated some pieces, illuminated by postcards. "He said that in the absence of means, any photography would come to fan the imagination". Perianes devised a dialogue between Chopin and the French, in a memorable work for Harmonia Mundi, his usual label. "That connection based on the admiration that Debussy professed his predecessor should be explored."

Now the Preludes delve into that search for the form as an end in itself. Like an open door, more poetic than narrative. Just the intention of the musician, lover of Edgar Allan Poe and Baudelaire as a beacon of symbolism that Mallarmé, Verlaine later develop ... The path that Bach began in Goldberg Variations or The well-tempered key and continued Chopin, especially with his own 24 preludes, seasoned by Debussy with a strong literary connection, which in his predecessors was perhaps not so obvious.

"The demonstration that Debussy trusted in this formal opening is that he did not give them a title until he finished them, not before," says Perianes. Not to mention the unlimited ambiguity of his intentions: "To approach it, you must pursue the balance between the weightless and the precise, between the diaphanous and the foggy," the pianist affirms.

This is how Perianes tries to explain that emotional transit towards the invisible, as the composer himself defined it. It can be achieved through the techniques that Debussy himself applied to revolutionize the history of the piano. He got it despite not having wanted to develop an interpreter career properly and have turned his best literature on the instrument he loved most at the end of his years. "The use of the pedal to suspend the sound in a certain way, to pursue crystalline sensations between the nebula, marks the difference with respect to him and the rest. It is one of the reasons that explains its magic, "says the Andalusian interpreter.

This rupture of the long developments led Debussy to a universal summit with the Preludes. A search in which Javier Perianes has investigated in several discs with other authors: "Not consciously, but it has been given, it is true". In fact, he has developed a special taste for little-used repertoires and microforms. Perhaps because in them it finds more light in which to explore its exquisiteness and make a difference.

Before going into a full album with Debussy, as he has done now with these Preludes Y Prints Within the project that Harmonia Mundi has dedicated to French with various world performers in its centenary, Perianes recorded the Sonatas de Blasco by Nebra, the Silent Music by Frederic Mompou, the Impromptus by Schubert, the Lieder ohne Worte by Mendelssohn, the lyrical pieces by Edvard Grieg or a selection of works inspired by the Alhambra by composers such as Falla, Debussy, Albéniz or Turina.

His mastery in the revelry of the musical moment and the purification of colors and sounds has been distilled into these basic pieces, composed for the piano. But also, Perianes has tackled long forms in his recordings of Schubert and Beethoven, among others. Or now Ravel and Chopin, who will tackle the second and third sonatas soon. "The discs I have not recorded for recording. I have always tried to predominate a dramaturgy, something to contrast, to tell. A different point of view. "

In that, he follows the precepts of Debussy, who must also be approached with the prevention and amazement of feeling a heterodox personality. If something defined him, it was the contrasts. He was exquisite gourmet and cruel heartbreaker. He cultivated the chosen friendships and showed an allergy to the tributes, although they would like to give themselves to Marcel Proust in life.

Literature aside, many have wanted to establish a direct thread between impressionist painting and its music. Exists. For pure context, among other things. But if Debussy was asked in life by a reference painter, he chose Turner's abstractions earlier than Monet's contrasts, although he respected the precursor of the current that also defined his music.

He could be petulant and dismissive. However, before what he really liked, he committed himself: either a bite of caviar or a piece of Chopin. Not like Wagner. In fact, he was the first musician considered a genius of the post-Wagnerian era in correcting German flatness well and defining boundaries between European aesthetics at the end of the 19th century. On the one hand, the French; on the other, the Germanic. The bad roll that you already imagine how it ended, taken to the field of creation.


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