Album: Debussy, Nuit d'étoiles – Xavier de Maistre (RCA Red Seal)

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Somewhere in this lovely recital there's a more interesting disc waiting to be heard. Exquisite as harpist Xavier de Maistre's tone and technique are, it is impossible to listen to his arrangements of Debussy's "Mélodies" and "Préludes" without thinking that had Debussy wanted to write them for the harp, he would have done so.

Diana Damrau's reading of the songs is flawless, yet the most harp-like of Debussy's figures become too sweet and cloying in transcription. The most convincing tracks are the "Arabesques" transcribed by Henriette Renié, and Renié's arrangements of the "Danse Sacrée" and "Danse Profane".

Pick of the Album: De Maistre's quicksilver 'Arabesque no 2 in G minor'