HD-Vinyls 24/96 (DGG) Claude Debussy – Images I / II – Children’s Corner (Michelangeli)

One of Michelangeli’s supreme recordings! The Images books sublimely wrought, a pianist of excruciating gifts with his mystifying inner world fully alive, and beautifully intimate sonics that are a model of restraint. What more can you ask for? Find me another recorded version of the Images to rival this one.

# Composer: Claude Debussy
# Performer: Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
# Vinyl (1971)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: FLAC (Tracks)
# Label: Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft
# DR-Analysis: DR 15
# Size: 865 MB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory


Michelangeli gives us Debussy in gestures so natural as to be invisible. His Children’s Corner is pure magic, profound, completely free; he proposes Debussy’s as an art of revolutionary depth. Michelangeli’s unerring conception is transparent and scintillating, richer than it appears, and ripe with truth. This is absolutely magisterial musical art in the throes of genius and high purpose. Discover the art of the gods. Overwhelming recommendation for a perfect recording.

One of the Top 10 Debussy Keyboard Albums of All Time
…which is quite a mouthful considering that it was released in 1971, long after the “Golden Era” of virtuoso pianism had ended. But with the so-called “mad genius of the keyboard” known as A.B. Michelangeli (1920 – 1995) at the helm, it became a huge winner both for Debussy and Deutsche Grammophon, as well as for the world of recorded music at large. As a matter of fact, this was one of the most swiftly and unanimously praised albums to come out of “The Little Yellow Flower” label’s catalog. Indeed, Michelangeli’s Debussy garnered such instant recognition that even the earliest pressings left the factory having their jackets already affixed with numerous gold stickers trumpeting the disc’s critical prize-winnings. Among these were the Edison Prize (United States), the Prix du Disq (France) and the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis (Germany).

Despite Michelangeli’s justifiably deserved reputation for delivering the goods in performances of Ravel and Rachmaninov’s piano concertos, his Scarlatti and Brahms, and occasional flashes of brilliance with the standard lineup of titanic composers, this Debussy solo piano album is possibly the most repeatedly enjoyable offering from his rather small recorded legacy. Michelangeli comes as close to “owning” these pieces as have any of the legends more celebrated or strongly linked to the interpretation of the French repertoire, foremost being Gieseking, Casadesus and Moravec. Yes, it’s almost regrettable to say it, but this album is likely to move into the front-runner position in your collection, even if you’ve gotten used to some old tried-and-true favorites. It is a fairly indisputable fact that nobody has ever played nor ever again will play Debussy like Walter Gieseking did in the 1930s; but distant, scratchy monaural sound does not constitute a benchmark for most modern ears. This album does.

The stereo taping was a well-engineered room-filler with just the right touch of reverberation. No single channel is overbearing in tone or timbre, and harshness, even in the more volatile passages of the second Images book, is a non-existent detriment.

At any rate, you’ll be too entranced to notice anything else but keyboard artistry at an exceeding standard. Add this one to the top of the pile, and never regret it; here is one of Claude Debussy’s shining hours. There can be no mystery as to how the album remains a slice of perfection to this day when you consider the reclusive, inscrutable pianist’s own words from the original LP liner notes: “Asked when it was that the tonal world of Debussy’s had disclosed itself to Benedetti Michelangeli, he answered without the slightest hesitation: `It has always been my world; this music has always been my music from the very start.’ “

Track Listing

  Images (I) – 1e Série Pour Piano À 2 Mains
A1   1. Reflets Dans L’Eau (Andantino Molto) 4:48  
A2   2. Hommage À Rameau (Lent Et Grave) 6:30  
A3   3. Mouvement (Animé) 3:36  
  Images (II) – 2e Série Pour Piano Seul
A4   1. Cloches À Travers Les Feuilles (Lent) 4:16  
A5   2. Et La Lune Descend Sur Le Temple Qui Fut (Lent) 5:09  
A6   3. Poissons D’Or (Animé) 3:58  
  Children’s Corner
B1   1. Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum (Modérément Animé) 2:10  
B2   2. Jimbo’s Lullaby (Assez Modéré) 3:23  
B3   3. Sérenade For The Doll (Allegretto Ma Non Troppo) 2:12  
B4   4. The Snow Is Dancing (Modérément Animé) 2:34  
B5   5. The Little Shepherd (Très Modéré) 2:23  
B6   6. Golliwogg’s Cake-walk (Allegro Giusto) 2:51  

Analyzed folder: /96kDeb_Im_Mic/96k Debussy – Images 1,2 – Michelangeli
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR16 -1.09 dB -23.41 dB A1 1. Reflets Dans L’Eau.wav
DR17 -0.72 dB -24.17 dB A2 2. Hommage A Rameau.wav
DR13 -1.51 dB -20.33 dB A3 3. Mouvement.wav
DR17 -2.38 dB -25.49 dB A4 1. Cloches A Travers Les Feuilles.wav
DR19 -5.55 dB -30.30 dB A5 2. Et La Lune Descend Sur Le Temple Qui Fut.wav
DR13 -0.35 dB -20.53 dB A6 3. Poissons D’Or.wav
DR13 -2.00 dB -22.13 dB B1 1. Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum.wav
DR14 -9.51 dB -30.71 dB B2 2. Jimbo’s Lullaby.wav
DR13 -9.08 dB -25.94 dB B3 3. Serenade For The Doll.wav
DR15 -5.84 dB -26.10 dB B4 4. The Snow Is Dancing.wav
DR13 -9.59 dB -28.98 dB B5 5. The Little Shepherd.wav
DR14 -0.91 dB -20.24 dB B6 6. Golliwogg’s Cake-walk.wav
Number of files: 12
Official DR value: DR15



  • Engineer – Heinz Wildhagen
  • Liner Notes – K. H. Ruppel
  • Painting [Cover Painting] – Henri Pinta
  • Piano – Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
  • Producer – Karl Faust
  • Recording Supervisor – Rainer Brock


Ripping Infos

  • RCM: Okki Nokki
  • TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
  • Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
  • Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
  • ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
  • Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
  • Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
  • Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
  • Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
  • Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Light de-Clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising

If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.

  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5


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Click on the “Donate”-button. Thank you very much !

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PW: LaWally

18 thoughts on “HD-Vinyls 24/96 (DGG) Claude Debussy – Images I / II – Children’s Corner (Michelangeli)

  1. Splendid. Thank you Rach! And I’ll take your word for it, there is no competition. We’ll say it has the Rach Seal of Approval.

  2. I´m speechless. You can almost see the ripples in the water, you can almost feel the movement, you can almost touch the snow. And these are the ones I’ve heard so far.
    Thank you very much Rachmaninov.

  3. Just listening to this – the best Debussy rendition my ears have yet come to listen and already far up in my list of piano music albums. Great! Thanks for this marvelous share. So much transparency and dynamics in your rip…

  4. Thank you very-very much! This is one of the three legendary solo piano recordings of ABM on Deutsche Grammophon, the other two including Chopin recital (generously presented by you here) and the LP with the Brahms Balladen and the Schubert Sonata (it would be a dream if you someday rip this great disk). I like Debussy, his piano music miniatures are very lyrical and beautiful, though they are not simple nor plain. The firs impression of perfrmance of a piece of music is (for me) generally the supreme and other interpretation cannot surpass it. For the first time I heard the Debussy piano music on a disk by Alexis Weissenberg (including the Childrens’ Corner), and that was the standard for me. But this performance surely leaves behind those by Alexis. ABM’s Debussy is now the best for me for ever. And this dream comes true thanks to dear Mr. Rach. Thank you once again!!!

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