Tan stamps authority of Debussy Préludes

Pianist Melvyn Tan puts in a powerhouse performance of Debussy’s most challenging Préludes but doesn't quite pick out the lighter touches

Composer: Debussy
Repertoire: Préludes, Books I & II (complete)
Artists: Melvyn Tan (piano)
Rating:   3/5
Genre: Instrumental
Label: Deux-Elles DXL 1092

Melvyn Tan has never been one to do things by halves. Following years of playing the fortepiano repertoire, he returned to the modern piano in 1996 and has now taken on one of its greatest challenges, Debussy’s Préludes. The fact that he has done so with such authority and clear-focused sensitivity to mood and atmosphere is in itself remarkable. Yet despite many fine things along the way, he doesn’t quite capture the music’s more elusive perfumes.