MIC's Listen to Norway series continues with Tor Espen Aspaas' 'Paul Dukas. Complete Works for piano'
The destructive self-criticism of Paul Dukas resulted in only a few of his works remaining after his death. Luckily, the ones that were spared from the flames are of an extraordinary quality and the renditions presented by young and vital Norwegian pianist Tor Espen Aspaas pay tribute to the French master who would prove enormously influential on composers like Debussy, Stravinsky and Berg. Aspaas plays beautifully and copes very well with the works’ immense technical demands, driving the faster movements onward with real intensity, and shaping the vast forms intelligently and convincingly. Aspaas form of expression is agile and youthful yet at the same time also mature and controlled despite the material’s complexity. With virtuoso playing and technical mastery Aspaas manages to free Dukas’ works of their complexity and present them as an imminently satisfying smorgasbord of pure musical joy.