Vikingur Ólafsson juxtaposes 2 revolutionary French composers for his 3rd solo album on DG

Vikingur Ólafsson juxtaposes 2 revolutionary French composers for his 3rd solo album on DG


Matt Newton

March 30, 2020

Fresh from his hugely acclaimed and multi-award-winning album Johann Sebastian Bach, Víkingur Ólafsson’s third Deutsche Grammophon recording pairs works by two revolutionary French composers separated by a century and a half: Jean-Philippe Rameau and Claude Debussy. In a series of one minute videos the Icelandic pianist shares his thoughts on some of the most beautiful pieces ever created for the keyboard.

Please click here to watch the video.

Víkingur Ólafsson’s new album Debussy • Rameau is out now –




  • Jean says:

    I think this was the longest headline on this site until now – and well worth it

  • Olassus says:

    The album is all bits and pieces, like his Bach disc. Can’t this man play complete works, with their material in context?

    • Couperin says:

      Yeah yeah yeah, he’s one of those “concept recital album” kinda guys, but give the album a listen, there’s some nice stuff. In live concert he plays different rep.

    • debuschubertussy says:

      Um, no…most of his Bach album is actually complete works. They’re just shorter complete works. We don’t have to have the Goldbergs all the time, haha.

    • Edgar says:

      Herr Stadtschreiber…

    • Joseph Trivers says:

      Your criticism is a bit harsh and I wonder if it was made without first listening to the album. When listened to in one setting, it’s a sensitive and intelligent program that makes connections and comparisons between Rameau and Debussy we’d not have noticed before. He knows he’s pulling bits and pieces together, but it’s at the service of a musical vision he wants us to explore. It’s an exquisite disc.

  • pieter van winkel says:

    nice commercial…even the text is from the DG website…

    • Alvaro says:

      HEY HEY HEY, respect the award winning/world renowned/ viral news machine/literature icon….Blogger.

      Not all of us have fully mastered the “CTRL+C/CTRL+V” techniques of the elite Literary minds of our times.


  • RW2013 says:

    Give me Marcelle Meyer any day
    also for Debussy.

  • Harry Collier says:

    I think he is already my Artist of the Year — and it’s not yet April. The Rameau / Debussy CD beautifully complements his Bach CD, and the avoidance of over-recorded “standard” repertoire is to be applauded. 80 years old next year, and I have only just been able to really admire Jean-Philippe Rameau. Thanks, Mr Olafsson.

  • John Borstlap says:

    To describe composers like Rameau or Debussy as ‘revolutionary’ is following the barricade cult of the last century. That cult is entirely nonsensical and destructive, and has turned into the worst klischee possible. The reason why R and D are still played is not because they were ‘revolutionary’ but because they wrote very good music that transcends time and place.

    ‘They call me revolutionary, but I have invented nothing new. I have just taken familiar things and given them a new guise. In art, nothing is new.’ (Debussy about his music)

  • Alvaro says:

    How to make it in the classical music industry:

    1. Befriend a hedge fund manager or a big real estate developer making a new concert hall

    2. Hire a major “agency” to do “artistic consulting” for such project

    3. Artistic consultancy includes they hiring you and pushing your career, thus getting a recording contract

    4. Get new haircut, new glasses, a gym subscription and a nice/inspirational “story”

    Play an instrument

    • Shlomo D says:

      Also – be original, have a vision, talent, and charisma, all of which Vikingur has. Oh, he is also a phenomenal pianist. Of course, he didn’t win any big competitions so some people have a problem with his success 🙂

      • Alvaro says:

        I forgot to add #5. which you very kindly demonstrated:

        Hire aggressive PR agencies to push your story and call out all the possible cliche’s known to man (charisma, musicianship, the x factor, envy of success, “depth”, “elan”… infinitum)

        All these traits are entirely subjective thus impossible to prove/disprove.

        My toilet paper also has charisma, is original, and is also very much white. Coincidence? THINK NOT! 🙂