Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont is one of the new internet-promoting, piano young guns, self publishing, blogging, tweeting, and doing all the right social media projections. Good luck to him, I say. It’s tough out there. There are still lots of small record companies, but most of the big classical companies are gone with the few recording slots of those remaining going to competition winners (they’ll get one shot) or phenoms like Lang Lang. So, for talented artists like Dablemont, it’s slim pickings!
As such, when a pianist as good as Dablemont promotes himself in such a generous manner (YouTube, limited free downloads, etc), we like to give a helping hand.
I did this once before with a pianist and got burned a little. The talented pianist did all the right things with the exception of believing her PR person. The ego outgrew the talent. A shame, as her benchmark website has not been updated since 2009. In internet terms, it’s dead. I hope Dablemont stays patient. He has the the talent to hold interest and the potential to grow into an artist of real stature.
Dablemont’s debut CD was recorded in Prague in 2011. It includes the magical piano music of Leoš Janáček, including On an overgrown path and In the mists, both written at the start the the 20th Century. In addition, the terrifyingly difficult Gaspard de la nuit (1908) by Maurice Ravel. For reasons unknown, the Janáček pieces seem to have a slightly more recorded bloom than the Ravel on my reference system. No matter, though, as both composers are served by excellent performances. The Janáček pieces are prepared beautifully — all the subtle and somewhat eccentric changes of tempo are observed and Dablemont’s tone matches the sparkle of the music. Superb!
The Ravel does not fare quite as well. It is well played — the notes are all there, a feat in itself (the final movement Scarbo is infamous as one of the most technically difficult works for the piano). But, musically the three movements do not flow as easily as the wonderful Janáček sets. Maybe the importance of the occasion; maybe the edits slightly got the better of him. But, don’t let that small criticism stop you from supporting this excellent young musician.
The new CD is by way of Dablemont’s introduction. I’m very glad to have made his musical acquaintance and look forward to his next recorded projects.
In the mean time, readers can order the CD or download the tracks right from his website. It’s there you will find links to his very informative blog.
Felicitation, Monsieur Dablemont.
Recording dates: December 2nd – 4th, 2011
Recording studio: Sound Studio HAMU, Prague (CZ)
Recording Engineer : Ondřej Urban
Music Producer : Radek Šalša