Víkingur Ólafsson - Debussy / Rameau

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Rameau and Debussy were separated by hundreds of years and composed in vastly different styles, but they’ve been united on pianist—and former Grapevine cover star—Víkingur Ólafsson’s newest album, which presents the two revolutionary composers in dialogue with each other. 

Here's an excerpt from an interview we took with Víkingur Ólafsson.

Víkingur saw an undeniable thread between the two composers—one that only grew stronger with time. “I started to do some research and found out that Rameau was one of Debussy’s favourite composers. He wrote incredibly beautiful reviews about his music and was thinking of him on his deathbed,” he says. “But the deeper I went, the more I understood that they had some similar elements in their lives.”

These similar elements relate to both composer’s relationships with the musical institutions and conventions of their time. “They were both musical outsiders who didn’t really fit in. They challenged the establishment and picked fights with people. Enfants terribles,” he posits. “Today, [their music] all sounds very nice and beautiful but in their day, not so much. They were shocking.”

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Get other records from Víkingur here.