Begun in 1894 and finished in 1901, Pour le piano was Debussy’s first major work for solo piano to be published.
For one contemporary critic the suite had “the force of a programme, if not a manifesto”. Another wrote that it was a work dedicated “not to instrumentalists but to the instrument itself."
In Pour le piano Debussy certainly manifests a new and confident command of the keyboard. The prelude’s orchestral colours, fortissimo chords and glissandos are truly electrifying. A dreamy and intimate Sarabande, a revision of the Sarabande from Images Oubliées (1894), brings welcome contrast before the energetic and graceful Toccata concludes the work.