“L’Isle Joyeuse” – Sae Lee, Piano
“L’Isle Joyeuse” (The Joyous Isle) and “Danse” by Claude Debussy have been two of my favorite piano pieces for many years. I first became acquainted with them in high school through an old Angel Records recording by the incomparable Walter Gieseking, much of which is available on YouTube, but without any video of the pianist.
Sae Lee was born in Osaka, Japan and began her musical studies at the age of four. We learn from her website (www.sae-lee.com) that she pursued her piano studies in Tokyo and Paris, and was the first-prize winner at numerous competitions. In addition to her work as a solo artist, she currently performs regularly with saxophone player Miha Rogina in the chamber ensemble “Duo Kalypso”.
“Danse” – Earl Wild, Piano
The legendary pianist Earl Wild was born on November 26, 1915. A veteran of the concert hall by the age of 19, he was still giving recitals in 2005 at age 90. In addition to being a virtuoso pianist, he is a composer and has made numerous piano transcriptions of works by other composers.
In this video, Wild plays a piece by Debussy sometimes called “Tarantelle Styrienne”, but more commonly known simply as “Danse”.