This is a recital of notably sensitive playing, but with too little of the mature composer to make a satisfying programme in itself. "Clair de lune" aside, there is not much real Debussy in Suite bergamasque, yet Kocsis does the Prelude, Menuet and Passepied—neo-classical before their time— as well as almost anyone can, with a discreet combination of delicacy and strength. The moonstruck movement itself is delivered with uncommon restraint. Debussy's Images oubliées, as they are sometimes called, were published quite recently, and the second and third are earlier versions of the Sarabande in Pour Ic piano and "Jardins sous la pluie" from Estampes. Some may question the wisdom of placing provisional and final versions on the same record; comparisons are unavoidable and entirely to the advantage of the latter. Yet the Images oubliées exert a considerable attraction, appearing on recital programmes and having several times been recorded. Only one version survives in the Gramophone Classical Catalogue, however, by Roy Howat (Nimbus 2122, 1/81), and Kocsis's is superior in its control of subtle nuances. The Prelude of Pour Ic piano is in manner something like the quick movements of Suite bergamasque, but Kocsis draws a considerable variety of sound and gesture from it; likewise the Toccata. With Estampes we reach the mature Debussy at last, and it is encouraging that Kocsis plays so well here, although one can recall performances in which the three movements are more strongly characterized. He is excellently recorded throughout, with the CD lending a slight immediacy even to generally slow, quiet pieces such as the first two Images oubliées.
-- Gramophone [4/1985]