Víkingur Ólafsson to release new album featuring Debussy and Rameau

17 January 2020
By Ellie Palmer
Vikingur Olafsson new album Vikingur Olafsson new album
The album is scheduled to be released on 27 March with Deutsche Grammophon
“Ólafsson’s interpretations inhabit a unique, distinct and extraordinary world all their own.”


Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson will release a brand-new album this coming March, which will feature music from Debussy and Rameau. He presented his new album during an intimate lecture-recital at Berlin’s Konzerthaus, where he is currently Artist in Residence. He performed a handful of pieces from the new album – his third on Deutsche Grammophon. The first single, Rameau’s ‘Les tendres plaintes’ from his Pièces de clavecin, is out now. You can stream it below.

“For me, Rameau is up there with Handel, Scarlatti, and second only to Bach,” said. “It is simply genius keyboard writing.” His new album juxtaposes Rameau’s music with that of Debussy, describing it as a “dialogue” between the two composers. He said that together they “defeat time and space with music”.

Content continues after advertisements

Ólafsson gave the audience an insight into his repertoire choices for the album and performed a selection of works, including Debussy’s Prélude from La Damoiselle élue, Rameau’s Le Rappel des Oiseaux and his own transcription of an interlude from the opera Les Boréades entitled ‘The Arts and the Hours’.

Víkingur Ólafsson’s Debussy • Rameau follows his critically-acclaimed 2019 recording Johann Sebastian Bach which was on numerous album of the year lists and named one of the greatest ever Bach recordings by Gramophone, plus it won Best Instrumental and overall Album of the Year at the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2019. Ólafsson was honoured at the Opus Klassik Awards, he was named Gramophone’s Artist of the Year and Limelight’s International Artist of the Year.

Image credit: © Deutsche Grammophon