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Chinese pianist Yuan Sheng plays Debussy Saturday in La Grua Center

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Break out the chalk pastels! Sketch lush landscapes on the cobblestones! Watch the qualities of light and color gently shift and twirl as the gloaming descends, the wicks of the gas lamps ignited, and a gentle rain begins to fall like tears in an Eric Clapton ballad!

No, I'm not actually listening to an Eric Clapton ballad. Far from it. In fact, these atmospheric images are summoned by the lulling majesty in my headphones from the works of Claude Debussy. And not just "the hits," either. Why, I've heard already Berceuse heroiique, Masques, Children's Corner Suite, Preludes, Book II; and Estampes.

Magnificent — and it so happens those are the precise compositions on Saturday's "Music Matters" program at the La Grua Center in Stonington. The performer is virtuoso Chinese pianist Yuan Sheng, who is globally renowned for his interpretations of Bach. Recently, Sheng has turned his attention to Debussy and is in the midst of a year-long project wherein he's recording all of the French genius's solo piano works.

Sheng should be in top form for this wonderfully conceptualized set. Chalk pastels optional.

Yuan Sheng, Music Matters, 5 p.m. Saturday, La Grua Center, 32 Water St., Stonington; $15, 18 and under free; (860) 535-2300.


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