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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » D » Debussy, Claude



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Claude Debussy (8/22/1862 - 3/25/1918)

Claude Debussy has exercised widespread influence over later generations of composers, both in his native France and elsewhere. He was trained at the Paris Conservatoire, and decided there on a career as a composer rather than as a pianist (his original intention). His highly characteristic musical language, thoroughly French in inspiration, extended the contemporary limits of harmony and form, and he had a remarkably delicate command of nuance, whether in piano writing or in the handling of a relatively large orchestra.

Operas

Debussy attempted many operas, two based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe, but he completed only one: Pelléas et Mélisande, a version of the medieval play by Maurice Maeterlinck, with its story of idealised love perfectly matched by the composer’s musical idiom.

Orchestral Music

The most influential piece of orchestral music by Debussy is the Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (‘Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun’), based on a poem by Mallarmé. This was later used for a ballet, with choreography by Nijinsky, who created a considerable scandal at the first performance. The music evokes a pagan world, as the satyr of the title takes his ease in the afternoon shade on a summer day.

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Discography


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Domenico Scarlatti Keyboard Sonatas – 15 Volumes on Naxos



 

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9:28:36 PM Saturday, November 01, 2014  -211-