Claude Debussy
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1862-08-22
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/be50643c-0377-4968-b48c-47e06b2e2a3b
Claude Debussy Claude Debussy Claude Debussy Claude Debussy

Biography

Charting Debussy’s education tells us little about his roots. His rebellion against his teacher’s admonishment of his delight in a series of ‘forbidden’ harmonies resulted in his conclusion that ‘mon plaisir’ was the only rule: individuality and hedonism were all ...

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Biography

Charting Debussy’s education tells us little about his roots. His rebellion against his teacher’s admonishment of his delight in a series of ‘forbidden’ harmonies resulted in his conclusion that ‘mon plaisir’ was the only rule: individuality and hedonism were all that mattered. His real teachers were close friends, lovers (sometimes), literature of many sorts and, perhaps, painting.

In his youth he was introduced to contemporary French poetry – particularly that of Banville, Verlaine and Mallarmé – through a relationship with an older woman. From song-writing he moved on to cantatas such as La damoiselle élue, a setting of a poem by the English Pre-Raphaelite poet-painter Rossetti. Debussy’s one outstanding operatic venture, Pelléas et Mélisande, occupied him for much of the 1890s, but in this decade he also deepened his ability to parallel the work of contemporary poets, both in songs and in the purely orchestral Prélude à L’après-midi d’un faune.

Another side of his output has often been compared to Impressionist painting. But the painter whose work is closer to Debussy’s ideas was James McNeill Whistler, whose series of works entitled Nocturnes may be connected to the composer’s orchestral triptych of 1897–9.

Never complacent and always seeking new challenges in every aspect of composition, in the new century he would turn to the evocation of entirely different places. Most celebrated is his only piece that resembles a symphony: La mer. It captures not only the sounds and rhythms of the sea, but also the changing weather and time of day. Further exploits – including the orchestral Images – would take Debussy to Spain.

Alongside these masterpieces of orchestral evocation, Debussy also developed a highly personal piano style. Perhaps the first piece to show a marked difference from his earlier piano music was the first piece from the two books of Images for piano, ‘Reflets dans l’eau’. Its rippling arpeggios, bathed in pedal, pioneered a new Impressionist piano style.

In the two books of Préludes for piano Debussy showed the infinite variety of his imagination. Enigmatically printed with the titles at the end rather than at the beginning, almost all the pieces have some kind of extramusical association: perhaps with a place, or a literary idea. The sequel to the Préludes was a set of pieces with no associations other than to themselves: a set of 12 piano Études.

Among the composer’s last works, the ballet Jeux is regarded as a highlight, and of the six planned late sonatas only three were written. Of the three unwritten sonatas, that for the extraordinary combination of oboe, horn and harpsichord must rank among the most lamented of planned works never to have reached fruition.

Profile © Richard Langham Smith

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Claude Debussy & Angela Hewitt
Suite bergamasque for piano, Passepied
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Suite bergamasque for piano, Passepied Suite bergamasque for piano, Passepied Suite bergamasque for piano, Passepied Suite bergamasque for piano, Passepied
Claude Debussy, Jun Märkl & Orchestre National de Lyon
La Boite a joujoux orch. compl. Caplet; Danse de la poupee
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La Boite a joujoux orch. compl. Caplet; Danse de la poupee La Boite a joujoux orch. compl. Caplet; Danse de la poupee La Boite a joujoux orch. compl. Caplet; Danse de la poupee La Boite a joujoux orch. compl. Caplet; Danse de la poupee
Claude Debussy, Jukka-Pekka Saraste & Oslo-Filharmonien
Jeux - Poème Dansé
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Jeux - Poème Dansé Jeux - Poème Dansé Jeux - Poème Dansé Jeux - Poème Dansé
Claude Debussy, Bernard Haitink & Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Fetes from Nocturnes for orchestra, no.2
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Fetes from Nocturnes for orchestra, no.2 Fetes from Nocturnes for orchestra, no.2 Fetes from Nocturnes for orchestra, no.2 Fetes from Nocturnes for orchestra, no.2
Claude Debussy & Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
Estampes - La soiree dans Grenade
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Estampes - La soiree dans Grenade Estampes - La soiree dans Grenade Estampes - La soiree dans Grenade Estampes - La soiree dans Grenade
Claude Debussy & Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
2 Arabesques for piano, no.1 in E major;
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2 Arabesques for piano, no.1 in E major; 2 Arabesques for piano, no.1 in E major; 2 Arabesques for piano, no.1 in E major; 2 Arabesques for piano, no.1 in E major;
Claude Debussy, Zara Nelsova & Grant Johannesen
Sonata for cello and piano in D minor
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Sonata for cello and piano in D minor Sonata for cello and piano in D minor Sonata for cello and piano in D minor Sonata for cello and piano in D minor
Claude Debussy, Orchestre National de Lyon, Jun Märkl & Maurice Ravel
Tarantelle styrienne (Danse), orch. Ravel
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Tarantelle styrienne (Danse), orch. Ravel Tarantelle styrienne (Danse), orch. Ravel Tarantelle styrienne (Danse), orch. Ravel Tarantelle styrienne (Danse), orch. Ravel
Claude Debussy
Petite suite for piano duet (Minuet and Ballet)
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Petite suite for piano duet (Minuet and Ballet) Petite suite for piano duet (Minuet and Ballet) Petite suite for piano duet (Minuet and Ballet) Petite suite for piano duet (Minuet and Ballet)
Claude Debussy, Sir Mark Elder & Hallé Orchestra
Preludes orch. Colin Matthews [orig. for piano], General Lavine - eccentric
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Preludes orch. Colin Matthews [orig. for piano], General Lavine - eccentric Preludes orch. Colin Matthews [orig. for piano], General Lavine - eccentric Preludes orch. Colin Matthews [orig. for piano], General Lavine - eccentric Preludes orch. Colin Matthews [orig. for piano], General Lavine - eccentric
Franklin Cohen, Claude Debussy, The Cleveland Orchestra & Pierre Boulez
Premiere Rhapsodie for clarinet and orchestra
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Premiere Rhapsodie for clarinet and orchestra Premiere Rhapsodie for clarinet and orchestra Premiere Rhapsodie for clarinet and orchestra Premiere Rhapsodie for clarinet and orchestra
Claude Debussy, Bernard Haitink & Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire
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Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire
Claude Debussy, Los Angeles Philharmonic & Carlo Maria Giulini
La Mer - 3 symphonic sketches for orchestra, no.2; Jeux de vagues
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La Mer - 3 symphonic sketches for orchestra, no.2; Jeux de vagues La Mer - 3 symphonic sketches for orchestra, no.2; Jeux de vagues La Mer - 3 symphonic sketches for orchestra, no.2; Jeux de vagues La Mer - 3 symphonic sketches for orchestra, no.2; Jeux de vagues
Claude Debussy & Juliette Hurel (flute)
Syrinx
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Syrinx Syrinx Syrinx Syrinx
Claude Debussy & Nadine Koutcher sop. and Llyr Williams piano
Pierrot
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Pierrot Pierrot Pierrot Pierrot
Claude Debussy, Llyr Williams & Regula Muhlemann
4 Chansons De Jeunesse, - Pantomime
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4 Chansons De Jeunesse, - Pantomime 4 Chansons De Jeunesse, - Pantomime 4 Chansons De Jeunesse, - Pantomime 4 Chansons De Jeunesse, - Pantomime
Claude Debussy, deFilharmonie, Brewaeys, Luc & Daniele Callegari
No.1 Danseuses de Delphes (Preludes book 1)
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No.1 Danseuses de Delphes (Preludes book 1) No.1 Danseuses de Delphes (Preludes book 1) No.1 Danseuses de Delphes (Preludes book 1) No.1 Danseuses de Delphes (Preludes book 1)
Claude Debussy & Iwan Llewelyn-Jones
La soirée dans Grenade - no.2 from Estampes
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La soirée dans Grenade - no.2 from Estampes La soirée dans Grenade - no.2 from Estampes La soirée dans Grenade - no.2 from Estampes La soirée dans Grenade - no.2 from Estampes
Claude Debussy, Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française, Maurice Ravel & Jean Martinon
Danse (Tarantelle Styrienne)
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Danse (Tarantelle Styrienne) Danse (Tarantelle Styrienne) Danse (Tarantelle Styrienne) Danse (Tarantelle Styrienne)
Claude Debussy, Rebecca Taylor & Celine Forrest
Proses Lyriques For Voice And Piano [words: Debussy] - De fleurs
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Proses Lyriques For Voice And Piano [words: Debussy] - De fleurs Proses Lyriques For Voice And Piano [words: Debussy] - De fleurs Proses Lyriques For Voice And Piano [words: Debussy] - De fleurs Proses Lyriques For Voice And Piano [words: Debussy] - De fleurs
Maurizio Pollini & Claude Debussy
Preludes - book 1, no.12; Minstrels
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Preludes - book 1, no.12; Minstrels Preludes - book 1, no.12; Minstrels Preludes - book 1, no.12; Minstrels Preludes - book 1, no.12; Minstrels
Claude Debussy & Philippe Cassard
La Cathedrale engloutie - no.10 from Preludes book 1 (1910)
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La Cathedrale engloutie - no.10 from Preludes book 1 (1910) La Cathedrale engloutie - no.10 from Preludes book 1 (1910) La Cathedrale engloutie - no.10 from Preludes book 1 (1910) La Cathedrale engloutie - no.10 from Preludes book 1 (1910)
Claude Debussy & Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
Preludes - book 2, no.8; Ondine
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Preludes - book 2, no.8; Ondine Preludes - book 2, no.8; Ondine Preludes - book 2, no.8; Ondine Preludes - book 2, no.8; Ondine
Claude Debussy, Ilan Volkov & BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
La mer - three symphonic sketches (1902-05)
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La mer - three symphonic sketches (1902-05) La mer - three symphonic sketches (1902-05) La mer - three symphonic sketches (1902-05) La mer - three symphonic sketches (1902-05)
Claude Debussy, James Levine & Jessye Norman
Beau Soir
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Beau Soir Beau Soir Beau Soir Beau Soir
Claude Debussy & Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
Sarabande (Pour le piano)
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Sarabande (Pour le piano) Sarabande (Pour le piano) Sarabande (Pour le piano) Sarabande (Pour le piano)
Claude Debussy & BBC Singers
3 Chansons de Charles d'Orleans
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3 Chansons de Charles d'Orleans 3 Chansons de Charles d'Orleans 3 Chansons de Charles d'Orleans 3 Chansons de Charles d'Orleans
Zoltán Kocsis & Claude Debussy
2 Arabesques, L.66
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2 Arabesques, L.66 2 Arabesques, L.66 2 Arabesques, L.66 2 Arabesques, L.66
Claude Debussy, André Previn & London Symphony Orchestra
Fetes (Trois Nocturnes)
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Fetes (Trois Nocturnes) Fetes (Trois Nocturnes) Fetes (Trois Nocturnes) Fetes (Trois Nocturnes)
Claude Debussy & Noriko Ogawa
Piece pour le vetement du blesse for piano
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Piece pour le vetement du blesse for piano Piece pour le vetement du blesse for piano Piece pour le vetement du blesse for piano Piece pour le vetement du blesse for piano
Tamas Zempleni, Peter Kubina, Zsolt Szatmari, Claude Debussy, Pal Bokor, Anita Szabo, Gyorgy Salamon, Béla Horváth & Zoltán Kocsis
Mazurka (L.67) arr. Kocsis
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Mazurka (L.67) arr. Kocsis Mazurka (L.67) arr. Kocsis Mazurka (L.67) arr. Kocsis Mazurka (L.67) arr. Kocsis

Mazurka (L.67) arr. Kocsis

Performer
Tamas Zempleni
Peter Kubina
Zsolt Szatmari
Pal Bokor
Anita Szabo
Gyorgy Salamon
Béla Horváth
Music Arranger
Tamas Zempleni, Peter Kubina, Zsolt Szatmari, Claude Debussy, Pal Bokor, Anita Szabo, Gyorgy Salamon & Béla Horváth
Arabesque No.2 (Allegretto scherzando) (L.66, no.2)
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Arabesque No.2 (Allegretto scherzando) (L.66, no.2) Arabesque No.2 (Allegretto scherzando) (L.66, no.2) Arabesque No.2 (Allegretto scherzando) (L.66, no.2) Arabesque No.2 (Allegretto scherzando) (L.66, no.2)

Arabesque No.2 (Allegretto scherzando) (L.66, no.2)

Performer
Tamas Zempleni
Peter Kubina
Zsolt Szatmari
Pal Bokor
Anita Szabo
Gyorgy Salamon
Béla Horváth
Claude Debussy, Pierre Boulez, Elisabeth Söderström, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Donald McIntyre & Coro del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
Pelleas et Melisande (Act 1, sc.1)
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Pelleas et Melisande (Act 1, sc.1) Pelleas et Melisande (Act 1, sc.1) Pelleas et Melisande (Act 1, sc.1) Pelleas et Melisande (Act 1, sc.1)
Claude Debussy, Serge Baudo & Česká filharmonie
Danse Profane
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Danse Profane Danse Profane Danse Profane Danse Profane
Claude Debussy & Hinko Haas
Estampes
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Estampes Estampes Estampes Estampes
Claude Debussy & Jean-Yves Thibaudet
D'un cahier d'esquisses for piano
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D'un cahier d'esquisses for piano D'un cahier d'esquisses for piano D'un cahier d'esquisses for piano D'un cahier d'esquisses for piano
Jean-Yves Thibaudet & Claude Debussy
Reverie for piano
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Reverie for piano Reverie for piano Reverie for piano Reverie for piano
Simon Trpchesk & Claude Debussy
Children's corner for piano, Dr Gradus ad Parnassum
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Children's corner for piano, Dr Gradus ad Parnassum Children's corner for piano, Dr Gradus ad Parnassum Children's corner for piano, Dr Gradus ad Parnassum Children's corner for piano, Dr Gradus ad Parnassum
Claude Debussy & Angela Hewitt
2 Arabesques for piano
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2 Arabesques for piano 2 Arabesques for piano 2 Arabesques for piano 2 Arabesques for piano
Claude Debussy, François-Frédéric Guy & Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
Jeux - Poeme Danse
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Jeux - Poeme Danse Jeux - Poeme Danse Jeux - Poeme Danse Jeux - Poeme Danse
Claude Debussy, Les Siècles & François-Xavier Roth
Le matin d'un jour de fete [Iberia - 2nd Movement Of "Images"]
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Le matin d'un jour de fete [Iberia - 2nd Movement Of "Images"] Le matin d'un jour de fete [Iberia - 2nd Movement Of "Images"] Le matin d'un jour de fete [Iberia - 2nd Movement Of "Images"] Le matin d'un jour de fete [Iberia - 2nd Movement Of "Images"]
Lars David Nilsson, Claude Debussy, Paula Hoffman & Pierre Louÿs
Chansons de Bilitis - 3 melodies for voice & piano (1897)
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Chansons de Bilitis - 3 melodies for voice & piano (1897) Chansons de Bilitis - 3 melodies for voice & piano (1897) Chansons de Bilitis - 3 melodies for voice & piano (1897) Chansons de Bilitis - 3 melodies for voice & piano (1897)

Chansons de Bilitis - 3 melodies for voice & piano (1897)

Performer
Lars David Nilsson
Singer
Paula Hoffman
Janine Jansen, Claude Debussy & David Kuijken
Sonata for violin and piano in G minor
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Sonata for violin and piano in G minor Sonata for violin and piano in G minor Sonata for violin and piano in G minor Sonata for violin and piano in G minor
Claude Debussy, Philharmonia Orchestra & Esa-Pekka Salonen
La damoiselle élue
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La damoiselle élue La damoiselle élue La damoiselle élue La damoiselle élue
Claude Debussy, Erna Spoorenberg, Ernest Ansermet, Swiss Romande Orchestra & Camille Maurane
Pelleas and Melisande - Act 4 (conclusion)
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Pelleas and Melisande - Act 4 (conclusion) Pelleas and Melisande - Act 4 (conclusion) Pelleas and Melisande - Act 4 (conclusion) Pelleas and Melisande - Act 4 (conclusion)
Claude Debussy, Wiener Philharmoniker, François Le Roux, Claudio Abbado & José van Dam
Pelleas and Melisande - Act 3 (excerpt)
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Pelleas and Melisande - Act 3 (excerpt) Pelleas and Melisande - Act 3 (excerpt) Pelleas and Melisande - Act 3 (excerpt) Pelleas and Melisande - Act 3 (excerpt)
Pascal Rogé, Claude Debussy
Images - set 1 for piano, no.1; Reflets dans l'eau
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Images - set 1 for piano, no.1; Reflets dans l'eau Images - set 1 for piano, no.1; Reflets dans l'eau Images - set 1 for piano, no.1; Reflets dans l'eau Images - set 1 for piano, no.1; Reflets dans l'eau
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