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

Claude Debussy Biography (BBC)

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

Claude Debussy Biography (Wikipedia)

Achille-Claude Debussy (22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918) was a French composer. He was seen, during his lifetime and afterwards, as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Born to a family of modest means and little cultural involvement, Debussy showed enough musical talent to be admitted at the age of ten to France's leading music college, the Conservatoire de Paris. He originally studied the piano, but found his vocation in innovative composition, despite the disapproval of the Conservatoire's conservative professors. He took many years to develop his mature style, and was nearly 40 before achieving international fame in 1902 with the only opera he completed, Pelléas et Mélisande.

Debussy's orchestral works include Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (1894), Nocturnes (1897–99) and Images (1905–1912). His music was to a considerable extent a reaction against Wagner and the German musical tradition. He regarded the classical symphony as obsolete and sought an alternative in his "symphonic sketches", La mer (1903–1905). His piano works include two books of Préludes and two of Études. Throughout his career he wrote mélodies based on a wide variety of poetry, including his own. He was greatly influenced by the Symbolist poetic movement of the later 19th century. A small number of works, including the early La Damoiselle élue and the late Le Martyre de saint Sébastien have important parts for chorus. In his final years, he focused on chamber music, completing three of a planned six sonatas for different combinations of instruments.

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Claude Debussy Performances & Interviews


Claude Debussy Tracks

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Claude Debussy
La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin
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La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin
Claude Debussy
Jeux
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Jeux
Claude Debussy
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)

Performer
Anita Szabo
Béla Horváth
Zsolt Szatmari
Pal Bokor
Peter Kubina
Gyorgy Salamon
Tamas Zempleni
Claude Debussy
String Quartet in G minor, Op 10
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String Quartet in G minor, Op 10
Claude Debussy
Nocturnes
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Nocturnes
Claude Debussy
Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
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Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
Claude Debussy
Preludes (excepts)
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Preludes (excepts)
Claude Debussy
Petite suite for piano duet
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Petite suite for piano duet
Claude Debussy
Ariettes Oubliées; No.1 C'est l'extase
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Ariettes Oubliées; No.1 C'est l'extase
Claude Debussy
Images - set 2 for piano
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Images - set 2 for piano
Claude Debussy
Clair de Lune
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Clair de Lune
Claude Debussy
Estampes: No 2 - La soiree dans Grenade...Mouvement de Habanera
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Estampes: No 2 - La soiree dans Grenade...Mouvement de Habanera
Claude Debussy
Bruyères (Preludes Bk.2 no.5)
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Bruyères (Preludes Bk.2 no.5)
Claude Debussy
Syrinx
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Syrinx
Claude Debussy
Clair de Lune
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Clair de Lune
Claude Debussy
Chansons de Bilitis - 3 melodies for voice & piano (1897)
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Chansons de Bilitis - 3 melodies for voice & piano (1897)
Claude Debussy
String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10: 3rd mvt
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String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10: 3rd mvt
Claude Debussy
La Mer
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La Mer
Claude Debussy
Les fées sont d'exquises danseuses (Preludes, Book 2)
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Les fées sont d'exquises danseuses (Preludes, Book 2)
Claude Debussy
Quartet for strings (Op.10) in G minor
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Quartet for strings (Op.10) in G minor

Quartet for strings (Op.10) in G minor

Ensemble
RTE Vanbrugh String Quartet
Claude Debussy
Tarantelle styrienne (Danse)
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Tarantelle styrienne (Danse)
Claude Debussy
L'isle joyeuse
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L'isle joyeuse
Claude Debussy
Sonata for cello and piano in D minor
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Sonata for cello and piano in D minor
Claude Debussy
Preludes, Book II, L. 123: No. 12 Feux d'artifice
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Preludes, Book II, L. 123: No. 12 Feux d'artifice
Claude Debussy
Preludes, Book II, L. 123: No. 10. Canope
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Preludes, Book II, L. 123: No. 10. Canope
Claude Debussy
Poissons d'or (Images, Set 2)
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Poissons d'or (Images, Set 2)
Claude Debussy
Sonata for Flute, Viola & Harp (L. 137)
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Sonata for Flute, Viola & Harp (L. 137)
Claude Debussy
Preludes, Book 1; no.7; Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest
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Preludes, Book 1; no.7; Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest
Claude Debussy
Preludes, Book 1; no.8; La Fille aux cheveux de lin
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Preludes, Book 1; no.8; La Fille aux cheveux de lin
Claude Debussy
Fêtes galantes Vol.1 L86
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Fêtes galantes Vol.1 L86
Claude Debussy
Estampes [1903]
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Estampes [1903]
Claude Debussy
La damoilselle elue
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La damoilselle elue
Claude Debussy
Premiere rhapsodie for clarinet and orchestra
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Premiere rhapsodie for clarinet and orchestra
Claude Debussy
Valse romantique
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Valse romantique
Claude Debussy
Danseuses de Delphes, La cathedrale engloutie
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Danseuses de Delphes, La cathedrale engloutie
Claude Debussy
Premiere rapsodie for clarinet and orchestra
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Premiere rapsodie for clarinet and orchestra

Premiere rapsodie for clarinet and orchestra

Orchestra
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava
Claude Debussy
Dr Gradus ad Parnassum (Children's Corner)
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Dr Gradus ad Parnassum (Children's Corner)
Claude Debussy
Claire de Lune
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Claire de Lune

Claire de Lune

Performer
Thomas Vasary
Claude Debussy
Tarantelle styrienne (Danse) orch. Ravel
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Tarantelle styrienne (Danse) orch. Ravel
Claude Debussy
Chansons de Bilitis - 3 melodies for voice and piano
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Chansons de Bilitis - 3 melodies for voice and piano
Claude Debussy
Syrinx
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Syrinx

Syrinx

Performer
Ruth Morley
Claude Debussy
Children's Corner
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Children's Corner
Claude Debussy
La damoiselle élue
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La damoiselle élue
Claude Debussy
Preludes, Book 1: Nos. 4 & 5
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Preludes, Book 1: Nos. 4 & 5
Claude Debussy
Fêtes (Nocturnes)
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Fêtes (Nocturnes)
Claude Debussy
L'Isle Joyeuse
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L'Isle Joyeuse
Claude Debussy
Clair de lune
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Clair de lune
Claude Debussy
Reflets dans l'eau (Images, Set 1)
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Reflets dans l'eau (Images, Set 1)
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