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 is sometimes seen 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 when he achieved 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 (1897–1899) 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 six planned sonatas for different combinations of instruments.

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Claude Debussy Performances & Interviews


Claude Debussy Tracks

Claude Debussy
Suite bergamasque for piano
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Suite bergamasque for piano

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Claude Debussy
Prelude - book 1 no.10 La Cathedrale Engloutie
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Prelude - book 1 no.10 La Cathedrale Engloutie
Claude Debussy
Petite suite orch Busser (Ballet)
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Petite suite orch Busser (Ballet)
Claude Debussy
Sonate en Trio for flute, viola and harp
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Sonate en Trio for flute, viola and harp
Claude Debussy
Sonata In D Minor For cello and piano
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Sonata In D Minor For cello and piano
Claude Debussy
En Blanc et Noir
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En Blanc et Noir
Claude Debussy
Berceuse Heroique
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Berceuse Heroique

Berceuse Heroique

Orchestra
French Radio Orchestra
Conductor
Claude Debussy
3 Chansons de Charles d'Orleans
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3 Chansons de Charles d'Orleans
Claude Debussy
Jeux
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Jeux
Claude Debussy
3 Poemes De Mallarme
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3 Poemes De Mallarme
Claude Debussy
La Plus Que Lente
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La Plus Que Lente
Claude Debussy
Images - Rondes de Printemps
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Images - Rondes de Printemps
Claude Debussy
Images set 2 - Poissons d'or
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Images set 2 - Poissons d'or
Claude Debussy
Children's Corner - Serenade for the Doll
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Children's Corner - Serenade for the Doll
Claude Debussy
Fetes galantes - volume 2 for voice and piano (1904)
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Fetes galantes - volume 2 for voice and piano (1904)
Claude Debussy
La chevelure, from Chansons de Bilitis
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La chevelure, from Chansons de Bilitis
Claude Debussy
String Quartet in G minor, Op 10
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String Quartet in G minor, Op 10
Claude Debussy
La Mer - mvt 3 Dialogue du vent et de la mer
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La Mer - mvt 3 Dialogue du vent et de la mer
Claude Debussy
Images - mvt 1 - Reflets dans l'eau
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Images - mvt 1 - Reflets dans l'eau
Claude Debussy
L' Isle Joyeuse
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L' Isle Joyeuse
Claude Debussy
3 Chansons De France
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3 Chansons De France
Claude Debussy
Estampes
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Estampes
Claude Debussy
Masques
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Masques
Claude Debussy
Nocturnes
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Nocturnes
Claude Debussy
Chansons De Bilitis
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Chansons De Bilitis
Claude Debussy
Pelleas et Melisande - Concert Suite (excerpt) Act III-IV-V
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Pelleas et Melisande - Concert Suite (excerpt) Act III-IV-V
Claude Debussy
Images (oubliees) No.2
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Images (oubliees) No.2
Claude Debussy
L'isle joyeuse
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L'isle joyeuse
Claude Debussy
Clair de lune (Suite bergamasque)
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Clair de lune (Suite bergamasque)
Claude Debussy
La cathedrale engloutie (Preludes Book 1)
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La cathedrale engloutie (Preludes Book 1)
Claude Debussy
Sirènes (Nocturnes)
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Sirènes (Nocturnes)
Claude Debussy
Cello Sonata in D minor
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Cello Sonata in D minor
Claude Debussy
Canopes from Preludes
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Canopes from Preludes
Claude Debussy
Danse 'Tarantelle styrienne'
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Danse 'Tarantelle styrienne'

Danse 'Tarantelle styrienne'

Orchestrator
Orchestra
Lyon Opera Orchestra
Last played on
Claude Debussy
Nocturnes for orchestra
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Nocturnes for orchestra

Nocturnes for orchestra

Choir
Women's Voices of the NFM Chorus
Orchestra
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Katowice
Claude Debussy
Beau Soir
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Beau Soir

Beau Soir

Music Arranger
Performer
Anastasia Kobekina
Jean-Selim Abdelmoula
Claude Debussy
Danse, L. 69 (Tarantelle Styrienne)
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Danse, L. 69 (Tarantelle Styrienne)
Claude Debussy
Arabesque No.2
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Arabesque No.2
Claude Debussy
Poissons d'or (Images, Set 2)
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Poissons d'or (Images, Set 2)
Claude Debussy
Suite bergamasque
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Suite bergamasque
Claude Debussy
Danse sacree et danse profane for harp and strings
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Danse sacree et danse profane for harp and strings
Claude Debussy
Syrinx for solo flute
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Syrinx for solo flute

Syrinx for solo flute

Performer
Ivica Gabrisova-Encingerova
Claude Debussy
La Mer: De l'aube a midi sur la mer
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La Mer: De l'aube a midi sur la mer
Claude Debussy
Saxophone Rhapsody
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Saxophone Rhapsody
Claude Debussy
Preludes, Book 1; Ce Qu'a Vu Le Vent d'Ouest
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Preludes, Book 1; Ce Qu'a Vu Le Vent d'Ouest
Claude Debussy
No.11 La danse de Puck - from Preludes Book One
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No.11 La danse de Puck - from Preludes Book One
Claude Debussy
La cathédrale engloutie (Preludes, Book 1)
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La cathédrale engloutie (Preludes, Book 1)
Claude Debussy
Chansons de Bilitis
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Chansons de Bilitis

Chansons de Bilitis

Performer
Niamh McKenna
Kaisa Kortelainen
Lior Ouziel
Juhani Lagerspetz
Claude Debussy
Mazurka
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Mazurka
Claude Debussy
Jardins sous la pluie (Estampes)
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Jardins sous la pluie (Estampes)
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