Claude Debussy
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/960x540/p01bqk7d.jpg
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.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Claude Debussy Performances & Interviews


Claude Debussy Tracks

Claude Debussy
L'Isle Joyeuse
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
L'Isle Joyeuse

Sort by

Claude Debussy
Jeux
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Jeux
Claude Debussy
Preludes book 1: La danse de Puck
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Preludes book 1: La danse de Puck
Claude Debussy
Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orléans
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orléans

Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orléans

Singer
Ivana Garaj Korpar
Martina Borse
Loredana Medan
Marin Kopilovic
Tomislav Mestric
Claude Debussy
Beau Soir
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Beau Soir
Claude Debussy
De fleurs (Proses lyriques)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
De fleurs (Proses lyriques)
Claude Debussy
Clair de lune (from Suite Bergamasque)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Clair de lune (from Suite Bergamasque)
Claude Debussy
Valse romantique
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Valse romantique
Claude Debussy
Marche écossaise
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Marche écossaise
Claude Debussy
Dialogue du vent et de la mer (La Mer)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Dialogue du vent et de la mer (La Mer)
Claude Debussy
La Chevelure (Trois chansons de Bilitis)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
La Chevelure (Trois chansons de Bilitis)
Claude Debussy
Danse sacrée et danse profane
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Danse sacrée et danse profane
Claude Debussy
Trois Nocturnes
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Trois Nocturnes

Trois Nocturnes

Choir
NRCU National Chorus
Director
Lesya Shavlovska
Orchestra
NRCU Symphony Orchestra
Conductor
Vyacheslav Blinov
Claude Debussy
Interlude (Sonata for flute, viola and harp)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Interlude (Sonata for flute, viola and harp)
Claude Debussy
Quartet in G minor, Op.10
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Quartet in G minor, Op.10
Claude Debussy
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Claude Debussy
General Lavine - eccentric (Preludes, Book 2)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
General Lavine - eccentric (Preludes, Book 2)
Claude Debussy
Les fées sont d'exquises danseuses (Preludes, Book 2)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Les fées sont d'exquises danseuses (Preludes, Book 2)
Claude Debussy
L'Isle Joyeuse
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
L'Isle Joyeuse

L'Isle Joyeuse

Performer
Jurate Karosaite
Claude Debussy
Arabesque no 1 in E major [arr. for wind ensemble]
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Arabesque no 1 in E major [arr. for wind ensemble]

Arabesque no 1 in E major [arr. for wind ensemble]

Performer
Béla Horváth
Anita Szabo
Zsolt Szatmari
Gyorgy Salamon
Pal Bokor
Tamas Zempleni
Peter Kubina
Claude Debussy
En blanc et noir for 2 pianos
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
En blanc et noir for 2 pianos

En blanc et noir for 2 pianos

Performer
Lestari Scholtes
Gwylim Janssens
Claude Debussy
Marche écossaise
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Marche écossaise
Claude Debussy
Jeux - Poème Dansé
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Jeux - Poème Dansé
Claude Debussy
Jeux de vagues (La mer)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Jeux de vagues (La mer)
Claude Debussy
Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
Claude Debussy
Gigues (Images)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Gigues (Images)
Claude Debussy
Suite Bergamasque: III - Clair de Lune
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Suite Bergamasque: III - Clair de Lune
Claude Debussy
Première rhapsodie
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Première rhapsodie
Claude Debussy
Sonata for Cello and Piano in D Minor [1915]
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Sonata for Cello and Piano in D Minor [1915]
Claude Debussy
Reflets dans l'eau (Images, Bk. 1)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Reflets dans l'eau (Images, Bk. 1)
Claude Debussy
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Preludes, Bk 1)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Preludes, Bk 1)
Claude Debussy
La cathédrale engloutie (Preludes, Book 1)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
La cathédrale engloutie (Preludes, Book 1)
Claude Debussy
L'isle joyeuse
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
L'isle joyeuse

L'isle joyeuse

Orchestrator
Bernardo Molinari
Last played on
Claude Debussy
La Mer - trois esquisses symphoniques
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
La Mer - trois esquisses symphoniques
Claude Debussy
String Quartet in G minor (Op.10)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
String Quartet in G minor (Op.10)

String Quartet in G minor (Op.10)

Ensemble
Tilev String Quartet
Claude Debussy
Petite Suite orch Busser (En bateau)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Petite Suite orch Busser (En bateau)
Claude Debussy
Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
Claude Debussy
Premier Trio In G Major For Piano And Strings
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Premier Trio In G Major For Piano And Strings
Claude Debussy
Six Epigraphes Antiques
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Six Epigraphes Antiques
Claude Debussy
Rêverie arr Cassidy for string quartet
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Rêverie arr Cassidy for string quartet
Claude Debussy
Les parfums de la nuit (Ibéria)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Les parfums de la nuit (Ibéria)
Claude Debussy
Trois Melodies
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Trois Melodies
Claude Debussy
L' isle joyeuse
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
L' isle joyeuse
Claude Debussy
Feux d'artifice (Preludes, Book 2)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Feux d'artifice (Preludes, Book 2)
Claude Debussy
La plus que lente
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
La plus que lente
Claude Debussy
Minstrels, Prelude No 12, Book 1
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Minstrels, Prelude No 12, Book 1
Claude Debussy
Clair de lune orch Caplet
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Clair de lune orch Caplet
Claude Debussy
Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
Claude Debussy
Danse profane (Danse sacrée et danse profane)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Danse profane (Danse sacrée et danse profane)
Claude Debussy
En bateau (Petite suite)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
En bateau (Petite suite)
Claude Debussy
Petite suite
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Petite suite
Load more tracks

Latest Claude Debussy News

    8 essential music books, and the reasons why
    Where to start with the wealth of music books out there? We asked eight music writers to tells us about a favourite...
    Alistair McGowan on Erik Satie, bohemian and composer of chill
    The comedian reveals his love for the French composer ahead of performing as part of PCM 3: A Satie cabaret
    Play on! How Shakespeare inspired 400 years of music
    A brief history of music's love for the Bard - in 6 Proms
    7 things to see at the Proms (if you think you don't like classical music)
    As tickets go on sale for the 2016 season, we look at a small selection that sums up the spirit of the festival
Back to artist