The Suite bergamasque is one of the most famous piano suites by Claude Debussy. It was first composed by Debussy around 1890, at the age of 28, but was significantly revised just before its publication in 1905.
The composer was loath to publish these relatively early piano compositions because they were not in his mature style, but in 1905 accepted the offer of a publisher who thought they would be successful given the fame Debussy had won in the intervening fifteen years. While it is not known how much of the Suite was written in 1890 and how much was written in 1905, it is clear that Debussy changed the names of at least two of the pieces. Passepied had first been composed under the name "Pavane", while "Clair de lune" was originally titled "Promenade sentimentale". These names also come from Paul Verlaine's poems. The final title of Suite bergamasque comes from Verlaine's poem "Clair de lune", which refers to bergamasks in its opening stanza:
Performances & Interviews
- Clair de lunehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05smlv4.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05smlv4.jpg2016-02-19T19:00:00.000Z4 Extra Debut. An exploration of Claude Debussy's music for piano, which was inspired by a poem about moonlight. With Phil Cool. From February 2006.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b0076x76
Clair de lune4 Extra Debut. An exploration of Claude Debussy's music for piano, which was inspired by a poem about moonlight. With Phil Cool. From February 2006.