[122] The chord sequences played by Debussy include some of the elements identified by Reti. Many of these early recordings have been reissued on CD. Claude Debussy was born in St. Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, France. [46], Debussy abandoned Dupont for her friend Marie-Rosalie Texier, known as "Lilly", whom he married in October 1899, after threatening suicide if she refused him. He remarked to a colleague that if Wagner, Mozart and Beethoven could come to his door and ask him to play, Lesure, p. 4; Fulcher, p. 101; Lockspeiser, p. 235; and Nichols (1998), p. 3, Lockspeiser, p. 6; Jensen, p. 4; and Lesure, p. 85, Lockspeiser, p. 6; and Trezise (2003), p. xiv, Lockspeiser, pp. [82] Jeux was unfortunate in its timing: two weeks after the premiere, in March 1913, Diaghilev presented the first performance of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, a sensational event that monopolised discussion in musical circles, and effectively sidelined Jeux along with Fauré's Pénélope, which had opened a week before. [93] Debussy's biographer Edward Lockspeiser comments that this movement shows the composer's rejection of "the traditional dictum that string instruments should be predominantly lyrical". Some critics thought the treatment less subtle and less mysterious than his previous works, and even a step backward; others praised its "power and charm", its "extraordinary verve and brilliant fantasy", and its strong colours and definite lines. In 2018, to mark the centenary of the composer's death, Warner Classics, with contributions from other companies, issued a 33-CD set that is claimed to include all the music Debussy wrote. 20–21; Walsh (2003), Chapter 1; and Jensen, pp. Marmontel said of him "A charming child, a truly artistic temperament; much can be expected of him". [107] The Études (1915) for piano have divided opinion. Some user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. I would recommend this 2 disc album for anyone new to Debussy or for background music while you work or relax. [55] The complete set was given the following year. Much of his music from this period is on a small scale, such as the Two Arabesques, Valse romantique, Suite bergamasque, and the first set of Fêtes galantes. 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. 4.5 out of 5 stars 24. [6] In 1888 and 1889 he went to the annual festivals of Wagner's operas at Bayreuth. [146], Debussy's literary inspirations were mostly French, but he did not overlook foreign writers. For three months, Debussy attended rehearsals practically every day. [n 9] For most of 1901 he had a sideline as music critic of La Revue Blanche, adopting the pen name "Monsieur Croche". Recent analysts have found it a link between traditional continuity and thematic growth within a score and the desire to create discontinuity in a way mirrored in later 20th century music. [161], The pianist Stephen Hough believes that Debussy's influence also extends to jazz and suggests that Reflets dans l'eau can be heard in the harmonies of Bill Evans. [100] The composer Olivier Messiaen was fascinated by its "extraordinary harmonic qualities and ... transparent instrumental texture". [46] The engagement was broken off, and several of Debussy's friends and supporters disowned him, including Ernest Chausson, hitherto one of his strongest supporters. [102][n 13] The three-part, cyclic symphony by César Franck (1888) was more to his liking, and its influence can be found in La mer (1905); this uses a quasi-symphonic form, its three sections making up a giant sonata-form movement with, as Orledge observes, a cyclic theme, in the manner of Franck. [2], The application of the term "Impressionist" to Debussy and the music he influenced has been much debated, both during his lifetime and since. [121], In 1889, Debussy held conversations with his former teacher Guiraud, which included exploration of harmonic possibilities at the piano. [47], In terms of musical recognition, Debussy made a step forward in December 1894, when the symphonic poem Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, based on Stéphane Mallarmé's poem, was premiered at a concert of the Société Nationale. Audio CD. At the turn of the 20th century he was one of the most prominent figures in music and his contributions to the world of music are still enjoyed today. Claude Debussy was born into a poor family in France in 1862, but his obvious gift at the piano sent him to the Paris Conservatory at age 11. [70] The ensuing scandal caused Bardac's family to disown her, and Debussy lost many good friends including Dukas and Messager. [41] He travelled to Maeterlinck's home in Ghent in November to secure his consent to an operatic adaptation. The First World War was still raging and Paris was under German aerial and artillery bombardment. Danse profane, Debussy: Children's Corner, Suite Bergamasque, Images, The Ultimate Most Relaxing Debussy in the Universe, Debussy: Clair de Lune and Other Piano Favourites, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. His music was to a considerable extent a reaction against Wagner and the German musical tradition. He has become recognizable over the years as one of the most notable and influential French musical composers that has ever lived. [10] The following year he secured a job as pianist in the household of Nadezhda von Meck, the patroness of Tchaikovsky. Debussy enlisted the help of André Caplet in orchestrating and arranging the score. Frederick H. Martens). [2][9] The shop was unsuccessful, and closed in 1864; the family moved to Paris, first living with Victorine's mother, in Clichy, and, from 1868, in their own apartment in the Rue Saint-Honoré. He was greatly influenced by the Symbolist poetic movement of the later 19th century. [2] The suite Pour le piano (1894–1901) is, in Halford's view, one of the first examples of the mature Debussy as a composer for the piano: "a major landmark ... and an enlargement of the use of piano sonorities". [128] He drew inspiration from what he called Palestrina's "harmony created by melody", finding an arabesque-like quality in the melodic lines. Claude Debussy, in full Achille-Claude Debussy, (born August 22, 1862, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France—died March 25, 1918, Paris), French composer whose works were a seminal force in the music of the 20th century. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term. "[88] In 1988 the composer and scholar Wilfrid Mellers wrote of Debussy: Because of, rather than in spite of, his preoccupation with chords in themselves, he deprived music of the sense of harmonic progression, broke down three centuries' dominance of harmonic tonality, and showed how the melodic conceptions of tonality typical of primitive folk-music and of medieval music might be relevant to the twentieth century"[89]. Nature in all its vastness is truthfully reflected in my sincere though feeble soul. A year later he described Debussy as "desperately careless". The total playing time is an enjoyable 77.02 minutes. They stayed at the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne in July and August, where Debussy corrected the proofs of his symphonic sketches La mer, celebrating his divorce on 2 August. [131] He was torn between dedicating his own Études to Chopin or to François Couperin, whom he also admired as a model of form, seeing himself as heir to their mastery of the genre. [40] He also attended two concerts of Rimsky-Korsakov's music, conducted by the composer. The funeral procession made its way through deserted streets to a temporary grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery as the German guns bombarded the city. [162], In 1904, Debussy played the piano accompaniment for Mary Garden in recordings for the Compagnie française du Gramophone of four of his songs: three mélodies from the Verlaine cycle Ariettes oubliées – "Il pleure dans mon coeur", "L'ombre des arbres" and "Green" – and "Mes longs cheveux", from Act III of Pelléas et Mélisande. [142], With the advent of the First World War, Debussy became ardently patriotic in his musical opinions. [10][22] His first compositions date from this period, two settings of poems by Alfred de Musset: "Ballade à la lune" and "Madrid, princesse des Espagnes". [2] En blanc et noir (In white and black, 1915), a three-movement work for two pianos, is a predominantly sombre piece, reflecting the war and national danger. [10], In 1870, to escape the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War, Debussy's pregnant mother took him and his sister Adèle to their paternal aunt's home in Cannes, where they remained until the following year. "), and audiences ("their almost drugged expression of boredom, indifference and even stupidity"). [2], Debussy is widely regarded as one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. [41], In February 1894 Debussy completed the first draft of Act I of his operatic version of Pelléas et Mélisande, and for most of the year worked to complete the work. Let us know what you think of the Last.fm website. [12][n 3], Debussy's talents soon became evident, and in 1872, aged ten, he was admitted to the Conservatoire de Paris, where he remained a student for the next eleven years. [46], Like many other composers of the time, Debussy supplemented his income by teaching and writing. (Book 2, 1913). He loved his music – and perhaps himself. 263–267 (Messager and Fauré), Dietschy, p. 125; Nicholas, p. 94; Orledge, p. 21; and Simeone, p. 54. [97] Most of the major works for which Debussy is best known were written between the mid-1890s and the mid-1900s. He was much more impressed by the music of the 16th-century composers Palestrina and Lassus, which he heard at Santa Maria dell'Anima: "The only church music I will accept. March 25, 1918) was a French composer. [24] He composed his Piano Trio in G major for von Meck's ensemble, and made a transcription for piano duet of three dances from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. [61][n 10] The opera opened on 30 April 1902, and although the first-night audience was divided between admirers and sceptics, the work quickly became a success. [n 8] In the same year the first two of Debussy's three orchestral Nocturnes were first performed. [10], With Marmontel's help Debussy secured a summer vacation job in 1879 as resident pianist at the Château de Chenonceau, where he rapidly acquired a taste for luxury that was to remain with him all his life. [51] His success in London was consolidated in April 1909, when he conducted Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune and the Nocturnes at the Queen's Hall;[81] in May he was present at the first London production of Pelléas et Mélisande, at Covent Garden. [116] In 1983 the pianist and scholar Roy Howat published a book contending that certain of Debussy's works are proportioned using mathematical models, even while using an apparent classical structure such as sonata form. [60], In January 1902 rehearsals began at the Opéra-Comique for the opening of Pelléas et Mélisande. Only 6 left in stock - order soon. [83], In 1915 Debussy underwent one of the earliest colostomy operations. [87] In a 2004 study, Mark DeVoto comments that Debussy's early works are harmonically no more adventurous than existing music by Fauré;[94] in a 2007 book about the piano works, Margery Halford observes that Two Arabesques (1888–1891) and "Rêverie" (1890) have "the fluidity and warmth of Debussy's later style" but are not harmonically innovative. He expressed trenchant views on composers ("I hate sentimentality – his name is Camille Saint-Saëns"), institutions (on the Paris Opéra: "A stranger would take it for a railway station, and, once inside, would mistake it for a Turkish bath"), conductors ("Nikisch is a unique virtuoso, so much so that his virtuosity seems to make him forget the claims of good taste"), musical politics ("The English actually think that a musician can manage an opera house successfully! Their sympathiser and self-appointed spokesman Jean Cocteau wrote in 1918: "Enough of nuages, waves, aquariums, ondines and nocturnal perfumes," pointedly alluding to the titles of pieces by Debussy. Died 25 March 1918 (aged 55) Achille-Claude Debussy (22nd August 1862 – 25th … [123] A further improvisation by Debussy during this conversation included a sequence of whole tone harmonies which may have been inspired by the music of Glinka or Rimsky-Korsakov which was becoming known in Paris at this time. "[110], Debussy strongly objected to the use of the word "Impressionism" for his (or anybody else's) music,[n 14] but it has continually been attached to him since the assessors at the Conservatoire first applied it, opprobriously, to his early work Printemps. [2][148][149][150] Roger Nichols writes that "if one omits Schoenberg [...] a list of 20th-century composers influenced by Debussy is practically a list of 20th-century composers tout court. Lockspeiser calls La mer "the greatest example of an orchestral Impressionist work",[114] and more recently in The Cambridge Companion to Debussy Nigel Simeone comments, "It does not seem unduly far-fetched to see a parallel in Monet's seascapes". Debussy did not give his works opus numbers, apart from his String Quartet, Op. 7–8, Nichols (1977), p. 20; and Orenstein, p. 28, Nectoux, pp. Clair de lune, Suite bergamasque: Suite bergamasque: III. Raoul introduced his teacher to his mother, to whom Debussy quickly became greatly attracted. [78][79][80], Debussy and Emma Bardac eventually married in 1908, their troubled union enduring for the rest of his life. When he returned to Paris he set up home on his own, taking a flat in a different arrondissement. "[141] He was not in sympathy with Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Mendelssohn, the latter being described as a "facile and elegant notary". 4.2 out of 5 stars 13. Debussy Greatest Hits is a CD with fourteen delightful pieces of music with each piece ranging from 2.19 minute (only two pieces are below 3.46 minutes, only three, including the two, below 4.31 minutes), and one, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, is nine minutes. Throughout his career he wrote mélodies based on a wide variety of poetry, including his own. [2] In the music of Palestrina, Debussy found what he called "a perfect whiteness", and he felt that although Palestrina's musical forms had a "strict manner", they were more to his taste than the rigid rules prevailing among 19th-century French composers and teachers. I t was a description he always rejected, but Claude Debussy (1862-1918) is often thought of as an impressionist, a musical equivalent to Monet or Renoir. [117] Simon Trezise, in his 1994 book Debussy: La Mer, finds the intrinsic evidence "remarkable," with the caveat that no written or reported evidence suggests that Debussy deliberately sought such proportions. Connect your Spotify account to your Last.fm account and scrobble everything you listen to, from any Spotify app on any device or platform. [2] After Debussy's short Wagnerian phase, he started to become interested in non-Western music and its unfamiliar approaches to composition. A fictionalised and melodramatic dramatisation of the affair. During his stay in Cannes, the seven-year-old Debussy had his first piano lessons; his aunt paid for him to study with an Italian musician, Jean Cerutti. Both were bohemians, enjoying the same café society and struggling to survive financially. You have only to listen. Debussy was there from January 1885 to March 1887, with three or possibly four absences of several weeks when he returned to France, chiefly to see Marie Vasnier.