Claude Debussy wrote this composition of ‘three symphonic sketches’ between 1903 and 1905. Piano Book. Debussy's compositions influenced by Wagner's. Some praised the work, but Pierre Lalo, critic of Le Temps, hitherto an admirer of Debussy, wrote, "I do not hear, I do not see, I do not smell the sea". Howat suggests that some of Debussy's pieces can be divided into sections that reflect the golden ratio, which is approximated by ratios of consecutive numbers in the Fibonacci sequence. [87] They include the String Quartet (1893), Pelléas et Mélisande (1893–1902), the Nocturnes for Orchestra (1899) and La mer (1903–1905). Orledge considers the last a pre-echo of the marine textures of La mer. Debussy senior ran a china shop and his wife was a seamstress. Claude Debussy, Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un faune. [2] After Debussy's short Wagnerian phase, he started to become interested in non-Western music and its unfamiliar approaches to composition. (Book 2, 1913). [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 is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term. The following year began well, when at Fauré's invitation, Debussy became a member of the governing council of the Conservatoire. [44] Later in 1890 Debussy met Erik Satie, who proved a kindred spirit in his experimental approach to composition. His father, Manuel-Achille Debussy, owned a china shop there; his mother, Victorine Manoury Debussy, was a seamstress. Life and Music Claude Debussy was born on the 22nd August 1862 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. Despite dying in 1918, his ideas about the subjective, still nature of music and the … [99] The academic and journalist Stephen Walsh calls Pelléas et Mélisande (begun 1893, staged 1902) "a key work for the 20th century". His name was officially registered at the. Not a single idea is expressed fully, the form is terribly shriveled, and it lacks unity." [27] She was the wife of Henri Vasnier, a prominent civil servant, and much younger than her husband. Along the … "[87] During the next few years Debussy developed his personal style, without, at this stage, breaking sharply away from French musical traditions. Wed 7 Oct 2020 07.20 EDT. "[141] He was not in sympathy with Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Mendelssohn, the latter being described as a "facile and elegant notary". [2] The piano piece Golliwogg's Cakewalk, from the 1908 suite Children's Corner, contains a parody of music from the introduction to Tristan, in which, in the opinion of the musicologist Lawrence Kramer, Debussy escapes the shadow of the older composer and "smilingly relativizes Wagner into insignificance". [2] Manuel Debussy remained in Paris and joined the forces of the Commune; after its defeat by French government troops in 1871 he was sentenced to four years' imprisonment, although he only served one year. [166], "Debussy" redirects here. [42][n 7], Marie Vasnier ended her liaison with Debussy soon after his final return from Rome, although they remained on good enough terms for him to dedicate to her one more song, "Mandoline", in 1890. [6] In June 1885, Debussy wrote of his desire to follow his own way, saying, "I am sure the Institute would not approve, for, naturally it regards the path which it ordains as the only right one. – although he also conceded, "I feel free because I have been through the mill, and I don't write in the fugal style because I know it. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. When he returned to Paris he set up home on his own, taking a flat in a different arrondissement. Unlike other collections of preludes by great composers, Debussy's do not follow a strict pattern of key signature: there is no proof that Debussy necessarily intended the preludes to be performed as a cycle, although performers … Claude Debussy´s first music lessons. Pleasure is the law!" Many of these early recordings have been reissued on CD. [15] Newman concurred: "There is a good deal of Wagner, especially of Tristan, in the idiom. 10 in G minor (also the only work where the composer's title included a key). [70] The ensuing scandal caused Bardac's family to disown her, and Debussy lost many good friends including Dukas and Messager. Claude Debussy: The Father of Impressionism Claude Debussy was among one of the most popular twentieth century composers of his 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. Create a free website or blog at Apr 11, 1874. Claude Debussy’s music was greatly influenced by his exposure to _____ at the world’s fair. His experimentation and creativity in the usage of harmonics and timbre give his compositions a uniquely expansive yet dreamy quality that has impressed upon composers in the decades … [2] Lesure also considers that Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov directly influenced Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. [142], With the advent of the First World War, Debussy became ardently patriotic in his musical opinions. [6] In 1888 and 1889 he went to the annual festivals of Wagner's operas at Bayreuth. She is described in the. [51], Debussy's works began to feature increasingly in concert programmes at home and overseas. Although they did not make any great impact with the public they were well reviewed by musicians including Paul Dukas, Alfred Bruneau and Pierre de Bréville. Writing in 1958, the critic Rudolph Reti summarised six features of Debussy's music, which he asserted "established a new concept of tonality in European music": the frequent use of lengthy pedal points – "not merely bass pedals in the actual sense of the term, but sustained 'pedals' in any voice"; glittering passages and webs of figurations which distract from occasional absence of tonality; frequent use of parallel chords which are "in essence not harmonies at all, but rather 'chordal melodies', enriched unisons", described by some writers as non-functional harmonies; bitonality, or at least bitonal chords; use of the whole-tone and pentatonic scales; and unprepared modulations, "without any harmonic bridge". La mer, trois esquisses symphoniques pour orchestre (French for The sea, three symphonic sketches for orchestra), or simply La mer (The Sea), L. 109, CD. 28, or the preludes from Johann Sebastian Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Debussy's do not follow a strict pattern of key signatures.. Each book was written in a matter of months, at an unusually fast pace for Debussy. Characteristics of Claude Debussy Music. Writing to Stravinsky, he asked "How could we not have foreseen that these men were plotting the destruction of our art, just as they had planned the destruction of our country? ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ by Wagner, encouraged Debussy to improve his skills for the emotional side of music and to expand on dream-like scenarios. [157], Among contemporary composers George Benjamin has described Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune as “the definition of perfection”;[158] he has conducted Pelléas et Mélisande[159] and the critic Rupert Christiansen detects the influence of the work in Benjamin's opera Written on Skin (2012). Specifically, he was drawn to a Javanese Gamelan, which was a musical ensemble from the island of Java that played a range of unique instruments including gongs and metallophones. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. [136] Debussy's interest in the popular music of his time is evidenced not only by the Golliwogg's Cakewalk and other piano pieces featuring rag-time, such as The Little Nigar (Debussy's spelling) (1909), but by the slow waltz La plus que lente (The more than slow), based on the style of the gipsy violinist at a Paris hotel (to whom he gave the manuscript of the piece). [61] It made Debussy a well-known name in France and abroad; The Times commented that the opera had "provoked more discussion than any work of modern times, excepting, of course, those of Richard Strauss". 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. In his final years, he focused on chamber music, completing three of six planned sonatas for different combinations of instruments. [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. These writers, who included Verlaine, Mallarmé, Maeterlinck and Rimbaud, reacted against the realism, naturalism, objectivity and formal conservatism that prevailed in the 1870s. [40] He also attended two concerts of Rimsky-Korsakov's music, conducted by the composer. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Debussy enlisted the help of André Caplet in orchestrating and arranging the score. [100] The composer Olivier Messiaen was fascinated by its "extraordinary harmonic qualities and ... transparent instrumental texture". [92] A more characteristically Debussian work from his early years is La Damoiselle élue, recasting the traditional form for oratorios and cantatas, using a chamber orchestra and a small body of choral tone and using new or long-neglected scales and harmonies. Jul 4, 1880. The analyst Richard Langham Smith writes that Impressionism was originally a term coined to describe a style of late 19th-century French painting, typically scenes suffused with reflected light in which the emphasis is on the overall impression rather than outline or clarity of detail, as in works by Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and others. [17] Another teacher was less impressed: Émile Durand wrote in a report "Debussy would be an excellent pupil if he were less sketchy and less cavalier." Claude Debussy was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France in 1862, the eldest of five children. [39], In 1889, at the Paris Exposition Universelle, Debussy first heard Javanese gamelan music. In fairness, composers like Debussy were more aligned with poets and writers who were influenced by Monet’s revolution. 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. The family moved to Paris in 1867, but in 1870 Debussy’s pregnant mother fled with Claude to his paternal aunt’s home in Cannes to escape the Franco-Prussian War. Lesure writes, "The development of free verse in poetry and the disappearance of the subject or model in painting influenced him to think about issues of musical form. His friend Georges Jean-Aubry commented that Debussy "admirably imitated Massenet's melodic turns of phrase" in the cantata L'enfant prodigue (1884) which won him the Prix de Rome. Throughout his career he wrote mélodies based on a wide variety of poetry, including his own. [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. 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. [160] Others have made orchestrations of some of the piano and vocal works, including John Adams's version of four of the Baudelaire songs (Le Livre de Baudelaire, 1994), Robin Holloway's of En blanc et noir (2002), and Colin Matthews's of both books of Préludes (2001–2006). [100], Orledge describes the Nocturnes as exceptionally varied in texture, "ranging from the Musorgskian start of 'Nuages', through the approaching brass band procession in 'Fêtes', to the wordless female chorus in 'Sirènes'". Halford cites the popular "Clair de Lune" (1890) from the Suite Bergamasque as a transitional work pointing towards the composer's mature style. With early influences including Russian and Far Eastern music, Debussy developed his own style of harmony and orchestral colouring, derided – and unsuccessfully resisted – by much of the musical establishment of the day. Ragtime music is said to be the predecessor of jazz music, and Debussy helped this patronage come about by his unique usage of chords and rhythm that tied two musical eras together. [147] French writers whose words he set include Paul Bourget, Alfred de Musset, Théodore de Banville, Leconte de Lisle, Théophile Gautier, Paul Verlaine, François Villon, and Mallarmé – the last of whom also provided Debussy with the inspiration for one of his most popular orchestral pieces, Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune. [52] The membership was fluid, but at various times included Maurice Ravel, Ricardo Viñes, Igor Stravinsky and Manuel de Falla. [83], In 1915 Debussy underwent one of the earliest colostomy operations. Claude Debussy's Préludes are 24 pieces for solo piano, divided into two books of 12 preludes each. The ferocious height and terrifying form of Hokusai's wave are … In the same year, Debussy was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, from which he was to die nine years later. He wrote some of the most poignant pieces of classical music to date, with sounds original in his time and still wholly relevant in the modern era. Debussy is often categorized as an “Impressionist” composer. Maurice Hinson. Son père tenait en effet un commerce de faïence au rez-de-chaussée. [121], In 1889, Debussy held conversations with his former teacher Guiraud, which included exploration of harmonic possibilities at the piano. Whether Vasnier was content to tolerate his wife's affair with the young student or was simply unaware of it is not clear, but he and Debussy remained on excellent terms, and he continued to encourage the composer in his career. Saint-Saëns, Franck, Massenet, Fauré and Ravel were all known as teachers, Mary Garden was Messager's mistress at the time, but as far as is known she was chosen for wholly musical and dramatic reasons. Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was the first composer to radically break with the Romantic tradition, giving rise to the explorations of sound and form that dominated the twentieth century. He was the eldest of the five children of Manuel-Achille Debussy and his wife, Victorine, née Manoury. This impacted the 20th century music genre with his difficult impressionist technique. The gamelan scales, melodies, rhythms, and ensemble textures appealed to him, and echoes of them are heard in "Pagodes" in his piano suite Estampes. He responded positively to Wagner's sensuousness, mastery of form, and striking harmonies,[2] and was briefly influenced by them,[37] but, unlike some other French composers of his generation, he concluded that there was no future in attempting to adopt and develop Wagner's style. His mature compositions, distinctive and appealing, combined modernism and sensuality so successfully that their sheer … The first meeting between Debussy and Stravinsky dates back to the summer of 1910. Photograph: Print Collector/Getty Images. At the 1889 Exposition, groups from around the world displayed the best of their countries' art, music, culture, and way of life. Another project inspired by Poe – an operatic version of The Devil in the Belfry did not progress beyond sketches. Claude-Achille Debussy(22 August 1862–25 March 1918) was a French composer. [2], Among the late piano works are two books of Préludes (1909–10, 1911–13), short pieces that depict a wide range of subjects. [105] The latter failed as a ballet because of what Jann Pasler describes as a banal scenario, and the score was neglected for some years. ( Log Out /  Respectively, Reflections in the Water, Sounds and Perfumes Swirl in the Evening Air, and Mists. The First World War was still raging and Paris was under German aerial and artillery bombardment. [97] Most of the major works for which Debussy is best known were written between the mid-1890s and the mid-1900s. [109], Among painters, Debussy particularly admired Turner, but also drew inspiration from Whistler. Claude Debussy´s first piano. This Folk composition includes 4 page(s). Paul Sacher Foundation, Basel. [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. Debussy was among the most influential … The 1904 and 1913 sets have been transferred to compact disc. ( Log Out /  Achille-Claude Debussy (born St Germain-en-Laye, 22 August 1862; died Paris, 25 March, 1918) was a French composer.He was one of the most important composers of the early 20th century.Most of his compositions are for orchestra or for piano.He also wrote some songs, chamber music and one opera.He made his music very different from the Romantic style that … Claude Debussy (1862-1918) invented the Impressionist style of Western art music. [76] Mary Garden said, "I honestly don't know if Debussy ever loved anybody really. Debussy's music marks the first of a series of attacks on the traditional language of the 19th century. [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. [28], At the Conservatoire, Debussy incurred the disapproval of the faculty, particularly his composition teacher, Guiraud, for his failure to follow the orthodox rules of composition then prevailing. While he generally disapproved of the Orientalism of earlier Romantic-era composers, he found tremendous inspiration in gamelan music—not in its surface exoticism, but in the details of its structure, texture, and modality. ( b.22 August– d.25th March 1918) If you were alive today you would be blowing out a great deal of candles! Jean-Aubry, Georges. 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. [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. Made by scopenitout.commi@TYO. [45] In the same year Debussy began a relationship with Gabrielle (Gaby) Dupont, a tailor's daughter from Lisieux; in July 1893 they began living together. [51] Finding the hostility in Paris intolerable, Debussy and Emma (now pregnant) went to England. You have only to listen. Debussy was born on 22 August 1862 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Seine-et-Oise, on the north-west fringes of Paris. Debussy began composition studies in 1880, and in 1884 he won the prestigious Prix de Rome with his cantata L'enfant prodigue. 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. 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