Debussy by Eric Frederick Jensen

By Eric Frederick Jensen

Approximately 100 years after the dying of its composer, the tune of Claude Debussy has misplaced none of its breadth of charm. With the infrequent skill to attract listeners on many degrees, at its middle lies an attractive simplicity-one which defies conventional research and lends secret to what eventually is a really sophisticated and hugely own method of composition. both interesting is Debussy's frequently contradictory personality--at instances elusive, yet continuously headquartered on his devotion to song and his ambition to create a reputation for himself not like the other.

Author Eric Frederick Jensen offers new perception to the fellow and the song during this authoritative biography. even supposing born into poverty, and a failure as a piano scholar on the Paris Conservatoire, Debussy turned the main recognized French composer of his day, recognized for his tradition and refinement. His innovative song baffled critics yet used to be embraced via audiences. Debussy's scandalous own existence stirred up as a lot controversy as his tune, and his notoriety proved extra destructive to his occupation than the weird nature of his compositions.

Jensen additionally explores Debussy's courting to the humanities and his occupation as a track critic. Debussy drew on all the arts in his improvement as a composer, together with poetry and portray, and his fascination with the humanities has frequently ended in his being categorised as an Impressionist or Symbolist, claims which Jensen debunks. one of many most interesting tune critics of his time, Debussy's reports display greatly not just approximately his musical flavor, but in addition approximately what he felt the function and serve as of song may be.

Debussy brings jointly the newest biographical examine, together with a revised catalogue of Debussy's compositions and the 1st entire variation of his correspondence. With separate, chronological sections on his lifestyles and tune, Debussy is obtainable to the final reader who needs to target his existence and character, whereas supplying exact dialogue of the tune to musicians and scholars.

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Letter of 16 September 1885 in Claude Debussy, Debussy Letters, ed. François Lesure and Roger Nichols (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1987), p. 11. Hereafter abbreviated DL. 30 • debussy he claimed, were unforgettable, particularly the “roba dolce,” a mixture that tasted like gasoline and soured cream. ”32 His aloofness is confirmed by another Prix winner, Gabriel Pierné: “There was no real intimacy between [Debussy] and the other students. He was very solitary, and fled our company. He went out a great deal, roamed through antique shops, and made a clean sweep of tiny Japanese objets which delighted him.

1 Guiraud was five years older than Massenet and had won the Prix de Rome in 1859. But none of the handful of operas and ballets he had composed since then had met with particular success. In 1876 he became a member of the faculty at the Conservatoire teaching harmony—a result not so much of his accomplishments but of his friendships. Today he is mostly remembered because of his association with Georges Bizet. After Bizet’s early death, Guiraud helped to popularize his work by composing recitatives for Carmen and preparing the second of the L’Arlésienne Suites.

47 Financial security, freedom from daily concerns, the opportunity to be original and even experimental in one’s work—those had been possible while living at the Villa. In Paris, forced to confront the realities of life as a composer, Debussy finally realized that, with all its disadvantages, there had been some benefit to his life in Rome. 46. LS, p. 96. 47. Letter of 17 March 1887 in C, p. 61. l Chapter three ; Establishing a Reputation The world is myself. It owes me its existence. I have created it with my senses.

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