Daily Archives: September 21, 2012

Claude Debussy Sesquicentennial

Note: Composer Claude Debussy’s 150th birthday was this year (August 22). And, while I can read music and play the flute, I am not a professional musician in the least! This is merely a short and unabashed tribute with music samples.

Claude Debussy (Photo source: Wikipedia)

In 199o, I saw the controversial NC-17 rated film Henry & June; in fact, I watched at least a dozen people walk out of my theater. While the movie was definitely provocative, it was the gorgeous soundtrack that sang to me. It was the first time I heard the lively and energetic “Petit Suite Ballet,” the exotic “Pour L’Egyptienne,” the romantic “La Plus que Lente,” and the haunting “Sonata for Violin and Piano.”

I was entranced.

For me, Debussy’s music always evokes images of nature, gardens, and the sea. In other words, dreamlike qualities. Indeed, he was part of an era in music called impressionism, although he himself disliked that affiliation. Just like the art period of the same name, Debussy lived in a world that also knew artist Claude Monet and composers Erik Satie, Maurice Ravel, and Gabriel Faure.

The library owns many recordings of Debussy’s works as well as sheet music and scores and books about his life and influence.

Who is your favorite classical composer? Why?

~Maria, who was dismayed to discover that Debussy’s music is very challenging for the flute!


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