Author Topic: Debussy's Corner  (Read 54545 times)

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Kullervo

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Debussy's Corner
« on: December 19, 2007, 06:47:00 PM »
After doing a quick search I found there was no thread (:o) for this great composer who I've "rediscovered" as of late.

What are everyone's favorite pieces? What are some obscure pieces that you believe generally get short shrift?

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2007, 07:11:23 PM »
The late piano music of Debussy have been unequaled in the piano literature ever since. Discuss.

Offline toledobass

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2007, 09:04:45 PM »
I, too, have been listening to some Debussy after some time.  I recently played Danse Sacrée et Danse Profane (I don't think it gets talked about too much).  Although I've played it before,  I was blown away yet again by what excellent music it is.  That's given me some interest in exploring his music again.

I've been listening mostly to orchestral music.  Boulez/Cleveland and Martinon's set.


Allan 

Offline Bonehelm

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2007, 09:47:37 PM »
La Mer is so absorbing. The more you listen to it the more your worries and tiredom gets washed away by the octatonic waves Debussy so ingeniously creates. It just sucks you into the deep ocean and cleanses you from the inside. If you don't get this feeling you better get a better recording  ;)

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2007, 09:51:26 PM »
I love everything Debussy - even his songs - but am most drawn to his piano music. No matter what the period.

It's simply a frolicking good time. Muscular, dreamy, fragile, bold...all in a single number.

I'm not prepared to place it as a pinnacle of 20th c. piano music, though, too much good Prokofiev out there. Not to mention Ravel. But there's no denying its power.



Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2007, 03:09:16 AM »
La Mer, The Nocturnes, Sacred and Profane Dances, Martyrdon of St Sebastien, Sunken Cathedral.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Montpellier

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2007, 03:30:31 AM »
About the only work that puzzles me is Jeux.   I like the work (obviously) but I still listen to it hearing Debussy in some kind of new phase.   

Impossible to find a single favourite piece.   His work is intuitive, revolutionary, totally in command, symbolist. 


karlhenning

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2007, 05:37:58 AM »
I, too, have been listening to some Debussy after some time.  I recently played Danse Sacrée et Danse Profane (I don't think it gets talked about too much).  Although I've played it before,  I was blown away yet again by what excellent music it is.

Yes, really a charming work, Allan.

The pieces I've spent the most time with over the past year and a half have been the late Sonatas, especially the one for flute, viola and harp, Jeux and Iberia.

Kullervo

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2007, 06:16:40 AM »
About the only work that puzzles me is Jeux.   I like the work (obviously) but I still listen to it hearing Debussy in some kind of new phase.   

Impossible to find a single favourite piece.   His work is intuitive, revolutionary, totally in command, symbolist. 



Love the late pieces like Jeux and En Blanc et Noir, not to mention the Etudes. I've yet to hear the sonatas, however, that will be remedied soon.

Offline Montpellier

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2007, 07:00:11 AM »
I, too, have been listening to some Debussy after some time.  I recently played Danse Sacrée et Danse Profane (I don't think it gets talked about too much).  Although I've played it before,  I was blown away yet again by what excellent music it is.  That's given me some interest in exploring his music again.

Allan 

AFAIK, that's one of the few pieces scored for a fully chromatic harp.   It's time I gave it another spin.

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2007, 09:34:16 AM »
Great name for this thread!

Gotta put in a good word for Pelléas et Mélisande!
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2007, 02:33:09 PM »
Great name for this thread!

Gotta put in a good word for Pelléas et Mélisande!

Absolutely.  The first time I ever heard the score was in a concert version with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Haitink, and I was hooked pretty fast.  I've now seen it twice at the Met (both with Levine conducting) and while I wouldn't mind hearing another conductor's take on it, I thought it was pretty special.  It feels quite different from any other opera I've ever seen.

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ChamberNut

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2007, 06:53:52 PM »
Corey, thanks for starting this thread.

Danse Sacrée et Danse Profane is also a favorite of mine.

And surprisingly no one has yet mentioned Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune.

Recently discovered his String Quartet.  Very nice!!

karlhenning

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2007, 05:49:24 AM »
And surprisingly no one has yet mentioned Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune.

Well, you know: you've heard one antique cymbal, you've heard 'em all.

j/k . . . that there's a lovely little piece from time to time.

Kullervo

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2007, 05:57:56 AM »
I was just looking for a biography on Debussy, without any luck. Does anyone know of an authoritative text?

greg

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2007, 06:08:18 AM »
The late piano music of Debussy have been unequaled in the piano literature ever since. Discuss.
hahaha yeah right

I'm not prepared to place it as a pinnacle of 20th c. piano music, though, too much good Prokofiev out there. Not to mention Ravel. But there's no denying its power.
this is exactly what i would've said.

La Mer, Nocturnes, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun/Boulez- now that's the stuff!  8)

Kullervo

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2007, 06:12:42 AM »
hahaha yeah right

Why would it be laughable if it were the case? Who is to say it isn't?

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2007, 06:15:48 AM »
I am sad at the lack of respect shown towards Debussy's piano music.

 :'( <-- See? Sadness.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2007, 07:31:01 AM »
Debussy's piano music is not only some of his best work, but some of the best writing for the instrument, period.  I've heard some great performances in the last few years, such as Pollini doing the complete Preludes, Book II (after a first half of Chopin), and Aimard mixing up some of the Etudes in his incredible recital last year called "Study of a Study," a program of 24 etudes including Messiaen, Scriabin and others.  And then in 2005, Moravec doing Pour le piano, the highlight of his program that included Janáček and Chopin. 

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karlhenning

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2007, 07:41:31 AM »
I am sad at the lack of respect shown towards Debussy's piano music.

Well, you were asserting that nothing since has equalled it.  You were asking for it to be knocked down a peg or three.

I love the two books of Preludes;  but I find them a more mixed affair than (e.g.) the Shostakovich Opus 87.  Stylistically, they're apples and oranges, of course; broadly speaking they are both important monuments in 20th-c. piano lit.  But I'd give Shostakovich the edge for writing with greater consistency, here.