Claude Debussy

Overview

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was a great harmonic innovator and one of the most original musical voices of the twentieth century. He created fresh, new tonal perspectives without abandoning tonality itself. With a revolutionary sense of instrumental color and a fleeting, atmospheric sound world, he is often described, rightly or wrongly, as an `Impressionist' composer. This book presents a clear narrative history of Debussy's life, work, and cultural context along with essential reference material and striking ...
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Overview

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was a great harmonic innovator and one of the most original musical voices of the twentieth century. He created fresh, new tonal perspectives without abandoning tonality itself. With a revolutionary sense of instrumental color and a fleeting, atmospheric sound world, he is often described, rightly or wrongly, as an `Impressionist' composer. This book presents a clear narrative history of Debussy's life, work, and cultural context along with essential reference material and striking illustrations, making it a vital purchase for anyone interested in the composer.

Claude Debussy is part of Phaidon's successful 20th Century Composers series, which presents authoritative and engaging biographies of the great creative musicians of our time, augmented by striking visual material and essential reference information. This edition of the book features a whimsical new cover by Jean-Jacques Sempé, the world-renowned illustrator and cartoonist.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Phaidon Press is relaunching its "20th Century Composers" series with new cover art by Jean-Jacques Sempé. This volume is the only new one in the series; the other nine are reprints. Concert pianist Roberts (Images: The Piano Music of Claude Debussy) presents a biography of Claude Debussy, his influence on 20th-century music, and a detailed examination of how his works have endured into the 21st century. Loaded with black-and-white photos, illustrations, portraits, and artwork, this book presents the composer most often associated with the musical version of impressionism. Roberts also provides quotes from Debussy's letters, correspondence, and diaries, along with interesting commentary on many of Debussy's musical compositions. An appendix includes Debussy's own words about why he wrote Pelléas et Mélisande, and there is also a list of his compositions classified by genre and date. This book would provide a great introduction to Debussy for high school and undergraduate music students as well as for amateur musicians or classical music enthusiasts.
—Bradford Lee Eden

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714835129
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2008
  • Series: 20th Century Composers Ser.
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 710,143
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Roberts combines concert pianism, writing, and teaching in a career that takes him all over the world. He has recorded several discs of Debussy's piano music to wide critical acclaim, a DVD on Debussy's Preludes (Amadeus Press, 2006), and is the author of Images: The Piano Music of Claude Debussy. A book on Ravel, Reflections, is in preparation. He is an honorary fellow of London's Guildhall School of Music & Drama, visiting professor at the Royal Northern College of Music, and director of the piano summer school near Toulouse, France, Music at Castelfranc.
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The Quest for Debussy 1862-1918 9

Ch. 2 A Boy's Life 1862-80 21

Ch. 3 The Path to Rome and Back 1880-7 39

Ch. 4 From Achille to Claude 1887-93 71

Ch. 5 Masterpieces 1893-5 99

Ch. 6 Poetry, Painting and Music 1894-9 129

Ch. 7 Lilly Debussy 1899-1905 149

Ch. 8 Images 1905-12 169

Ch. 9 Wisdom 1912-18 195

Epilogue 220

App Why I Wrote Pelleas 222

Classified List of Works 224

Further Reading 230

Selective Discography 232

Index 236

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