The Cambridge Companion to Debussy (Cambridge Companions to Music)

Usually thought of the daddy of twentieth-century track, Debussy was once a visionary whose effect remains to be felt. This significant other bargains new insights into Debussy's personality, his atmosphere and his track, together with tough perspectives of the jobs of nature and eroticism in his existence and song. whereas works in all genres are mentioned, they're thought of throughout the topics of sonority, rhythm, tonality and shape, with last chapters contemplating the functionality and reception of his track within the first years of the recent century.

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Debussy’s later heterophony With Pelléas, which he orchestrated in 1901, Debussy got nonetheless fuller self belief in his orchestral ability and mind's eye. 4 years later got here l. a. mer, a ranking which, as natural sound, is far extra complicated than whatever he had written prior. In ‘Sirènes’ he experimented with multi-rhythmic doublings and layered adjustments of instrumental color, with out escaping a undeniable squareness of word, yet this squareness is absent in l. a. mer the place the words are extra freely formed and extra easily mixed from one to the following. Timbral and textural alterations, with spare and commonly spaced textures and considerable instrumental solos, happen in los angeles mer extra usually than in ‘Sirènes’, usually with dizzying rapidity. a few elements of ‘Jeux de vagues’ contain such speedy harmonic and timbral alterations that the ear follows them purely with hassle, and maybe it was once passages like bars 5–8 and 142–52 that Ravel had in brain while he advised Henri Sauguet that ‘La mer is poorly orchestrated. If I had the time, i might reorchestrate l. a. mer. ’11 however, Debussy’s fearless mind's eye in l. a. mer usually ends up in an orchestral sound like not anything ever heard prior to, as within the first eighty or so bars of ‘De l’aube à midi sur los angeles mer’. The heterophony of timbre in l. a. mer is heightened by way of Debussy’s elevated use of swift adorns – grace notes, mordents, and fast gruppetti. those are an occasional function of Debussy’s past piano tune, as within the Prélude of the Suite bergamasque, yet they develop to bigger proportions related to chromatic turns and tirades with whole-tone or chromatic scales in Faune and Nocturnes. in particular in Debussy’s writing for the strings, those adorns are much less accentual units than colouristic, of an identical stripe as high-register trills and tremolos, and extra quite often are utilized to vulnerable beats. In ‘Gigues’ and Jeux in particular, embellishes are linked to brief melodic fragments and fast adjustments of timbre or dynamics; the place the beat is accented, pitches are de-emphasised. the most obvious ancestor of this gestural, punctuated orchestral sort is Berlioz. At approximately an identical time because the final orchestral works, Debussy used to be engaged on the piano Préludes, within which without delay carried out embellishes are in demand and sometimes relatively tough to play (‘La danse de Puck’, ‘La puerta del vino’); many years later they shape the root of the Etude ‘Pour les agréments’. just like the Etudes, composed in reminiscence of Chopin, En blanc et noir is considered one of Debussy’s final works, composed in a impressive burst of regular thought that lasted just a couple of sunny months in 1915 whilst he used to be already unwell with melanoma. En blanc et noir shows a complexity of texture, together with a wholly idiosyncratic non-dialogue counterpoint, that Debussy couldn't have completed with one piano, and whilst an intensification of his keyboard sort that he couldn't have felt within the similar method in his orchestral works. but the 2 tools are completely mixed, and never even an fast of the 3 items turns out texturally overloaded or a notice superfluous.

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