Debussy, Claude (1862 - 1918)
MAGATAGAN, MICHAEL (1960 - )
|Publisher :||MAGATAGAN, MICHAEL|
|Copyright :||Public Domain|
|Added by magataganm, 09 Feb 2013|
Claude-Achille Debussy (1862 – 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions In France, he was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1903. A crucial figure in the transition to the modern era in Western music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers.
Beginning in the 1890s, Debussy developed his own musical language largely independent of Wagner's style, colored in part from the dreamy, sometimes morbid romanticism of the Symbolist Movement. Debussy became a frequent participant at Stéphane Mallarmé's Symbolist gatherings, where Wagnerism dominated the discussion. In contrast to the enormous works of Wagner and other late-romantic composers, however, around this time Debussy chose to write in smaller, more accessible forms. The Deux Arabesques is an example of one of Debussy's earliest works, already developing his musical language. Suite bergamasque (1890) recalls rococo decorousness with a modern cynicism and puzzlement. This suite contains (this) one of Debussy's most popular pieces, "Clair de Lune".
His music is noted for its sensory component and for not often forming around one key or pitch. Often Debussy's work reflected the activities or turbulence in his own life. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
The Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orléans (Three Songs of Charles d'Orléans) falls into a sparsely populated category of Debussy's output -- that of unaccompanied choral music. In fact, discounting unpublished and unfinished works, it is the only such piece he composed. For that reason alone, these songs are valuable in the study and understanding of the composer's works; apart from such academic and personal considerations, this music has broad appeal as well.
The three songs are settings of poems by Charles Duc d'Orléans (1394-1465). The first is entitled "Dieu! qu'il la fait bon regarder!" (God! but she is fair!). The music is ethereal and subdued, and features at times a religiosity of mood, the whole offering a mixture of Renaissance and modern sounds and putting an interesting and rare retrospective spin on the composer's harmonic thinking. The next song, "Quand j'ai ouy le tambourin" (When I heard the tambourine), is also somewhat ethereal, but the music is livelier and a bit more colorful, too. The contrapuntal writing here -- and in fact throughout the set -- is quite effective. The last song, "Yver, vous n'estes qu'un villain" (Winter, You're Naught but a Rogue), is also colorful and quite spirited. In the end, the three pieces in this collection are all worthwhile and must be ranked as important efforts in Debussy's output. The first and last songs date from 1898, and the middle from 1908, the year the collection was published.
Although originally created for Chorus (SATB), I created this arrangement for Woodwind Quartet (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet & Bassoon).
|Sheet central :||Chansons de Charles d'Orléans (6 sheet music)|