I am trying to do ‘something different’… what the imbeciles call ‘impressionism’ is a term which is as poorly used as possible. 

Claude Debussy

As you can see, Debussy wasn’t too pleased to have the word ‘Impressionist’ applied to his music; he had always felt a greater affinity with the attention to detail, brilliant colour and sense of composition of the Pre-Raphaelites (Holman-Hunt, Burne-Jones, Rossetti & co.)

His only string quartet (1893) was written a year before the astonishing Mallarmé inspired Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (who says the Rite of Spring was the start of modern music?)

Debussy: String quartet in g
[Spotify search terms: debussy quartet ébène]

Debussy: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
[Spotify search terms: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune abbado]

… and here are the Ébène Quartet (whose recording of the Debussy we’ll use on Wednesday) on the joys of recording Debussy, Fauré and Ravel:

If you want to give feedback or leave a message click here.

Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as “fair use”, for the purpose of study, and critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of the copyright owner(s).