Debussy

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]

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… 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:

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