Cover story

Sonata cover

The sonata for flute, viola and harp is the second of Debussy’s projected ‘six sonates pour divers instruments’ of which he only managed to complete three before his death. As you can see his publishers, Durand, (posthumously) respected the composer’s intentions, printing a cover describing the sonata as the second of six (despite the fact that there were only ever to be three of them). The cover also gives us some insight into the piece’s place in history: the sonata was written in 1915 during the First World War; Debussy unable – due to his failing health – to actively take part in the defence of France, registered his defiance, patriotism and belief in French culture by signing himself ‘Claude Debussy, Musicien Français’.

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