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CLAUDE DEBUSSY. CLAUDE DEBUSSY. Born: August 22, 1862 in Saint- Germain Germain -en- Laye Died: March 25, 1918 in Paris Best known for: Embracing nontraditional scales and tonal structures one of the most highly regarded composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries

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Claude debussy1
CLAUDE DEBUSSY

  • Born: August 22, 1862 in Saint-GermainGermain-en-Laye

  • Died: March 25, 1918 in Paris

  • Best known for:

  • Embracing nontraditional scales and tonal structures

  • one of the most highly regarded composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries

  • He is seen as the founder of musical impressionism.


Childhood
CHILDHOOD

  • Born to Manuel and Victorine Debussy

  • Grew up in a poor family

  • The oldest of five children

  • Was christened at age 2

  • Started piano lessons at age 7

  • He was home schooled

  • Entered Paris Conservatory at age 11

  • Plays his first concert at age 14


Education
Education

  • Other opportunities he had to study music and work on his talent;

    • __________________________________________________________________________

  • Was an accompanist for Nadezhda von Meck

    • Summers of 1880, 1881, and 1882 accompanied Patrons Pvotr Ilvich Tchaikovsky and Nadezhda von Meck as they traveled in Europe and Russia Harmony with Emile Durand

    • He received a scholarship to the Académie des Beaux-Arts, which included a four-year residence at the ,Villa Medici, French Academy in Rome (1885-1887)

    • Becomes a piano accompanist for Madame Moreau-Sainti's singing class for 4 years

    • He studied at the Paris Conservatoire for 11 years. While there he studied;

      • ____________________________________________________________________

      • Composition with Ernest Guirand

      • Music history/theory with Louis-Albert and Bourgault-Ducoudray

      • Harmony with Emile Durand

      • Piano with Antoine Francois Marmontel

      • Organ with Cesar Franck

      • Solfege with Albert Lavignac


    Performances
    Performances

    • In 1876 he had his first appearance at a public concert (Chauny). He accompanied the singer Léontine Mendès with operatic extracts and instrumental pieces. He did many performances during his life but composing was his passion.

    • (Debussy performances)


    Compositions
    compositions

    • Claude Debussy published many small pieces, but his major success came when he released his opera Pelleas et Melisande in 1902. Here are some of the compositions that he did.

    • 1879: First compositions : Madrid, princesse des Espagnes and Ballade à la lune

    • 1880: Trio en sol majeur for piano, violin and cello, for Madame von Meck's small

    • ensemble which he formed with Pachulsky (violin) and Danilchenko (cello).

    • 1881: a dozen songs for Marie Vasnier, among them Caprice, Aimons-nous et dormons, Les

    • Baisers, Rondel chinois, Jane, La fille aux cheveux de lin, Fleur des blés. Triolet à Philis and

    • Souhait, songs on poems by Théodore de Banville, and Diane, overture for piano duet.


    • Clair de Lune

    • (live performance of Clare de lune)

    • Composed in 1882 based off the poem Clair de Lune, by the French poet Paul Verlaine, Debussy wrote this romantic piece for a piano solo. It has been done many different ways today with orchestra.

    • It was first published in 1926 – Paris: La Revue Musicale, in musical supplement to the May issue.

    • This piece is “pure'' music where the meaning is the music itself and nothing else


    Compositions continued
    Compositions continued

    1882: Debussy completes Fantoches on a poem by Paul Verlaine in the latter's Fêtes galantes

    His first published work: Nuitd'étoiles on a poem by Banville, published by Société

    artistiqued'éditiond'estampes et de musique (E. Bulla). En Sourdine (1st version) and

    Mandolineon poems by Verlaine.

    1912: The last orchestral work by Debussy, Ballet Jeuxwritten for Sergei Diaghily’s Ballets

    Russes, contains some of his strangest harmonies and textures in a form that moves

    freely over its own field of motivic connection

    1915: Two last volumes of works for the piano, the Etudes.


    Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune

    (listen)

    • Known in English as Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, this is a symphonic poem for orchestra.

    • Composition was inspired by the poem Lspres-midi dun faune by Stephane Mallarme, and later formed the basis for the ballet Afternoon of a Faun.

    • It was first performed in Paris December of 1894

    • This is one of the most famous of Debussy’s work and considered a turning point in the history of music.

    • The work is scored for 3 flutes, 2 oboes, coranglais, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 harps, 2crotales and strings.

    • The work is called prelude as he intended to write a suite of three movements but the last two were never composed.


    Living his life
    Living his life

    • At the age of 18 he began an eight-year affair with Blanche Vasnier, wife of a Parisian lawyer.

    • During that time he also had an affair with the singer Therese Roger, to whom he was briefly engaged.

    • He left Dupont for her friend Rosalie ('Lilly') Texier, a fashion model whom he married in 1899 and divorced in 1904 after starting an afair with Emma Bardac.

    • In 1905 Debussy and Bardac (now pregnant) fled to England1905 couple returned to Paris where he spent rest of his life

    • 1905their daughter Claude-Emma was born

    • Married to Emma Bardac in 1908

    • In 1918 Claude Debussy died from the effects of colon cancer.

    • Debussy wrote of his desire to follow his own way, saying, "I am sure the Institute would not approve, for, naturally it regards the path which it ordains as the only right one. But there is no help for it! I am too enamored of my freedom, too fond of my own ideas!”


    Sources:

    • 1: New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

    • 2: The life of Debussy (Roger Nicholas) 

    • 3: Debussy: The Quiet Revolutionary (Victor Ledere)

    • 4: Claude Debussy (David J. Code)

    • 5: YouTube video’s and website


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