The Life of Debussy

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 28, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 184 pages
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'That great blue Sphinx', Debussy called the sea. Debussy himself was something of a Sphinx: in the early 1890s he was thinking of 'founding a society for musical esotericism', and although, on the surface, most of his music is instantly engaging and accessible, at a deeper level run currents that are dangerous, unpredictable, destructive. In this new biography, Roger Nichols considers the life and music of this seminal figure charting the currents and the whirlpools in which other humans were sometimes unlucky enough to get caught. Debussy's status is such that no modern composer has been able to ignore him, asking, as he does, any number of riddles to which late twentieth-century music is still searching answers.
  

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Contents

Childhood and musical studies 18621884
3
Roman holiday? 18851887
26
A Bohemian in Paris 18871893
44
Scandals and masterpieces 18941901
77
Idol and victim 19021907
103
Travels and travails 19081914
125
War and last years 19141918
152
Envoi
161
Notes
168
Further reading
174
Index
177
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About the author (1998)

Roger Nichols is a writer & broadcaster, specializing in French music of the nineteenth & twentieth centuries. He is the author of "Ravel Remembered" (Faber, 2000) & "Conversations with Madeleine Milhaud" (Faber, 1996).

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