Debussy: The Quiet Revolutionary

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Hal Leonard Corporation, 2007 - Music - 148 pages
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(Unlocking the Masters). Victor Lederer explores the sophistication, refinement and inspirations of Debussy's music, pointing out subtleties that otherwise could take years of careful listening to fully appreciate. Includes a full-length CD of the maestro's masterworks.
 

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Debussy: The Quiet Revolutionary (Unlocking the Masters Series No. 13)

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Lederer here offers another entry in the "Unlocking the Masters" series (see also hisChopin: A Listener's Guide to the Master of the Piano ), this time guiding listeners through the music of Claude ... Read full review

Contents

Listening to Debussy
1
His Life
13
The Music for Orchestra 188799
25
Pour le Piano I The Early Works for Keyboard
35
The Great Opera
41
Four le Piano II Masterpieces of the Middle Years
63
The Music for Orchestra After 1900
77
Pour le Piano III The Preludes
91
Pour le Piano IV The Late Works
113
The Songs
125
The Chamber Works
131
The Quiet Revolutionary
143
Selected Bibliography
145
CD Track Listing
147
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

New York native and resident Victor Lederer compiled this volume with the cooperation of the Brooklyn Historical Society. Author of College Point, he has also written about New York's history for the Museum of the City of New York. Founded in 1863, the Brooklyn Historical Society is one of the nation's oldest organizations dedicated to local history and is the repository of the world's largest collection of materials about Brooklyn. The society's 1881 landmark headquarters and museum is one of New York's architectural gems.

The French composer Claude Debussy is regarded as the chief musical figure in the early twentieth-century impressionist school that was centered in Paris. Debussy showed great musical talent at an early age and began studying music at the Paris Conservatory at the age of 10. By the age of 22, he had won the Grand Prix de Rome. Debussy's use of the whole-tone scale in his compositions, which were common to Russian and Asian music, led to expressive harmonies and the achievement of surprising nuances of mood. He also used numerous harsh-sounding harmonies and other new and original compositional techniques and elements. His music, like impressionist painting and poetry, stirs the imagination by its evocation of dreamlike sights and sounds. Because of his revolutionary changes and inventions, Debussy is considered to be one of the most creative and influential forces in the history of music. A list of composers influenced by his work would include nearly every distinguished composer during the first half of the twentieth century. Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (1894), a symphonic poem, is Debussy's famous orchestral work that has been choreographed for ballet and is an example of his use of stunning orchestral coloration. Other outstanding orchestral works are Nocturnes (1899) and La Mer (The Sea) (1905). Among Debussy's impressive piano works are 24 preludes, 12 etudes, and the Suite Bergamasque (1905), which contains the popular "Clair de Lune." Debussy also wrote many individual songs for voice and an opera, Pelleas et Melisande (1892-1902), considered by many to be his masterpiece. Debussy died in Paris of cancer in 1918.

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