Debussy

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Set 13 2007, 19h33

While listening to Claude Debussy's Nocturnes, I thought I might be inspired to write some sort of introspective, insightful, contemplative journal entry.

But alas, the words escape me, and all I can really come out with is how damn good these pieces are.

Something I remember learning in A-level music about Debussy was that he tended to think 'vertically' rather than 'horizontally'... nonsensical as it sounds, just listen to the opening of Nuages. Each chord is something special in its own right; there is little consideration for what would conventionally follow each one harmonically, but each one sounds sublime anyway.

Of course, there's also his Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune, which (if I remember rightly) contains only one perfect cadence. In 10 minutes and however many bars of music, just the one perfect cadence. Yet it all sounds, in my opinion, like aural perfection.

I admire Debussy greatly for how he (and many other late Classical/Romantic composers) did away with convention. While I'm not averse to a bit of J.S. Bach from time to time, the plethora of harmonic 'rules' that go with his music (though not of his own accord, in fairness) tend to put me off.

Debussy's music does what I think music should do... it conjures up images in the mind, provokes emotions, inspires the listener. And while, as a composer, I can't begin to hope to be as unconventional and inspiring as he and many others were, as a listener I still feel an enormous pleasure to hear these pieces.

Hm, well I guess I had more to say than I thought. Any thoughts, anybody?

Comentários

  • VelBG

    I feel pretty much the same way about Debussy's work - it doesn't follow the rules of harmony set by earlier composers, yet it sounds perfectly harmonious. It's also an immense pleasure to play, and open to various interpretations. Just listen to Claire de lune arranged for piano and theremin.

    Set 14 2007, 20h48
  • nehemiah553

    Piano and theremin? That sounds absolutely fantastic, I'm going to have to hunt that down. I have a bit of a soft spot for the theremin. And agreed on your points... I can't play much Debussy, but there are a couple of pieces (Golliwogg's Cakewalk and La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin) which I can muddle my way through and they're a joy to play.

    Set 14 2007, 21h45
  • cheeses

    I am partial to 'The Snow is Dancing', but I am also a fan of rules and Bach

    Set 14 2007, 23h07
  • VelBG

    Do you want me to send you that piano/theremin version? And yeah, I never said they were easy, nor that I could play them [i]well[/i], but they're immensely satisfactory nonetheless.

    Set 19 2007, 19h47
  • nehemiah553

    That'd be great, if you could upload it to yousendit.com or similar I'd really appreciate it :) And agreed - very satisfactory indeed. I love getting to the end of La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin having been able to play at least a few sections reasonably well!

    Set 20 2007, 20h03
  • VelBG

    http://www.lumpcity.co.uk/~vel/LuneTheremin.mp3 there you go. Enjoy!

    Set 21 2007, 11h55
  • purpleovskoff

    I was thrilled when I first heard Debussy a number of years ago - it was Prelude a l'apres midi d'un faune - and since then I have tried to create music which incorporates impressionistic effects. Its taken me until very recently to work it out, and I only truly worked it out after taking out the scores of 3 of his works, and really trying to understand the effects. The man is a genius, undoubtedly, but it wasn't until I looked at his scores that I realised just how inventive he really was. Saying all this, I would also like to point out that I am actually a fan of what the sound does to my ears, rather than purely from an analytical perspective.

    Out 18 2007, 19h15
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