Claude Debussy

Biography

Born: 1862   Died: 1918   Country: France   Period: Romantic
Claude Debussy (born Achille-Claude Debussy) was among the most influential composers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His mature compositions, distinctive and appealing, combined modernism and sensuality so successfully that their sheer beauty often obscures their technical innovation. Debussy is considered the founder and leading exponent of musical Impressionism (although he resisted the label), and his adoption of Read more non-traditional scales and tonal structures was paradigmatic for many composers who followed.

The son of a shopkeeper and a seamstress, Debussy began piano studies at the Paris Conservatory at the age of 11. While a student there, he encountered the wealthy Nadezhda von Meck (most famous as Tchaikovsky's patroness), who employed him as a music teacher to her children; through travel, concerts and acquaintances, she provided him with a wealth of musical experience. Most importantly, she exposed the young Debussy to the works of Russian composers, such as Borodin and Mussorgsky, who would remain important influences on his music.

Debussy began composition studies in 1880, and in 1884 he won the prestigious Prix de Rome with his cantata L'enfant prodigue. This prize financed two years of further study in Rome -- years that proved to be creatively frustrating. However, the period immediately following was fertile for the young composer; trips to Bayreuth and the Paris World Exhibition (1889) established, respectively, his determination to move away from the influence of Richard Wagner, and his interest in the music of Eastern cultures.

After a relatively bohemian period, during which Debussy formed friendships with many leading Parisian writers and musicians (not least of which were Mallarmé, Satie, and Chausson), the year 1894 saw the enormously successful premiere of his Prélude ŕ l'aprčs-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun) -- a truly revolutionary work that brought his mature compositional voice into focus. His seminal opera Pelléas et Mélisande, completed the next year, would become a sensation at its first performance in 1902. The impact of those two works earned Debussy widespread recognition (as well as frequent attacks from critics, who failed to appreciate his forward-looking style), and over the first decade of the twentieth century he established himself as the leading figure in French music -- so much so that the term "Debussysme" ("Debussyism"), used both positively and pejoratively, became fashionable in Paris. Debussy spent his remaining healthy years immersed in French musical society, writing as a critic, composing, and performing his own works internationally. He succumbed to colon cancer in 1918, having also suffered a deep depression brought on by the onset of World War I.

Debussy's personal life was punctuated by unfortunate incidents, most famously the attempted suicide of his first wife, Lilly Texier, whom he abandoned for the singer Emma Bardac. However, his subsequent marriage to Bardac, and their daughter Claude-Emma, whom they called "Chouchou" and who became the dedicatee of the composer's Children's Corner piano suite, provided the middle-aged Debussy with great personal joys.

Debussy wrote successfully in most every genre, adapting his distinctive compositional language to the demands of each. His orchestral works, of which Prélude ŕ l'aprčs-midi d'un faune and La mer (The Sea, 1905) are most familiar, established him as a master of instrumental color and texture. It is this attention to tone color -- his layering of sound upon sound so that they blend to form a greater, evocative whole -- that linked Debussy in the public mind to the Impressionist painters.

His works for solo piano, particularly his collections of Préludes and Etudes, which have remained staples of the repertoire since their composition, bring into relief his assimilation of elements from both Eastern cultures and antiquity -- especially pentatonicism (the use of five-note scales), modality (the use of scales from ancient Greece and the medieval church), parallelism (the parallel movement of chords and lines), and the whole-tone scale (formed by dividing the octave into six equal intervals).

Pelléas et Mélisande and his collections of songs for solo voice establish the strength of his connection to French literature and poetry, especially the symbolist writers, and stand as some of the most understatedly expressive works in the repertory. The writings of Mallarmé, Maeterlinck, Baudelaire, and his childhood friend Paul Verlaine appear prominently among his chosen texts and joined symbiotically with the composer's own unique moods and forms of expression. Read less

Ravel, Debussy & Massenet / Bavouzet, Tortelier, BBC Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 11/16/2010   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5084   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $19.99
SuperAudio CD: $15.99
In Stock
MP3 Available
On sale!   $19.99   SuperAudio CD:  $15.99 Add to Cart

MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Debussy: String Quartet, Piano Trio, Deux Danses / Brodsky Quartet
Release Date: 04/24/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10717   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $18.99
CD: $14.99
In Stock
MP3 Available
On sale!   $18.99   CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Debussy: Orchestral Works / Deneve, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Release Date: 05/29/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5102   Number of Discs: 2
On sale! $37.99
SuperAudio CD: $28.99
In Stock
MP3 Available
On sale!   $37.99   SuperAudio CD:  $28.99 Add to Cart

MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Debussy: Complete Works for Piano / Bavouzet
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10743   Number of Discs: 5
On sale! $59.99
CD: $44.99
In Stock
MP3 Available
On sale!   $59.99   CD:  $44.99 Add CD to Cart

MP3:  $49.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Debussy: Pelleas Et Melisande / Elder, Dean, Hannon, Tomlinson, Walker
Release Date: 01/31/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3177   Number of Discs: 3
On sale! $29.99
CD: $22.99
In Stock
On sale!   $29.99   CD:  $22.99 Add CD to Cart

Work: Ręverie

Browse 1-25 of 155 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • 1.
    Debussy: Chamber Music
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250302 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Milan Polak,  Vaclav Roubal,  Lukas Verner,  Frantisek Soucek  ... 
    On sale! $26.98
    SuperAudio CD: $24.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $26.98   SuperAudio CD:  $24.99 Add to Cart

  • 2.
    Debussy: Piano Suites / Martino Tirimo
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1221 Release Date: 02/04/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Martino Tirimo
    CD: $9.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $6.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 3.
    Classical Wellness: Musical Tonics For Mind, Body And Spirit
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3464 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Henri Vieuxtemps,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Wolseley Charles,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitry Khakhamov,  Oleg Sergeev,  Grant Gershon,  John Aler  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian,  James DePreist,  Gerard Schwarz,  Anatoly Lapunov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Style of Five,  The Russian Folk Ensemble Balalaika,  Brazilian Guitar Quartet  ... 
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $29.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 4.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
    CD: $148.49
    In Stock
    On sale!   $169.98   CD:  $148.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 5.
    Classical Chamomile
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1629 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Antonín Dvorák,  Alan Hovhaness,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Elmar Oliveira,  Douglas Davis,  Zuill Bailey,  Carol Rosenberger  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  David Wiley,  Constantine Orbelian,  Aldo Parisot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Shanghai Quartet,  Yale Cellos
    CD: $9.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 6.
    Julian Bream - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 546242 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Mateo Pérez de Albeniz,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Domenico Cimarosa  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Peter Pears,  George Malcolm,  John Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Arnold,  Sir Colin Davis,  André Previn,  David Atherton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Julian Bream Consort,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale!
    CD: $138.49
    In Stock
    On sale!   $149.98   CD:  $138.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 7.
    Label: Sounds True   Catalog: 3915 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Lisa Spector
    CD: $16.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 8.
    Label: Sounds True   Catalog: 3919 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Lisa Spector
    CD: $16.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 9.
    Debussy, Mahler: Melodies De Jeunesse
    Label: Aparte   Catalog: 50 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Alphonse Cemin,  Julia Fuchs
    Recommendation
    On sale! $21.98
    CD: $19.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $21.98   CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 10.
    Lullaby & Nocturne / David Hays, Peter Collins
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1436 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Neruda,  Igor Stravinsky,  Sergei Lyapunov,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Collins,  David Hays
    Recommendation
    On sale! $13.98
    CD: $11.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $13.98   CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 11.
    Masters Of The Modern Age I: Music From The Time Of Degas, Cezanne, And Van Gogh
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8503269 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edouard Lalo,  César Franck,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Kliegel,  Michaël Levinas,  Arnaldo Cohen,  Hidenori Komatsu  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Hervé Niquet,  Johannes Wildner,  Cord Garben  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quatuor Ludwig
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 12.
    Satie & Compagnie / Anne Queffelec
    Label: Mirare   Catalog: 189 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Déodat de Sévérac,  Francis Poulenc,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Queffélec
    Recommendation
    On sale! $24.98
    CD: $21.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $24.98   CD:  $21.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 13.
    Label: Farao   Catalog: B108003 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Erik Satie,  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Hermann Rid,  Martina Holler
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 14.
    Debussy: The Piano Works / Martino Tirimo
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 4002 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Martino Tirimo
    Recommendation
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $27.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 15.
    Debussy: Complete Works for Piano / Bavouzet
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10743 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
    Recommendation
    On sale! $59.99
    CD: $44.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    On sale!   $59.99   CD:  $44.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $49.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 16.
    Debussy: Complete Piano Music / Gordon Fergus-Thompson
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94415 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Gordon Fergus-Thompson
    CD: $24.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 17.
    Stillpoint / Adagio Trio
    Label: Adagio Trio   Catalog: 5637197395 Release Date: 07/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Traditional,  Joseph Hadar,  Abraham Kaplan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Adagio Trio
    CD: $14.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 18.
    The Debussy Recordings / Samson Francois
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 38754 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Samson François
    CD: $18.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 19.
    Debussy Piano Edition [6-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001675602 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Alfons Kontarsky,  Aloys Kontarsky,  Anne Shasby  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kontarsky Duo,  Budapest Festival Orchestra
    On sale! $49.98
    CD: $41.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    On sale!   $49.98   CD:  $41.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $24.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 20.
    Debussy: Complete Piano Works / Walter Gieseking
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55917 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Walter Gieseking
    On sale! $42.98
    SuperAudio CD: $36.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $42.98   SuperAudio CD:  $36.99 Add to Cart

  • 21.
    The Claude Debussy Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 193179 Release Date: 05/01/2012   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Gervase de Peyer,  Ann Murray,  Nathalie Stutzmann,  Leslie Caron  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Pierre Boulez,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
    On sale!
    CD: $62.49
    In Stock
    On sale!   $64.98   CD:  $62.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 22.
    The Debussy Edition [18-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001676372 Release Date: 05/01/2012   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Franklin Cohen,  Jean-Rodolphe Kars,  Vera Badings,  Krystian Zimerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Bernard Haitink,  Eduard Van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $83.49
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $83.49 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $54.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 23.
    Debussy: String Quartet, Piano Trio, Deux Danses / Brodsky Quartet
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10717 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Chris Laurence,  Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
    Recommendation
    On sale! $18.99
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    On sale!   $18.99   CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 24.
    Hommage A Debussy Vol 1 - Works For Piano / Juliana Steinbach
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 12226 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Juliana Steinbach
    Recommendation
    CD: $18.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 25.
    My First Lullaby Album
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578213 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Igor Stravinsky,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  Idil Biret,  Einar Steen-Nökleberg,  Stefan Veselka  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Breiner,  Anthony Bramall,  Alexander Rahbari,  Keith Clark  ... 
    CD: $9.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $7.99 Add MP3 to Cart

1 2 3 4 5 6 7