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 à l'après-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 à l'après-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
Debussy: Fall of the House of Usher / Pretre
Release Date: 04/09/2007   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 47921   Number of Discs: 1
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Debussy: Pelleas et Melisande / Gilfry, Rey, Welser-Most
Release Date: 11/13/2012   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 107285   Number of Discs: 2
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Debussy: Pelleas et Melisande / Gilfry, Rey, Welser-Most [blu-ray]
Release Date: 11/13/2012   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 108050   Number of Discs: 2
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Strauss, Faure, Debussy, Poulenc, Wolf & Berg: Songs / Christiane Karg
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Wigmore Hall Live  
Catalog: 62   Number of Discs: 1
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Debussy: Pelleas Et Melisande / Soltesz, Imbrailo, Selinger, Le Texier, Soffel, Eberle
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 101686   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: La mer

Browse 151-175 of 190 Available Recordings
1 2 ... 6 7 8
  • 151.
    The Monet Collection - Romantic Melodies
    Label: Lifestyles   Catalog: 315018 Release Date: 06/05/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Odselashvilli
    Conductor:  Vakhtang Kakhidze,  Jansug Kakhidze,  Stanislav Gorkovenko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tbilisi Festival Choir,  Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra,  Russian Radio/TV Orchestra of St. Petersburg
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  • 152.
    Sergiu Celibidache-from The Collection Of Berlin Po Concerts
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1079 Release Date: 05/22/2001   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ferruccio Busoni,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Reinhold Gliere  ... 
    Performer:  Erna Berger,  Tibor de Machula
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 153.
    Lifestyles For Baby - Unforgettable Moments
    Label: Lifestyles   Catalog: 315011 Release Date: 03/06/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Claude Debussy,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 154.
    Debussy: La Mer, Syrinx... / Karajan, Richter...
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469130 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Benjamin Britten,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli,  Sviatoslav Richter  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Herbert von Karajan,  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Melos String Quartet Stuttgart
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  • 155.
    French Favourites - Ravel, Milhaud, Debussy / Järvi, Detroit
    Label: Chandos Collect   Catalog: 6615 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Darius Milhaud,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
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  • 156.
    Stravinsky, Beethoven, Debussy / Kameda, Balet
    Label: Cypres   Catalog: 1610 Release Date: 08/12/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Mayumi Kameda,  Jean-Jacques Balet
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  • 157.
    Debussy: La Mer; Rimsky-korsakov: Scheherazade / Leinsdorf
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67314 Release Date: 06/06/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Israel Baker
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Concert Arts Orchestra
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  • 158.
    Hans Zender Edition Vol 4 - Debussy: Images, Jeux, La Mer
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 999476 Release Date: 04/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Hans Zender
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Saar Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 159.
    Impressions Of The Sea / Joann Falletta, Long Beach So
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 364 Release Date: 01/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Frank Bridge,  Anatole Liadov,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  JoAnn Falletta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Long Beach Symphony Orchestra
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  • 160.
    Debussy: La Mer;  Ravel: Daphnis And Chloe, Etc
    Label: Vox Da Capo   Catalog: 7209 Release Date: 11/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra,  St. Olaf Choir,  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
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  • 161.
    Debussy: La Mer, Nocturnes, Jeux, Etc / Dutoit, Montreal So
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 460217 Release Date: 11/09/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Timothy Hutchins
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Montréal Symphony Women's Chorus
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  • 162.
    Debussy: La Mer, Nocturnes, Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune / Previn, London Symphony
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73565 Release Date: 10/19/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers
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  • 163.
    Debussy: Jeux, La Mer, Nocturnes / Lorin Maazel, Vienna Po
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 64616 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 164.
    Bernstein Century - Debussy: La Mer, Jeux, Nocturnes, Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60972 Release Date: 03/16/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 165.
    Mendelssohn, Schönberg, Debussy / Mitropoulos, Berlin Po
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 488981 Release Date: 11/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 166.
    Charles Munch Edition Vol 4 - Debussy: Iberia, La Mer, Etc
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 4828 Release Date: 08/11/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Nicole Henriot-Schweitzer
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
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  • 167.
    Debussy: Orchestral Works Vol 1 / Martinon, Ortf Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 572667 Release Date: 08/11/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Fabienne Boury-Fournier,  Michel Sedrez,  Alain Marion
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  ORTF Chorus
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  • 168.
    Debussy: La Mer, Images, Etc / Saraste, Rotterdam Po, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics Veritas   Catalog: 61424 Release Date: 05/05/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 169.
    Debussy: 2 Nocturnes, Jeux, La Mer;  Respighi / De Sabata
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1108 Release Date: 02/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Ottorino Respighi
    Conductor:  Victor De Sabata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
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  • 170.
    Take 2 - Debussy: Orchestral Works / Szell, Ormandy, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 63244 Release Date: 11/18/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Frederica Von Stade,  Susanne Mentzer
    Conductor:  Louis Lane,  Seiji Ozawa,  Pierre Boulez,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 171.
    The Classic Sound - Ravel: Boléro, La Valse, Etc / Ansermet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448576 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Paul Dukas  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 172.
    Debussy: Works For Two Pianos / Lonskov, Llambias
    Label: Kontrapunkt   Catalog: 32107 Release Date: 06/20/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Rodolfo Llambias,  Tove Lonskov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lonskov-Llambias Piano Duo
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  • 173.
    Ravel: Bolero;  Debussy, Mussorgsky / Karajan, Berlin Po
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 447426 Release Date: 02/13/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 174.
    Respighi: Pines of Rome, Fountains of Rome; Debussy: La Mer / Reiner
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 68079 Release Date: 04/11/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi,  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 175.
    Debussy: La Mer, Nocturnes, Etc / Boulez, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439896 Release Date: 03/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Franklin Cohen
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus
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1 2 ... 6 7 8

Claude Debussy


WORKS
1. From Dawn Till Noon On The Sea (De l'aube à midi sur la mer)
2. Play Of The Waves (Jeux de vagues)
3. Dialogue Of The Wind And The Sea (Dialogue du vent et de la mer)
1. Animé et très décidé
2. Scherzo (Assez vif et bien rythmé)
3. Andantino doucement expressif
4. Très modéré - Très mouvementé - Très animé
1. Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum
2. Jimbo's Lullaby
3. Serenade For The Doll
4. The Snow Is Dancing
5. The Little Shepherd
6. Golliwogg's Cakewalk
1. Reflets dans l'eau
2. Hommage à Rameau
3. Mouvement
1. Cloches à travers les feuilles
2. Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fût
3. Poissons d'or
1. Danseuses de Delphes
2. Voiles
3. Le vent dans la plaine
4. Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir
5. Les collines d'Anacapri
6. Des pas sur la neige
7. Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest
8. La fille aux cheveux de lin
9. La sérénade interrompue
10. La cathédrale engloutie
11. La danse de Puck
12. Minstrels
1. Brouillards
2. Feuilles mortes
3. La puerta del vino
4. "Les fées sont d'exquises danseuses"
5. Bruyères
6. "General Lavine" - eccentric
7. La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune
8. Ondine
9. Hommage à S. Pickwick, Esq., P.P.M.P.C.
10. Canope
11. Les tierces alternées
12. Feux d'artifice