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
Ravel, Debussy: String Quartets / Klinko, Davies, Chilingirian Quartet
Release Date: 03/20/2007   Label: Emi Classics For Pleasure  
Catalog: 82231   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms, Kodaly, Debussy, Tchaikovksy / Fournier, Holetschek
Release Date: 11/24/2009   Label: Orfeo  
Catalog: 798091   Number of Discs: 1
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Messiaen: Visions De L'amen; Debussy: En Blanc Et Noir
Release Date: 08/31/2010   Label: Cedille Records  
Catalog: 119   Number of Discs: 1
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Debussy: Complete Music for Piano Duo / Damerini, Rapetti
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94448   Number of Discs: 3
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Debussy: Violin Sonata, Cello Sonata, Piano Trio / Trio Stradivari
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94766   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: La mer

Browse 151-173 of 173 Available Recordings
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  • 151.
    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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  • 152.
    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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  • 153.
    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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  • 154.
    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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  • 155.
    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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  • 156.
    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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  • 157.
    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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  • 158.
    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
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  • 159.
    Debussy: Music For Two Pianos / Yukie Nagai, Dag Achatz
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 526 Release Date: 10/12/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Dag Achatz,  Inzuki "Yukie" Nagai
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  • 160.
    Debussy: La Mer, Iberia, Etc;  Ravel / Paray, Detroit So
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 434343 Release Date: 09/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Paul Paray
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
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  • 161.
    Debussy - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64065 Release Date: 08/09/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Paul Crossley,  Branford Marsalis,  Philippe Entremont
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Andrew Litton,  Pierre Boulez,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet  ... 
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  • 162.
    Ravel - The Greatest Hits
    Label: Reference Gold   Catalog: 3608 Release Date: 04/13/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Kun-Woo Paik,  Anna Lelkes,  Pamela Endsley,  Sylvia Cápová
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Denver Symphony Orchestra,  London Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 163.
    Debussy: Orchestral Music / Haitink, Van Beinum
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 438742 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Vera Badings,  George Pieterson
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Eduard Van Beinum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 164.
    The Best Of Debussy
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556663 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Klára Körmendi,  Péter Nagy
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari,  Keith Clark
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra,  Kodály String Quartet,  Bratislava Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 165.
    Guido Cantelli - The Debussy Recordings / Philharmonia
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1011 Release Date: 10/27/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 166.
    Debussy: La Mer, Etc / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 53256 Release Date: 10/19/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 167.
    A Hi-fi Spectacular - Saint-saens, Debussy / Charles Munch
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 61500 Release Date: 03/09/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Ibert,  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 168.
    Debussy: La Mer, Nocturnes, Etc / Solti, Chicago So
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436468 Release Date: 11/10/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Chorus members,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 169.
    Debussy: Complete Works For Orchestra Vol 1 / Froment
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5003 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Louis de Froment
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Luxembourg Radio/Television Symphony Orchestra
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  • 170.
    Debussy: La Mer, Nocturnes, Etc / Rahbari, Brt Philharmonic
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550262 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Jan Van Reeth
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra,  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 171.
    Debussy: La Mer, Images, Prelude / Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429728 Release Date: 05/10/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
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  • 172.
    The Solti Collection - Ravel: Bolero;  Debussy: La Mer
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 430444 Release Date: 05/10/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 173.
    Ravel: Bolero, Daphnis Et Chloe Suite; Debussy / Karajan
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 1076984 Release Date: 05/16/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Claude Debussy


WORKS
Debussy: La Mer, L.109 - 1. From Dawn Till Noon On The Sea (De l'aube à midi sur la mer)
Debussy: La Mer, L.109 - 2. Play Of The Waves (Jeux de vagues)
Debussy: La Mer, L.109 - 3. Dialogue Of The Wind And The Sea (Dialogue du vent et de la mer)
Debussy: String Quartet In G Minor, Op.10, L. 85 - 1. Animé et très décidé
Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op.10 - 2. Scherzo (Assez vif et bien rythmé)
Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op.10 - 3. Andantino doucement expressif
Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op.10 - 4. Très modéré - Très mouvementé - Très animé
Debussy: Children's Corner, L. 113 - 1. Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum
Debussy: Children's Corner, L.113 - 2. Jimbo's Lullaby
Debussy: Children's Corner, L. 113 - 3. Serenade For The Doll
Debussy: Children's Corner, L.113 - 4. The Snow Is Dancing
Debussy: Children's Corner, L. 113 - 5. The Little Shepherd
Debussy: Children's Corner, L. 113 - 6. Golliwogg's Cakewalk
Debussy: Images - Book 1 - 1. Reflets dans l'eau
Debussy: Images - Book 1 - 2. Hommage à Rameau
Debussy: Images - Book 1 - 3. Mouvement
Debussy: Images - Book 2 - 1. Cloches à travers les feuilles
Debussy: Images - Book 2 - 2. Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fût
Debussy: Images - Book 2 - 3. Poissons d'or
Debussy: Préludes - Book 1 - 1. Danseuses de Delphes
Debussy: Préludes - Book 1 - 2. Voiles
Debussy: Préludes - Book 1 - 3. Le vent dans la plaine
Debussy: Préludes - Book 1 - 4. Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir
Debussy: Préludes - Book 1 - 5. Les collines d'Anacapri
Debussy: Préludes - Book 1 - 6. Des pas sur la neige
Debussy: Préludes - Book 1 - 7. Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest
Debussy: Préludes - Book 1, L.117 - 8. La fille aux cheveux de lin
Debussy: Préludes - Book 1 - 9. La sérénade interrompue
Debussy: Préludes - Book 1 - 10. La cathédrale engloutie
Debussy: Préludes - Book 1 - 11. La danse de Puck
Debussy: Préludes - Book 1 - 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