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
Debussy: Arabesques, Clair de Lune, Golliwogg's Cakewalk / Ronan O'Hora
Release Date: 06/14/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 29040   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $9.98
CD: $4.99
In Stock
On sale!   $9.98   CD:  $4.99 Add CD to Cart

Gershwin, Ravel, Debussy / O'Riley, Wordsworth, Royal PO
Release Date: 08/11/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28050   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $9.98
CD: $4.99
In Stock
On sale!   $9.98   CD:  $4.99 Add CD to Cart

Les Amis - Debussy, Caplet / Elizabeth Hainen
Release Date: 11/12/2013   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2285   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $16.49
CD: $13.99
In Stock
On sale!   $16.49   CD:  $13.99 Add CD to Cart

Debussy: 12 Etudes / Mitsuko Uchida
Release Date: 07/04/2006   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 000701102   Number of Discs: 1
On sale!
CD: $11.49
In Stock
MP3 Available
On sale!     CD:  $11.49 Add CD to Cart

MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Works For Clarinet And Orchestra By Rossini, Busoni, Debussy, Nielsen / Benda
Release Date: 01/01/2008   Label: Genuin Musikproduction  
Catalog: 88128   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $18.99
CD: $14.99
In Stock
On sale!   $18.99   CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

Work: Préludes, Book 1

Browse 26-50 of 108 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4 5
  • 26.
    Robert Cassidy Plays Debussy, Mozart & Noon
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1348 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  David Noon
    Performer:  Robert Cassidy
    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $16.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    On sale!   $19.98   CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 27.
    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

  • 28.
    Hommage A Debussy Vol 2 - Works For Piano / Amir Tebenikhin
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 12227 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Amir Tebenikhin
    On sale! $18.99
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $18.99   CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 29.
    Debussy: Preludes I & Ii / Walter Gieseking
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6783332 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Walter Gieseking
    CD: $12.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 30.
    Debussy: Complete Works For Piano
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 4010 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    CD: $24.49
    Low Stock
    CD:  $24.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 31.
    Debussy: Complete Orchestral Works / Jun Markl, Orchestre National De Lyon
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8509002 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Paul Meyer,  Alexandre Doisy,  Emmanuel Ceysson
    Conductor:  Jun Märkl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Chorus
    Recommendation
    CD: $58.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $58.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $71.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 32.
    Debussy: The Solo Piano Works / Noriko Ogawa
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1955 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Noriko Ogawa
    Conductor:  Lan Shui
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singapore Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $44.49
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $44.49 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $59.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 33.
    The Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Plays Debussy: The Last Recital
    Label: Appassionato   Catalog: 999101 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
    CD: $34.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $34.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 34.
    20th Century Collection / Maurizio Pollini
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001632502 Release Date: 12/20/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Claude Debussy,  Alban Berg,  Luigi Nono  ... 
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Slavka Taskova
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $39.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $29.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 35.
    Debussy: Oeuvres Pour Piano / Albert Ferber
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 0833802 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Albert Ferber
    CD: $27.49
    Low Stock
    CD:  $27.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 36.
    Label: Pro Piano   Catalog: 224525 Release Date: 06/21/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Vladimir Viardo
    On sale! $19.95
    CD: $16.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $19.95   CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 37.
    Debussy: Complete Solo Piano Music / Larissa Dedova
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3094/7 Release Date: 05/24/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Larissa Dedova
    Recommendation
    CD: $58.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $58.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $39.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 38.
    Reverie / Katie Mahan
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637770447 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Katie Mahan
    CD: $24.99
    Special Order
    CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 39.
    Debussy, Ravel And Bartok / Monique Haas
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 439666 Release Date: 03/24/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Monique Haas
    Conductor:  Paul Paray,  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $24.98
    ArkivCD $21.99
    Special Order
    On sale!   $24.98   ArkivCD:  $21.99 Add to Cart

  • 40.
    Entre Quatre-z-yeux - Debussy: Preludes Book 1 / Daniel Barenboim
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4559 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    DVD: $18.99
    In Stock
    DVD:  $18.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 41.
    The Genius Of Dino Ciani
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94069 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Dino Ciani
    On sale!
    CD: $13.99
    Back Order
    On sale!   $16.99   CD:  $13.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 42.
    Debussy: Preludes Books 1 & 2 / Walter Gieseking
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65931 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Unspecified,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Walter Gieseking
    Recommendation
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $7.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 43.
    Great Short Masterpieces For Piano - Schubert, Berio, Et Al / Michal Tal
    Label: Romeo Entertainment   Catalog: 7278/9 Release Date: 11/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Claude Debussy,  Erik Satie,  Luciano Berio
    Performer:  Michal Tal
    Recommendation
    On sale! $37.98
    CD: $33.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $37.98   CD:  $33.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 44.
    111 Years Of Deutsche Grammophon [55-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341002 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Hubert Giesen,  Helmut Walcha  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Daniele Callegari,  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Richter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  Verdi Chorus Milan  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $119.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 45.
    13th Van Cliburn Competition - Silver Medal / Yeol Eum Son
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907507 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Leopold Godowsky,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  Yeol Eum Son
    On sale! $21.98
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $21.98   CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 46.
    Debussy: L'oeuvre Complete Pour Piano / Jean Boguet
    Label: Tudor Records   Catalog: 731-34 Release Date: 06/26/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Jean Boguet
    CD: $48.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $48.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 47.
    Label: Dal Segno   Catalog: DSPRCD043 Release Date: 05/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Jacques Rouvier
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 48.
    Icon - Walter Gieseking - Poet Of The Keyboard
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 65081 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Edvard Grieg,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Gieseking,  Bernard Walton,  Sidney Sutcliffe,  Cecil James  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Schröder,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hessian Radio Orchestra Frankfurt,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $54.49
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $54.49 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $47.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 49.
    Label: Calliope   Catalog: 5831 Release Date: 04/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    On sale! $23.99
    Import CD
    $9.99
    2-3 Days
    On sale!   $23.99   Import CD:  $9.99 Add to Cart

  • 50.
    Debussy: Preludes / Nelson Freire
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001259602 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Nelson Freire
    Recommendation
    CD not available
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

1 2 3 4 5