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Claude Debussy Biography

Claude Debussy was born as Achille-Claude Debussy. He has become recognizable over the years as one of the most notable and influential French musical composers that has ever lived. At the turn of the 20th century he was one of the most prominent figures in music and his contributions to the world of music are still enjoyed today. Debussy was born in 1862 in St. Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, France. His father was a salesman and a china shop owner. His mother was a seamstress. He was the oldest of five children born to the couple, and his childhood and growing up years were less than ideal. Some of the events Debussy never quite got over, nor did he talk about them. He was forced to join his mother, who was pregnant at the time as she left to to to his paternal aunt’s home in Cannes to escape the Franco-Prussian War.Through all of the bad experiences it was clear at a very early age to everyone that he was gifted musically. Thankfully the gift was recognized and when he was seven years
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1862 22 August Achille-Claude Debussy born at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris. Delius, Klimt born; Halevy (63), Thoreau (45) die; First performances of Beatrice et Benedict (Berlioz), La forza del destino (Verdi); The Companies Act introduced. 1863 Cavafy, Mascagni, Edvard Munch , Pierne born; Delacroix (65), Alfred de Vigny (66), Thackeray (52) die; Renan’s La vie de Jesus published; First Salon des Refuses in Paris; Gounod’s Faust produced in London, Dublin and New York; First performances of Les troyens a Carthage (Berlioz), Les pecheurs de perles (Bizet); French troops occupy Mexico; First underground railway completed in London; Poles rebel against Russia. 1864 Richard Strauss born; Nathaniel Hawthorne (58), Meyerbeer (73) die; First performance of Mireille (Gounod); Civil war in Japan; Papal Syllabus of Errors. 1865 Dukas, Glazunov, Sibelius, W. B. Yeats born; Pierre Proudhon (56) dies; First performance of L’africaine (Meyerbeer), Tristan und Isolde (Wagner); End of American C

Claude Debussy Quotes

A beautiful sunset that was mistaken for a dawn. How much has to be explored and discarded before reaching the naked flesh of feeling. I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it. In opera, there is always too much singing. Music is the arithmetic of sounds as optics is the geometry of light. Music is the expression of the movement of the waters, the play of curves described by changing breezes. Music is the silence between the notes. The color of my soul is iron-grey and sad bats wheel about the steeple of my dreams. There is nothing is more musical than a sunset. He who feels what he sees will find no more beautiful example of development in all that book which, alas, musicians read but too little-the book of Nature.

Claude Debussy's Work

In any view of Debussy’s style and the elements of his musical language the main problem is to define his attitude to tonality. The vagueness of Debussy’s sense of tonality, compared to that of Brahms, or even of Wagner, was long a commonplace in essays on musical analysis, and indeed in so far as this vagueness was held to be a characteristic of Impressionism from which, after Debussy’s death, there was a sharp reaction, it was held, too, to be a reprehensible aspect of his work, suggesting in his approach a certain tentativeness or a timidity. Today this view seems to us superficial. In the first place the short-lived reaction against Debussy’s work, which took place in the 1920s, now seems to have been less an Esthetic than a fashionable movement. Also, with our knowledge of some of the underlying origins of the great revolutionary movements at the end of the nineteenth century, we are compelled, in an assessment of Debussy’s style, to view values of precision and imprecision in art