By Paul Holmes
Achille-Claude Debussy was born into unsettled times: he lived through the political instability of the Commune era, the cultural explosion of the Exposition Universelle, the creative ferment of fin-de-siecle Paris, the frantic turbulence of pre-war Europe and, ultimately, its headlong descent into one of the bloodiest wars in history. He died with German bombs exploding about him in the streets of Paris.
Beneath the alluring surface of Debussy's music took place a revolution as radical as any of the events of his lifetime, but it was a revolution won by seduction, not force. Debussy's reputation as the 'father of modern music' might seem baffling to listeners who associate 'modern music' with the irregular rhythms of Stravinsky and scrunching dissonances of Schoenberg, but works like the exquisitely sensuous Prelude al'apres-midi d'un faune undermined traditional ideas of harmony, form and orchestration at a single stroke, and the language of music was never to be the same again.
Lavishly illustrated throughout, this fascinating new biography sets Debussy's musical revolution in the context of the times. It will be invaluable to musicians and concert-goers alike.
Includes a CD featuring a selection of recordings by the composer.
Publication Date: 15.09.15
Extent: 144 pages
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