Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Claude Debussy


Claude Debussy was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France in 1862, the eldest of five children. His father, Manuel-Achille Debussy, owned a shop where he sold china and crockery, and his mother, Victorine Manoury Debussy, was a seamstress. They moved to Paris in 1867. In 1870, his pregnant mother sought refuge from the Franco-Prussian war with a paternal aunt of Claude's in Cannes and it was here that he began piano lessons when he was seven years old with an elderly Italian violinist named Cerutti; his lessons were paid for by his aunt. In 1871, the young Debussy gained the attention of Marie Mauté de Fleurville, who claimed to have been a pupil of Frédéric Chopin, and Debussy always believed her, although there is no independent evidence that she was. His talents soon became evident, and in 1872, at age ten, Debussy entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he spent eleven years. During his time there he studied composition with Ernest Guiraud, music history/theory with Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray, harmony with Émile Durand, piano with Antoine François Marmontel, organ with César Franck, and solfège with Albert Lavignac, as well as other significant figures of the era. He also became lifelong friend of fellow student and noted pianist Isidor Philipp. After Debussy's death, many pianists sought out Philipp for advice on playing his music.
From the start, though clearly talented, Debussy was also argumentative and experimental, and he challenged the rigid teaching of the Academy, favoring instead dissonances and intervals which were frowned upon at the time. Like Georges Bizet, Debussy was a brilliant pianist and an outstanding sight reader, who could have had a professional career as such had he so wished. The pieces he played in public at this time included sonata movements by Beethoven, Schumann and Weber; and Chopin - the Ballade No. 2, a movement from the Piano Concerto No. 1, and the Allegro de Concert, a relatively little-known piece that demands an even higher degree of virtuosity than either of the concertos.






3 comments:

  1. A fine art lover like me. Must appreciate.
    Ty for this nice read. the video was calming and refreshing.

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  2. I go to sleep i cant read all
    all letter is inclined wow

    :P :))

    nice :P

    ReplyDelete