Tuesday, September 14, 2010
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.