Often considered the father of twentieth-century music, Debussy was a visionary whose influence is still felt. This book offers a wide-ranging series of essays on Debussy the man, the musician and composer. It contains insights into his character, his relationship to his Parisian environment and his musical works across all genres, with challenging views on the roles of nature and eroticism in his life and music. His music is considered through the characteristic themes of sonority, rhythm, tonality and form, with closing chapters considering the performance and reception of his music in the first years of the new century and our view of Debussy today as a major force in Western culture. This comprehensive view of Debussy is written by a team of specialists for students and informed music lovers.
• A comprehensive view of the composer and his work • Contains insights into the man and his musical techniques • An accessible book for students and music lovers
List of contributors; Acknowledgements; Chronology of Debussy's life and works; Note on the text; Introduction Simon Trezise; Part I. Man, Musician and Culture: 1. Debussy the man Robert Orledge; 2. Debussy's Parisian affiliations Barbara L. Kelly; 3. Debussy as musician and critic Deirdre Donnellon; Part II. Musical Explorations: 4. Debussy on stage David Grayson; 5. The prosaic Debussy Roger Nichols; 6. Debussy and expression Nigel Simeone; 7. Exploring the erotic in Debussy's music Julie McQuinn; 8. Debussy and nature Caroline Potter; Part III. Musical Techniques: 9. Debussy's tonality: a formal perspective Boyd Pomeroy; 10. The Debussy sound: colour, texture, gesture Mark DeVoto; 11. Music's inner dance: form, pacing and complexity in Debussy's music Richard S. Parks; 12. Debussy's 'rhythmicised time' Simon Trezise; Part IV. Performance and Assessment: 13. Debussy in performance Charles Timbrell; 14. Debussy now Arnold Whittall; Notes; Select bibliography; Index.
'The volume contains some illuminating information on Debussy. The volume also brings forward the rich resource of Debussy's critical writings. … contains all the material for an alternative approach to Debussy research.' Nineteenth-Century Music Review