Skip to comments.Debussy at 150: The Impressions Still Deceive
Posted on 08/22/2012 9:38:00 AM PDT by EveningStar
CLASSICAL music institutions are usually quick to seize on major anniversaries of a composers birth or death as a convenient programming hook. Get ready for the Wagner and Verdi bicentennial celebrations next year.
But what happened to Debussy, born 150 years ago on Wednesday in St.-Germain-en-Laye, west of Paris? His anniversary has drawn surprisingly little notice, at least from major New York institutions. Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center have scheduled no special events or festivals.
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Found this review online.
More's the pity. I enjoy his symphonies, even his student first. The third movement of his fourth is an absolutely beautiful fugue.
He was probably the greatest composer of his generation just as they were of their’s.
I don’t think it’s a huge deal that Debussy didn’t write symphonies or concertos, because he did write 4 ballets, numerous orchestral works, numerous compositions for voice and orchestra (such as “Printemps”), for instrument (such as clarinet, piano, harp) and orchestra, numerous solo piano works, chamber music (such as “Danses sacrée et profane”), piano works for 4 hands or 2 pianos, works for voice and piano, and works for a cappella voice. Maybe he just didn’t like the symphonic and concerto forms and prefered more non-structured forms.
If you are referring basically to the last half of the 19th century-early 20th for that to be true you would have to throw out Puccini. I also prefer Richard Strauss but I’m drawn to bombast. I got to see Ein Heldenleiben this season by the CSO at Orchestra Hall. The sound of that orchestra is the closest one can get to Heaven and still be mortal.
Assuming your statement is true my point is that the former were the greatest of all generations. At least as classical music is concerned.
The Fourth is one of my favorite pieces of music. I hope I can hold out long enough to get to see it performed at Orchestra Hall.
It seemed as though one was not considered a major composer until he had created a symphony, a concerto or an opera. Although D did compose an opera, I believe.
I would put Debussy above Puccini without any problem...the latter is more of a populist composer ala Rachmaninov than a innovator ala Debussy and Mahler.
It is those “populists” who sell tickets. I am not a huge opera lover but I have to say Puccini had a hell of a lot of good tunes. I would also think Mahler is more highly considered than Debussy. Not by me.
I would Debussy and Mahler are pretty much equally regarded at this point. Mahler is performed more because he wrote more readily performable orchestral repertoire.