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Claude Debussy Paperback – Oct 15 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; 1 edition (April 23 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714835129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714835129
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.6 x 21.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #570,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Claude Debussy (20th Century Composers)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9da267bc) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dc70be8) out of 5 stars Good on Debussy's relationships, but little coverage of the music July 21 2008
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Paul Robert's biography of the great French composer Claude Debussy fits in well with the other composer biographies published by Phaidon Press. It is 240 pages, lavishly illustrated, and focuses more on the life of Debussy than on the details of his music. Roberts is mainly focused on Debussy's relationships with the people in his life. His teachers, his friends and rivals, and his numerous wives and mistresses are presented. Roberts is able to report a great deal of these interpersonal dynamics by citing correspondence, many examples of which have only recently come to light. Roberts builds up a picture of Debussy as something of a man-child, unable to hold down a steady income or build a family, but nonetheless someone who made great and influential music.

I found the book useful for getting a chronology of Debussy's music. However, anyone looking to know more about the music, where Debussy may have taken inspiration for his striking innovations, and how these works were received would do better to seek out other resources.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d830fcc) out of 5 stars AN INFORMATIVE BIOGRAPHY OF A VERY INFLUENTIAL COMPOSER Sept. 29 2009
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) is the subject of this fairly brief, but very engaging and well-illustrated biography. Debussy's aesthetic was unique: "He wanted to create, he said later, music 'whose form was so free it would sound improvised.'"

The music of Debussy is given detailed, yet not too technical explanations. E.g., "One of Debussy's accomplishments in Pelleas et Melisande was the extraordinary balance that he achieved between orchestra and text, and the way in which he allowed the 'expressive force' of the words to control the dramatic action."

His relationships with other composers are also chronicled. "Erik Satie was a continual presence throughout Debussy's great creative maturing of the 1890s. He witnessed it, worshipped it, and to a large extent was involved in it..." Debussy was encouraging of the young Igor Stravinsky (twenty years younger than him), and "clearly found Le Sacre a deeply frightening challenge to his own hold on musical values."

Debussy's private life was sometimes chaotic and controversial. Concerning his "sudden" marriage in 1899, which was "An undoubted rebound from his depression, (that) was to end in disaster and led to the final withdrawing of Claude Debussy behind a screen of prickly taciturnity, from which he rarely emerged for the rest of his life." (Roberts notes that Debussy's first wife shot herself in the breast, attempting to kill herself after he left her.)

Overall, this is a fascinating biography for fans of Debussy and his music.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dac4d38) out of 5 stars DEBUSSY: Rebel of French music June 16 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, CLAUDE DEBUSSY, is an excellent overview of Debussy's life. Because of the information and reading suggestions in the appendix, I am currently reading another one of the composer's life. This one, as mentioned by Paul Roberts, is excellent, also. Mr. Roberts' book is a welcome addition to my music history library and I am sure I will be referring to it in my opera history classes come September. It is a cut above the average bio. The comments are especially noteworthy!
Dr.Alan-Clarke Hudson
HASH(0x9dac5030) out of 5 stars Five Stars July 16 2016
By Dmuse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent!
HASH(0x9dac5144) out of 5 stars Very nice, sensitive depiction of a seminal figure who was ... Oct. 3 2015
By Ascribe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very nice, sensitive depiction of a seminal figure who was one of the greatest composers. Aside: includes a photo of Debussy and Stravinsky - one of the most important photos in music history - who were mutual admirers.


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