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Claude Debussy (20th Century Composers) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 23. April 2008


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Pressestimmen

'Roberts [...] is a distinguished interpreter. ... an intimate portrait that takes us nearer to the heart of the music than any biography before. ... With copious quotes from the composer's letters and articles, Roberts charts the unstoppable evolution of his subtly revolutionary art - designed...but defining the course of Western music.' Michael Church, The Independent 'incisive ... Roberts meets the challenge of both person and music with empathy and acumen ... As for the composer's writings [...], here again Roberts is both sharp and sensible ... Generous quotations from letters and memoirs support this elegantly written volume.' Roger Nichols, BBC Music Magazine 'excellent design ... lavish illustrations ... Roberts shows virtuosity in putting Debussy's music as a whole in the context of the man. So well does Roberts capture the unconventionality of the man [...] that descriptions of the revolutionary nature of the music seem nothing but natural.' Andrew Green, Piano 'it's no surprise that each book is beautifully produced on shiny thick paper and filled with gorgeous illustrations. The texts are excellent too.' Pittsburgh, PA Post Gazette

Synopsis

Born near Paris in 1862, Claude Debussy was one of the most influential composers of his age, affecting profoundly the works of later generations of composers, both in his native France and elsewhere. He was trained at the Paris Conservatoire, and decided there on a career as a composer rather than as a pianist, his original intention. His highly characteristic musical language, thoroughly French in inspiration, extended the contemporary limits of harmony and form, with a remarkably delicate command of nuance, whether in composition for the piano or in the handling of a relatively large orchestra. Considered by many to be the most important composer of piano music since Chopin, Debussy also produced a single opera, "Pelleas et Melisande", which brought an entirely new tone to the genre. This, however, was his only completed opera and instead his work predominantly comprises orchestral pieces, piano sets and songs. The orchestral works include "The Three Nocturnes" (1899), "The Three Images" (1912) and "The Ballet Jeux" (1913).

Debussy's piano music begins with works that, Verlaine fashion, look back at earlier musical styles with a modern cynicism (Suite bergamasque, 1890; Pour le piano, 1901). But then, as in the orchestral pieces, Debussy began to associate his music with visual impressions of the East, Spain, landscapes etc, in a sequence of sets of short pieces. His last volume of "Etudes" (1915) interprets similar varieties of style and texture purely as pianistic exercises and includes pieces that develop irregular form to an extreme, as well as others influenced by the young Stravinsky (a presence too in the suite En blanc et noir for two pianos, 1915). A planned set of six chamber sonatas was sadly cut short by the composer's death from cancer in 1918. Perhaps the most influential composer of his generation (and certainly one who provoked much contemporary controversy), Debussy's influence continues to be felt in the twenty-first century.

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20 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Good on Debussy's relationships, but little coverage of the music 21. Juli 2008
Von Christopher Culver - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
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 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
AN INFORMATIVE BIOGRAPHY OF A VERY INFLUENTIAL COMPOSER 30. September 2009
Von Steven H Propp - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
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 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
DEBUSSY: Rebel of French music 16. Juni 2008
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
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
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Great Biography 9. März 2011
Von Malcolm: Author Philosopher Artist & Poet - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
If you are looking for a book which tells you about the life of Debussy and how his music erupted and emerged from his life . . . . then this is the book!
4 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Excellent Book on Claude Debussy. 2. Juli 2008
Von Louie Bourland - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I've been waiting for a book like this for a very long time and it seems like finally, the wait is over.
Paul Roberts' book on the French composer Claude Debussy is a well-researched and well-written document on this dynamic musical genius. Debussy's musical and personal life are discussed in detail without becoming overly pretentious. Roberts provides an inside look into Debussy's creativity as a composer as well as his life outside of music. It's almost like getting to meet Debussy in person and having a friend of his tell you his life story.
This book is definitely a must for the avid Debussy fan. Although I've been a fan of Debussy's music for well over 20 years, I have further appreciation for him and his music after reading this book. Because of this, it comes highly recommended. It's an excellent biography on a most excellent composer and musician. A Must-Read!!!
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