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Claude Debussy Two Preludes—“Feuilles mortes” from Book II and “Ce ...

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Claude Debussy Two Preludes—“Feuilles mortes” from Book II and “Ce ...

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Ajouté le : 21 juillet 2011
Lecture(s) : 249
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Claude Debuss Two Preludes“Feuilles mortes” from Book II and “Ce qu’a vu le Vent d’ouet” from Bookto be played in their original versions for solo piano, and in orchestrations by Colin Matthews
ACHILLECLAUDE DEBUSSY was born at St. Germaie Laye,France, on August 22, 1862, and died in Paris on March 25, 1918. The twelve Préludes fosolo piano that make up his Préludes, Book 1, published in 1910, were composed in 1909 and 1910. “Ce qu’a vu le Vent d’ouest” (“What the West Wind saw”), from Book I, was composed in 1910. The twelve Préludes of Book II, published in 1913, and which inclde “Feuilles mortes” (“Dead leaves”; sometimes translated as “Autumn leaves”), were composed 191213.
COLIN MATTHEWS was born in London, England, on February 13, 1946, and lives there now. He orchestrated all twent fourof Debussy’s Preludes between 2001 and 2006 on commission from the Hallé Orchestra, of which he ecame Associate Composer in 2001. Mark Elder, music director of the Hallé Orchestra since September 2000, led that orchestra in the premieres of “Feuilles mortes” and “Ce qu’a vu le Vent d’oues ” in the orchestrations by Colin Matthews on October 11, 2001, at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, England.
COLIN MATTHEWS’S ORCHESTRATION OF “FEUILLES MORTES”which receives its Ameri?can premiere in these concertscalls for an orchestra of two flutes and alto flute, two oboes and English horn, two clarinets and ass clarinet, two bassoons and contrabassoon, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, timpani, percussion (two layers: tatam, two pairs of crotales in A andsharp), two harps, celest, and strings.
COLIN MATTHEWS’S ORCHESTRATION OF “CE QU’A VU LE VENT D’OUEST” calls for an orchestra of two flutes, piccolo, and alto flute, two oboes and English horn, two clarinets and bass clarinet, two bassoons and contrabassoon, four horns, three truets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (three players: bass drum, cymbals, two suspended cymbals, triangle, tatam, glockenspiel), two harps, celesta, and strings.
In 1872, the great French Impressionist composer Claude Debussy entered the PariConservatoire at the tender age of ten in order to study piano. He had been prepared for this course of study by his teacher Antoinette Mauté. Mauté, who claimed to have been a student of Chopin’s, introduced Debussy to the complex and graceful music ofhe great Polish composer and had high aspirations for her young student. Debussy showed promise as a performer, but during his later teenage years shifted his attention from performance to composition. When he won the prestigious Prix de Rome for composition in 1884, his career path was set. Debussy always remained an active and accomplished pianist, however, whose friends often remarked on his great ability to evoke beautiful effects and colors from the piano. The composer Alfredo Casella once wrote thathen Debussy played, his “sensibility of touch was incomparable...the effect was a miracle of poetry.”
Perhaps because his first instrument was the piano, Debussy wrote some of his most personal and moving music for it. In 1909 he began composing a set ofreludes for piano solo that were published the following year. They remain to this day among his most popular works. The idea of publishing a set of Preludes was obviously inspired by Chopin, but Debussy’s Preludes are not merely an imitation of or homage to his predecessor’s. Debussy’s first book of Preludes contains only twelve pieces, not twentfour, as Chopin’s did. And rather than follow a strict tonal order, as did Bach and Chopin before him, Debussy attached a short descriptive title in a parenthes s the end of each piece, erhaps to suggest instead of explicitly state an interpretation to the performer.
Though completely Debussyan in nature, the Preludes exhibit echoes of Chopin’s grace, charm, and suppleness of language throughout, yet they contaia wealth of new pianistic colors and gestures as well as an advanced harmonic alette. Following the publication of the first book, Debussy began work on a second book of Preludes, which was ublished in 1913. Like the first, this book also contains twele freestanding Preludes with descriptive titles added arenthetically at the end. The 1913 publication expands on the first and contains some of Debussy’s most advanced tonal thinking.
Each Prelude is a world unto itself. The short titles included in thecore demonstrate that Debussy’s music is often driven by visual images which at times make conventional tonal analysis inadequate to the task. This is particularly evident in the Prelude from Book I entitled “Ce qu’a vu le Vent d’ouest” (“What the West Wid Saw”), which depicts the violent wind that blows through France from the north and churns up large waves upon the shore. In it,
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