by Liz Dunbar @HuntSchoolMusic
Like Ravel, Debussy’s ability to paint in sound is breath-taking. Taking full advantage of the developments of the piano in the late 19th century, Debussy's musical language and approach to composition mark a significant change in approaches to harmony, tonality, sonority, and texture. Debussy's work is massively varied but it is his use of tonal centres, rather than clear keys, and his erosion of established approaches to rhythm, phrase and structure that gained him the label 'impressionist'. Sometimes his melodies are mere fragments of something half remembered, that dissolve into long trills or become ostinati.
His Estampes (‘Prints’, or picture postcards), conjure images of far away places, eg. of peaceful pagodas in a mystical, far-away Javanese landscape.....
....or a magical starlit summer’s evening in the Spanish city of Granada.
Here's an ever evolving playlist to provide you with plenty of wider listening references to use in questions 5 and 6.