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Classical Notes

Postcards from Debussy: Day 1

Posted at 5:50 AM on August 20, 2012 by John Birge

Inspired by Debussy's 150th birthday anniversary Tomorrow, every morning at 8:30, we'll play a composition by Debussy inspired by some specific place.

Today, it's a piece titled Danse and subtitled Styrian Tarantella. It was written in 1890 after Debussy returned from Villa Medici, Italy, where he had spent two years studying as part of winning the the Prix de Rome in 1883.

The title shifts the traditionally Italian tarantella to Austria, specifically the region called Styria. You may not know Styria, but you probably know its most famous sons, who grew up to become, among other things, Governor of California:

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Styria was also the birthplace of Johann Puch, founder of the company Steier-Puch, famous for its motorcycles, trucks, and rugged little off-road vehicles that these days we call ATV's.

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