Claude Debussy is one of the best known French impressionistic composers. Born in 1862, his musical talents were apparent early, and at the age of ten, he entered the Paris Conservatoire where he studied for the next eleven years. His musical style emphasized non-tonal harmony. He would not usually use any particular key or tonic, but would use chords, dissonances, and modes for their sound rather than their function within a key. One of his most famous early works, which arguably set the standard for this style, was Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun). His work had a profound effect on successive generations of composers. We are collecting music, coverage and news about Debussy from around Classical MPR and our affiliated programs. Have a look (and listen) and enjoy.
Debussy's Life and Work
Stories about Debussy, and the music he created.
- New Classical Tracks - Visions of Debussy
Discovery, philosophy, visions in sound and images -- Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov finds all of these in the music of Claude Debussy, whose 150th birthday is celebrated this month. We are giving away five copies the this new disc.August 21, 2012
- Learning to Listen - Debussy
The sounds created by Claude Debussy can be quickly recognized, but he was a versatile composer who wrote in many different genres. This podcast introduces you to some of his instrumental works.August 21, 2012
- On Debussy's 150th birthday, the spirit of his 'Clair de Lune' lives on
Local Current blogger Andrea Swensson ruminates on Claude Debussy's impact in popular culture.August 20, 2012
- Morning Glories - Debussy!
With Debussy's 150th birthday on Wednesday, we are playing some of his greatest works during the 10 a.m. Morning Glories...August 20, 2012
- Morning Glories - Debussy's World
As we approach Debussy's 150th birthday, we'll listen to composers from Debussy's world: Franck, Ravel, Satie, Chausson, and Dukas.August 13, 2012
- High on Symbolism: Composers' Mania for Pelleas and Melisande
Literary movements are, in certain ways, like theoretical physics. They both operate mostly under the radar, undergoing subtle changes, describing rarified events too arcane for the likes of you and me to grasp or care about. But then, every once in awhile, a charismatic personality with a catchy equation (E=mc^2), or a thermonuclear device, demands our attention.April 30, 2012
- New Classical Tracks: A Little Evening Music
The pieces on Janine Jansen's new disc trace an arc in time, from sunset to sunrise, beginning with Debussy's Violin Sonata and ending with a new piece written in the home of Ravel.March 1, 2011
- Regional Spotlight: Julia Bogorad-Kogan
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Principal Flutist Julia Bogorad-Kogan plays a haunting melody by Debussy for a warm late Spring afternoon.June 7, 2010
- New Classical Tracks - Vladimir and Vovka Ashkenazy: Debussy & Ravel: Music For Two Pianos
Pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy and his son Vovka come together to perform music by Debussy and Ravel.August 25, 2009
- New Classical Tracks: From dentistry to clarinet
Richard Stoltzman could have been a dentist, until a college encounter with classical music made him change his plans. On his new disc, he takes on pieces by Debussy and Weber for their musical worth, not their technical challenges.October 28, 2008
Debussy in the news
Coverage of Debussy from the Classical Notes blog.
Bastille Day Quiz
Saturday is Bastille Day, the national holiday of France. Take our Bastille Day quiz, and test your knowledge of Debussy, Saint-Saëns and Bizet!
Debussy on Mercury
Photos from Mercury come back inspired by a French composer.
Pieces of Spring No. 16
Welcome May, and Classical Minnesota Public Radio's Pieces of Spring. Every day, we'll play a springtime classic. Visit our online playlist to find each day's spring piece or, in the Twin Cities, listen to 99.5 every morning at 8. Enter...
Not clear on the concept?
Recently read this on NewMusicBox.com, in which Frank Oteri observes people walking out of concerts: "I wonder what prompts people with such tender constitutions to attend concerts in the first place. Admittedly, I've witnessed these impromptu leave-takings more frequently during...
It bears repeating
Recently, a friend approached me with a request. He said he�d become obsessed with Debussy�s Claire de Lune, had been working his way through all the recordings of it he could find�and could I recommend my own favorites? I threw...