By Simon Trezise
Los angeles mer stands on the centre of Debussy's success: defined by means of the composer as 'a seascape with out figures', it really is arguably the best and most unique French symphony. during this learn l. a. mer is taken into account within the context of Debussy's own and musical improvement, and within the French musical renaissance quite often, in retrospect to César Franck and ahead to the orchestral pictures and Jeux. the writer makes use of new biographical details and quite a lot of resources to bare the interval of los angeles mer's composition as one in all excessive emotional turbulence. distinct dialogue of functionality types attracts on present recordings, and analytical chapters hint the expansion of rules throughout the paintings. reports of rhythm, motif and tonality exhibit how Debussy generates 'narratives' around the 3 pursuits, which provide los angeles mer a structural integrity unprecedented in French song on the flip of the century.
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Extra info for Debussy: La Mer (Cambridge Music Handbooks)
6, from the opening of this movement, is not totally unlike the opening of Debussy's third movement; it at least demonstrates the extent to which residual nineteenthcentury programmatic elements lingered on in Debussy's own, far more subtle musical iconography. Gilson's La mer (1892) is an ambitious orchestral work prefaced in the score with poems by Eddy Levis, and composed on the cyclic principle. At the end of the Finale, the cyclic motif in its original, first-movement form is restated with an almost Brucknerian emphasis.
Many came to regard this as the real first performance of La mer. As well as having in the composer a sympathetic interpreter, the climate in Paris had changed: Debussy's sexual misdemeanours were no longer the main concern - these had been forgotten in the wave of Debussyism now sweeping France. ValeryRadot recalled the great event: I remember this Sunday where, at three o'clock, at the Chatelet, Debussy appeared from behind the desks of the violins. A sort of frenetic delirium arose from the Debussyists spread around the hall.
If I've been inaccurate in taking down what it dictated to me, that is no concern of yours or mine. '21 These two accusations, lack of logic or formlessness on one hand, too little evidence of the sea on the other, run through much criticism of La mer. However, there were also some quite astute reactions, including that of Gaston Carraud, who was one of few outside Debussy's inner circle (Laloy, quoted above, was a close friend and ally of Debussy's) to recognise a new strength of formal purpose; he also offered his readers an insight into the new direction taken on the programmatic side: The three symphonic pieces .