Music Composers

Claude Debussy-Part 1

A young composer once submitted to Rossini a new work of his requesting him to give an opinion on its merits. The master after having perused the composition remarked in his usual sarcastic way: "I notice in your work much which is beautiful and much which is new, bit I am sorry to say the beautiful is not new and the new is not beautiful."

With these words Rossini gives to all musicians a wonderful guide for their artistic pursuits. That means in substance: Seek only the beautiful which is not borrowed from your predecessors and the new which is not at the same time ugly and repulsive.

Claude Debussy is one of the very few who to a certain extent fulfilled in his works the two requirements, as well in the attainment of ideal beauty as of novelty and originality. In fact one of his most striking traits is his love of liberty and freedom. He is adverse to all the time-honored laws, whether concerning melody or rhythm or harmony or form. His melodies are bare of symmetry, they are evasive, elusive, like "iridescent vapor." Harmonically he obeys no rules; consonances, dissonances are blended, juxtaposed without the smallest regard for tone relations.

The Etude Magazine February 1921

 

 

 

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