Music Composers

Claude Debussy-Part 8

Grieg's music gives him the charming and bizarre sensation of eating a pink bonbon stuffed with snow.

Of Beethoven he writes: "The right lesson to be learnt from him is not to hold fast to ancient formulas. Neither is it necessary to follow in the tracks of his early footsteps. But it is of greater importance to look out of the open window to the free sky beyond."

The bulk of Debussy's works is not very large, owing also to the fact that he died in his 56th year (1918).

The most widely known among them is his opera, Pelleas et Melisande, after Maeterlinck's play. The subject of the opera is vague and full of fathomless mystery. Maeterlinck's man - as de Soissons says - is a being whose sensuous life is only a concrete symbol of his infinite transcendental side. The libretto contains scenes of exquisite beauty. To give a single instance of the delicate poetic perfume pervading the whole work, I shall mention the opening scene of the third act, in which Pelleas entreats Melisande to lean further forward out of the window of the tower, that he may see her hair unbound and touch her hand. Suddenly her long tresses fall over her head and stream about Pelleas. He is enraptured. "I have never seen such hair as yours, Melisande! See! See! Though it comes from so high it floods me to the heart! And is sweet, sweet as though it fell from heaven! I can no longer see the sky through your locks... My two hands can no longer hold them...They are alive like birds in my hands. And they love me, they love me more than you do!" Melisande begs to be released. Pelleas kisses the enveloping tresses..."Do you hear my kisses? They mount through your hair..."

The Etude Magazine February 1921





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