By Simon Trezise
L. a. 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 unusual 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 as a rule, in retrospect to César Franck and ahead to the orchestral photographs and Jeux. the writer makes use of new biographical details and quite a lot of assets to bare the interval of l. a. mer's composition as considered one of excessive emotional turbulence. specific dialogue of functionality types attracts on present recordings, and analytical chapters hint the expansion of principles in the course of the paintings. reports of rhythm, motif and tonality express how Debussy generates 'narratives' around the 3 hobbies, which offer l. a. mer a structural integrity unheard of in French song on the flip of the century.
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Extra resources for Debussy: La Mer (Cambridge Music Handbooks)
6 Victorin de Joncieres, La mer, bars 4—7 [Allegro moderate] : / ML T , dim. , 12 12 il T7 12 12 vlc/cb of the time, as is shown by the opening of Debussy's contemporary Fantaisie for piano and orchestra (see chapter 2), which also hovers around the sixth note of the major scale (see Exx. 7 and 8). The four movements are titled 'Sunrise', 'Sailors' Songs and Dances', 'Twilight', 'Tempest' - and one can only admire the adventurous orchestration which includes multiple division of the strings and light, rapid pitch repetition marked staccato in the Ex.
At the end of the first and second pieces there were explosions of enthusiasm. After the third, bravos and whistles erupted into indescribable mayhem. The ovation continued as Jacques Thibaud started Bach's Chaconne. 13 In view of the bafflement still expressed by some critics, it is likely that some Debussyists were celebrating their hero rather more than the perceived merits of his music. 14 Debussy's triumph in London was as momentous as in Paris. 15 It would be an elaboration to suggest that from this point on Debussy swept all before him on a bodywave of frenzied Debussyists; there was no real echo of Wagnerism or the cult of Bayreuth in the reputation that Debussy was acquiring, but it can be said that 1908 was another watershed in his career, and it was La mer, with the reputation of Pelleas behind it, that made this year so decisive.
Usher and his friend are closeted together in a room, disturbed or rather terrified by distant noises that seem to reinforce passages in a book the friend is reading aloud from. A violent tempest accompanies the agonising wait endured by the two men: A whirlwind had apparently collected its force in our vicinity; for there were frequent and violent alterations in the direction of the wind; and the exceeding density of the clouds (which hung so low as to press upon the turrets of the house) did not prevent our perceiving the lifelike velocity with which they flewcareering from all points against each other .