Images: The Piano Music of Claude Debussy

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9780931340970: Images: The Piano Music of Claude Debussy

Paris at the turn of the 20th century was obsessed with the interrelations of the arts. It was a time when artists and writers spoke of poetry as music, sounds as colors, and paintings as symphonies. The music of Claude Debussy, with its unique textures and dazzling colors, was the perfect counterpart to the bold new styles of painting in France. Paul Roberts probes the sources of Debussy's artistic inspiration, relating the "impressionist" titles to the artistic and literary ferment of the time. He also draws on his own performing experience to touch on all the principal technical problems for a performer of Debussy's piano music. His many suggestions about interpreting the music will be particularly valuable to performers as well as listeners.

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About the Author:

Carol Montparker is a pianist and a writer. She was Senior Editor of Clavier for 15 years, and is presently Senior Consulting Editor, continuing her column, "Carillon" a personal view of music and how it relates to the other arts, nature, and to all of life. For more than 20 years she has interviewed world-famous artists for feature stories, and reviewed concerts and books. She has won four Awards for Excellence in Journalism from the Educational Press of America, and has published over 200 articles in numerous music periodicals as well as The New York Times and Newsday. She has been an interview guest on several NPR programs across the country. In addition to her literary pursuit of music, Carol is an active recitalist in both solo and chamber music. In fact, her journalistic career emerged from her successful Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1976. Her journal of the experience evolved into her first book, The Anatomy of a New York Debut Recital: A Chronicle, which in turn led to her appointment at The Piano Quarterly, and then Clavier. These two professions of playing music and writing about it are mutually nourishing, and provide bountiful and lively material for her frequent talks and lecture-recitals at piano festivals, universities, libraries, museums, and organizations. Her CD, Pianogarden, comprised of live performances of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Chopin, has been praised by artists and critics including Harold C. Schonberg, Chief Music Critic Emeritus, of The New York Times. Carol also enjoys teaching piano in her private studio, and painting in watercolor (the illustrations in A Pianist's Landscape are her work). She is a native New Yorker, and currently lives in Huntington, New York, with her husband Ernest.

From Booklist:

In the poems of Baudelaire and Verlaine and the paintings of Watteau, which influenced his early compositions, Debussy sought truth and beauty as emanations of realism. Later, his music turned to symbolism, as, among other things, his daughter motivated him to compose music inspired by the sprites and fairies of Arthur Rackham's illustrations for Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Ondine. Also, the experience of the Javanese gamelan led Debussy to explore, not the percussiveness and the counterpoint predominant in that traditional Indonesian music, but the "after tones" (resonance, overtones) of the piano. Besides examining those influences on Debussy, British pianist Roberts discusses technique for interpreting Debussy's music, giving performance tips for the 24 Preludes, the x83 tudes, and the pieces concerned with childhood and humor. Judicious use of the piano pedals, Roberts reminds, brings out the overtones and after tones that Debussy heard while composing. Advanced amateur pianists and sophisticated listeners will find this beautifully illustrated book very useful for understanding Debussy's piano music. Alan Hirsch

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Roberts, Paul
Published by Amadeus Press (2003)
ISBN 10: 0931340977 ISBN 13: 9780931340970
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Roberts, Paul
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ISBN 10: 0931340977 ISBN 13: 9780931340970
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