By Simon Trezise
Los angeles mer stands on the centre of Debussy's fulfillment: defined via the composer as 'a seascape with no figures', it really is arguably the best and most unusual French symphony. during this research los angeles mer is taken into account within the context of Debussy's own and musical improvement, and within the French musical renaissance typically, on reflection to César Franck and ahead to the orchestral photographs and Jeux. the writer makes use of new biographical info and a variety of resources to bare the interval of l. a. mer's composition as one in all severe emotional turbulence. special dialogue of functionality types attracts on present recordings, and analytical chapters hint the expansion of rules in the course of the paintings. stories of rhythm, motif and tonality convey how Debussy generates 'narratives' around the 3 events, which offer l. a. mer a structural integrity unheard of in French tune on the flip of the century.
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Additional info for Debussy: La Mer (Cambridge Music Handbooks)
5 Lockspeiser, one of Debussy's finest scholars, was unequivocal: 'La mer is the greatest example of an orchestral Impressionist work', he declares as he sums up his discussion of the 'network of associations . . which prompted the composition of La mer\6 Impressionist painters rendered the atmosphere or sensation around external things, illustrating the 'truth' behind them in preference to their geometric form. In music the term 'Impressionism' is on loan, with all the dangers that entails. So far as we can tell, La mer is not an attempt to paint the sea as it 35 Debussy: La mer was filtered through the musician's imagination or play of light.
There are anticipations of Debussy's sea experiences here. A few days later Monet described the strength of his feelings for the sea: 'You know my passion for the sea, and it is so beautiful here . . I feel that every day I'm understanding it better . . its effect is quite terrifying . . 11 Among his paintings, works like Storm, Coast of Belle-Isle (1886)12 must be accounted forerunners of 'Dialogue du vent et de la mer'. '13 The dramatic use of space and light in Turner's paintings must surely have been a more potent element in the make-up of Debussy's response to the sea than the celebrated print by the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, 'The hollow of the wave off Kanagawa' (from Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, c.
Its effect is quite terrifying . . 11 Among his paintings, works like Storm, Coast of Belle-Isle (1886)12 must be accounted forerunners of 'Dialogue du vent et de la mer'. '13 The dramatic use of space and light in Turner's paintings must surely have been a more potent element in the make-up of Debussy's response to the sea than the celebrated print by the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, 'The hollow of the wave off Kanagawa' (from Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, c. 1820—9), chosen by Debussy for the front cover of La mer (1905 edition of the orchestral score).