The Romantic Legacy

late nineteenth to early twentieth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

Claude Debussy



Claude Debussy was born in St German-en-Laye and was encouraged to take up music at an early age. He entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of ten, and quickly learned to play a considerable repertoire of very difficult piano works. However, he abandoned his planned career as a virtuoso pianist when he joined the Conservatoire's composition class in 1880 and won the coveted Prix de Rome competition twice. He travelled extensively in these early years, visiting Italy, Vienna, and Russia. He also spent two unhappy years studying in Rome. He was known as a moody, unsociable youth who found it difficult to endure the company of strangers even temporarily.

Debussy returned from Rome in 1887, and m 1888 and 1889 followed the well-worn path to Bayreuth in order to sample Wagner's genius. He also attended the World Exhibition in Paris in 1889 where, like Ravel, he was enthralled by the Javanese gamelan music. During this tune he set up house with a girlfriend, Gabrielle Dupont, with whom he would live in poverty for six years.

In 1892 he began one of his best-known orchestral works, Prelude a l'apresmidi d'un faune. At the first performance it was enthusiastically received and accorded an immediate encore, and the work is now recognized as breaking new musical ground with its unconventional and "impressionistic" harmonics. Based on a poem by Stephane Mallarme, which describes the dreams and desires of a faun basking in the afternoon heat, the music consists of a beautiful and sensual mosaic of sound graphically depicting the erotic content of the poem.

In 1893 Debussy began work on his only completed opera, Pelleas et Melisande. It took the composer almost ten years to finish and was premiered at the Opera-Comique in 1902. The music turns away from the drama and thunderous passion of Wagnerian opera, remaining for the most part subdued and always allowing the words to be clearly audible. The trance-like quality of the score almost hypnotizes the listener with a new and beautiful world of sound. For many Pelleas et Melisande is Debussy's finest creation.

The years 1904 and 1905 were especially fertile for Debussy. He completed the first book of Images for piano and the popular orchestral work La Mer (The Sea) which makes full use of the impressionistic techniques developed in previous works. At the same time Debussy's personal life was in tumult. In 1904 he left his wife. Lily, whom he had married barely five years before, to move in with a wealthy lady, Emma Bardac, who was later to become his second wife. Distraught, his first wife shot herself; she was badly wounded and taken to a nursing home. An enormous scandal ensued, fuelled by comments from the press. Many of the composer's friends held him to blame and broke with him in disgust. During this time he was also plagued by a series of lawsuits, a result of debts, which continued to plague him until his death.

Debussy was now well established and his music increasingly performed, although controversy attended nearly every new work at its first performance. A second book of Images for piano was followed in 1908 by the delightful collection of piano pieces Children's comer, dedicated to his daughter. From this set the Golliwog's Cakewalk is especially well known, featuring a playful skit on the opening of Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde. Two sets of Preludes were completed in 1910 and 1913 and a book of Etudes in 191 5 — also for the piano.

Debussy's last major orchestral work, the ballet score Jeux, has been described as "a beautiful nightmare." Commissioned by Diaghilev, it was premiered in 1912. In 1909 Debussy had been diagnosed as having cancer, which by 1915 was so serious that he had to undergo surgery. He died m 1918, internationally recognized as the foremost French composer of his time. The use of exotic and unconventional harmonies, together with the delicate colouring which characterizes his work, have revealed Debussy as an innovator who has inspired generations of subsequent composers, and have ensured him a position among the greatest of twentieth-century composers.


Claude Debussy



Claude Debussy (1862-1918)



O. Demirtas
Arabesque No.1

T. Pascale
Arabesque No.
N. Eckel
La soiree dans Grenade
Jardins sous la pluie
H. Sung
Pour les cinq doigts, d'apres monsieur Czerny
Pour les arpeges composes

N.Muller, P. Bispham, J. Manchur
Danseuses de Delphes
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir
Les collines d'Anacapri
Des pas sur la neige
La fille aux cheveux de lin
La Cathedrale Engloutie
La danse de Puck

La puerta del Vino
Les Fees sont d'exquises danseuses
General Lavine - eccentric
La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune
Feux d'artifice

Images, Premier Livre (1905)
A. Evans

Reflets dans l'eau

Images II
Bela Hartmann
Cloches a travers les feuilles
Laura Sanchez
Et la lune descend
Poissons d'or

E. Helling
Danse - Tarantelle Styrienne (1890)

J. Robson
La plus que lente (1910)

W.M. Gan
L'isle Joyeuse (1904)

M. McCarthy
Reverie (1890)

Erich Huang


Suite Bergamasque
Tom Pascale

Clair de lune

Children's Corner (1908)
Tom Pascale
Dr. Gradus ad Parnassum
Jimbo's Lullaby
Serenade of the Doll
The Snow is Dancing
The little Shepherd
Golliwog's Cakewalk

Canto Armonico
3 chansons de Charles d'Orleans

Paldi Fruttini Duo
Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune

Michio Nishihara Toro
Reflets Dans L'eau





















Strauss Richard



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