Monet’s “Morning on the Seine in the Rain”
August 22, 2019
Today, we’re celebrating the music of Debussy. He was an Impressionistic composer, who wrote the most lush orchestrated music and turned the piano into a musical palette of rich, luscious sound.
I learned a few Debussy pieces when I was a piano student. Learning his music on the piano requires expert pedalling and a whole lot of blending of colours. If you’ve seen Monet’s paintings at Giverny – that’s basically what Debussy’s music should sound like, if paintings could be heard.
Debussy could also write sparse yet extremely effective music, too. One piece I heard on the radio so captured my imagination, I I immediately set about learning it: “Footsteps in the Snow”. I am to this day, haunted by this brooding, simple-sounding piece, with its slow, calm, yet persistent rhythm, as if to say “you cannot avoid the inevitable”. The final chord of this piece devastated me when I first heard it. It still does.
Here’s Kystian Zimerman performing “Footsteps in the snow”. You’ll likely have to turn up the volume.
Claude Debussy was born August 22, 1862 in Seine-et-Oise, France, and died March 25, 1918 in Paris.