Debussy's Music

"Snyder's 'Afternoon of a Faun' provides one of the most accessible yet comprehensive examinations of Debussy, his art, and his influence on modern music. The author highlights Debussy's radical innovations in sound while giving keen insights into the personalities and passions driving the composer's creative spirit."

     Justin, review in Goodreads

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Claude Debussy was not the most prolific of classical composers. His music was complex. And since he didn't always follow the established rules of harmony and form that were taught at the conservatories, he was free to write something completely new each time he took pen to music paper. He rarely repeated himself. In consequence, composing 32 bars of music took him far longer than it took Haydn or Mozart, who wrote by the rules. 

     So feasting on Debussy's music in large portions is endlessly interesting and rewarding, as you'll hear him expressing his ideas in

so many original ways. On these pages is a representative sampling of many of his works. On each page, click on the titles and you'll connect to superb performances on YouTube.

     Some of this music will surprise you!

NEARLY ALL THE MUSIC DISCUSSED IN THIS BOOK CAN BE HEARD, IN SUPERB YOUTUBE PERFORMANCES, ON THE DEBUSSY'S MUSIC PAGES OF THIS WEBSITE. 

Listen Now to Debussy's

"Noël des enfants qui n'ont plus de maisons"

Debussy, appalled by the horrors of World War, wrote the words and music for this song in 1915

Performed by 
John Brancy, baritone
Peter Dugan, piano

Tommasini calls Debussy the

Fifth Greatest Composer . . .

"Debussy, who after hundreds of years of pulsating Germanic music proved that there could be tension in timelessness, is my No. 5 [after Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert]. With his pioneering harmonic language, the sensual beauty of his sound and his uncanny, Freudian instincts for tapping the unconscious, Debussy was the bridge over which music passed into the tumultuous 20th century."

                                                — Anthony Tommasini, "The Greatest," 

                                                     in The New York Times, Jan. 21, 2011

© 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019  Harvey Lee Snyder