Monday, February 06, 2006

The Impressionists: Debussy (1862-1918) and Ravel (1875-1937)

Claude Debussy (left, with an excellent beard) and Maurice Ravel were at the forefront of France's Impressionist movement of about 1890-1920. This era, although one of the shortest in musical history, brought us beautiful, adventurous, and intelligent music. As Stravinsky, Schoenberg and company veered into complete dissonance, the Impressionists stayed tonal but tested the limits of scales and harmony like no one else before. Many of the great jazz pianists and soloists (especially Bill Evans and Django Reinhardt) studied these guys religiously for their unique chords and daring melodies. One of the first great pieces of the Impressionist era was Debussy's only string quartet (1893,) which marks the breakthrough of Debussy as we know him. Whole-tone scales are used with other uncommon modes throughout, and the slow movement is one of my favorites in the quartet repertoire. Maurice Ravel's quartet (1903) is on here too- you might recognize the second movement, full of pizzicato, from The Royal Tennenbaums.

Emerson Quartet- Debussy and Ravel String Quartets

**By the way, if anyone has any classical requests, I will try to fulfill them. If you want me to post a certain composer, piece, etc., just email me at**


At February 08, 2006, Blogger the scarlet pimpernel said...

Thanks guys, you got some good stuff! Fyi: I've added you to the link list.

At February 08, 2006, Blogger mina said...

I have many requests.
For the start:

Così fan tutte, opera, K. 588
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
with Cecilia Bartoli , Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra , John Tomlinson , Lella Cuberli , Kurt Streit , Joan Rodgers , Ferruccio Furlanetto
Conducted by Daniel Barenboim


Così fan tutte, opera, K. 588
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
with Timothy Mason , Amanda Roocroft , Rainer Trost , English Baroque Soloists , Carlos Feller , Rodney Gilfry , Eirian James , Sabine Vatin , Rosa Mannion
Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner


At February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I am french and i love your blog! I have many requests, please... A russian compositor of 19° century! Alek Paris-France

At February 08, 2006, Blogger Sam said...

Mina- Sorry, but other than his violin concertos, I have very little Mozart. Just not a fan of the classical style.
Anonymous- Tchaikovsky's on the way.

At August 19, 2008, Blogger Adso said...

debussy played on harp or guitar. it's something that I can't find


Post a Comment

<< Home