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Daniel Barenboim is the performer on the present recording. In the first prelude, 'Danseuses de Delphes', Debussy sets dance movements to music, evoking three bacchantes sculpted on a column in the Louvre Museum. The third prelude, 'Le vent dans la plaine' describes the opening words of a poem by Paul Verlaine. Charles Baudelaire s 'Harmonie du soir' inspired the music of the fourth prelude, 'Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l air du soir'
'La fille aux cheveux de lin' derives from a poem by Leconte de Lisle, while.'La Cathédrale engloutie' tells the story of the sunken cathedral of Ys, which rises again from the waters, becomes visible and sinks once more a tone painting of cathedral-like chords.
Claude Debussy endeavored to revolutionize tone color. He wanted to journey down new roads remote from harmonic 'rules'. 'Music is mysterious mathematics whose elements partake in the eternal. It lives in the movement of water, in the play of the waves in the changing winds.'