In the poems of Baudelaire and Verlaine and the paintings of Watteau, which influenced his early compositions, Debussy sought truth and beauty as emanations of realism. Later, his music turned to symbolism, as, among other things, his daughter motivated him to compose music inspired by the sprites and fairies of Arthur Rackham's illustrations for Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens
. Also, the experience of the Javanese gamelan led Debussy to explore, not the percussiveness and the counterpoint predominant in that traditional Indonesian music, but the "after tones" (resonance, overtones) of the piano. Besides examining those influences on Debussy, British pianist Roberts discusses technique for interpreting Debussy's music, giving performance tips for the 24 Preludes
, the x83 tudes
, and the pieces concerned with childhood and humor. Judicious use of the piano pedals, Roberts reminds, brings out the overtones and after tones that Debussy heard while composing. Advanced amateur pianists and sophisticated listeners will find this beautifully illustrated book very useful for understanding Debussy's piano music. Alan Hirsch
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An invaluable book for pianists and enthusiasts of French music in general. -- Classical Music, Feb. 16, 2002
One of the chief delights of this book is that it is so engagingly well-written. -- Ted Libbey, The Washington Post Book World
Readers will savor the insiders view. -- Piano & Keyboard