Friday, February 17, 2012

Sunday Classics preview: More Debussy -- a quick entrée into one of the truly unique pieces in the musical literature






(Apologies for the surface noise in [A], which you'll no doubt realize comes from an LP.)

by Ken

This week we're finishing up the series we began last week of "Impressions of Debussy," works chosen by nine musicians canvassed by BBC Music Magazine as being especially personal to them, as part of the magazine's celebration of the composer's 150th birthday. In this week's group we're going to have just the tiniest tease of one of the central works of Debussy's output, one that stands pretty much alone in the musical literature.

We recently had occasion to listen to the one-of-a-kind brief orchestral prelude to Wagner's Siegfried, which I described as "perhaps the most eerily wonderful music I know." Now we're going to hear an even briefer orchestral introduction, also almost otherworldly-ly mysterious-sounding and I think equally arresting. By coincidence or not, it too prepares us for a mysterious forest setting.

Don't worry if you don't know what the piece is; I'll identify it in the click-through. I thought, though, that you might enjoy trying to identify the conductors, from the following list:

Claudio Abbado
Ernest Ansermet
Pierre Boulez
Herbert von Karajan

There's a wrinkle. While this little list accounts for all four of our clips, I can't swear that all four conductors are actually to be heard here.



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At 12:40 PM, Anonymous robert dagg murphy said...

Today should be Whitney's day. She touched more hearts and helped more people than are realized. Just a word for Whitney.

When the world dies and people are gone the most heart breaking aspect is that the music will no longer be heard. I love the sound of the wind and the water but music is something special.

Whether it's Whtney or Debussy our music is humanities greatest gift.

I will always be grateful.

At 4:03 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

Thanks Keni.


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