Claude Debussy: Life and Works Essay

1145 Words5 Pages
Claude Debussy, who is one of the most important French composers that represent the early twentieth century, he composed the prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun”. He wrote this Prelude based on an inspiration of a poem that was written by Stephane Mallarme, who was a prominent French writer. There are some historical contexts and stylistic contexts that can be seen and discussed from this. And, these factors made this piece the best-known orchestral work of Debussy. Debussy was born in 1862 in the town of St. Germain-en-Laye , a town near Paris. When he was eleven, he entered the Paris Conservatory. Instead of following music ideas and structure that done by his predecessors, he started to compose and play harmonies that defied the…show more content…
Also, he was also interested in new sounds and instruments. We can see that there are many non-Western scales and instruments are used in his works. This new style is called impressionism. His Prelude to “An Afternoon of a Faun” is also one example of impressionistic music, and it was his first symphonic work of this kind. As he was a French composer, when he went to London and played his music to the audience, they thought that the music is remarkable, but no one liked his playing style. So, no English firm would choose to publish his music on their own risks as there is no commercial value in England. When he came back to Paris, life was leading him elsewhere. Instead of his old friends in the music circle and their conservative ideas, he like to mix with his friends who are mostly writers and who are more artistic. Mixing with friends from different circles, Debussy then met with Stephane Mallarme, who is one of the artists and poets who are attracted to impressionist and symbolist movements. Debussy’s prelude to the afternoon faun is inspired by a pastoral poem by Stephane Mallarme. This poem recalls the landscape of ancient times, and describes about a mythological creature of the forest, the Faun. It woke up in the woods and is trying to remember if he was visited by three beautiful lady, or is that just his dream. But he will never know the answer. So, under the warm sun, he
Open Document