'Art is the most beautiful deception', said French composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918). Debussy was infused with the literature of his time and incorporated his favourite poems into musical compositions from an early age. He created music that was revolutionary, with a distinctly modern sound known for its intersection of art and life.
This book spans his earlier years, filled with student cantatas inspired by Paul Verlaine and Charles Baudelaire, to his later life, which was dominated by retrospective, nationalistic pieces composed in the run-up to World War I and inspired by French Renaissance poets.
Code also explores Debussy's orchestral pieces and operas motivated by the likes of Stephane Mallarme and Maurice Maeterlinck. The book also looks at how Debussy's reading habits influenced his abstract, 'pure' pieces written for the piano, orchestra and chamber ensemble.
This book will give readers a fresh way of listening to Debussy's music by offering the most up-to-date critical analysis of the composer's literary interests and musical compositions, while also relating the story of his turbulent life. It will appeal to any Debussy fan who loves modern music, literature and the arts.
Paperback, 208 pages, 134 x 200 x 16mm
29 black & white illustrations
Published in the Critical Lives Series by Reaktion Books UK, 2010.