Claude Debussy's Life and Work

Topics: MusicWork

Music is the expression of the movement of waters… ” Nine words is what it takes to vividly put Into perspective the life of Claude Debussy and how he composed his own music. Debussy wrote his music as If he were to trying to portray water; making his music flow, reflect, and permeate through the listener’s ears. Masterful compositions such as “Claire De Lune”, “Prelude” from the Suite Burgomaster, “Deuce Arabesques”, and “Lee File Auk Achieve De Line” resemble not only Debussy passion for music, but the extent to which he can express himself without words.

Claude Debussy was a virtuosic man whose life, the beginning, middle, and end of it, befittingly relates to his music. Debussy was truly a maestro of the art of Impressionistic music. Claude Reachable Debussy was born on August 22nd, 1862 in Saint-Germane-En- Lay, France to Manuel-Achilles Debussy and Victorian Mammary Debussy. His father was the owner of a China shop in Saint-Germane-En-Lay and his mother was a seamstress.

Claude was the eldest of five children.

Four years later, in 1 867, Claude and his family moved to Paris, France but then, in 1870, Claude and his pregnant other left to live with Clause’s Aunt, Clementine, In Cannes, France In order to avoid the then- current Franco-Prussian War. It was this move that started his musical journey. In 1870, his aunt offered to pay for Claude to take piano lessons with an Italian violinist named Curette. After a year of lessons, he then grasped the attention of Madame Antoinette Matt© De Belleville, a family friend who had apparently taken lessons with FRR©d©rice Chopin, even though there was no strong evidence that she had ever even done so.

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De Belleville was ultimately Impressed by his proficiency on the Instrument. Hat astonished her even more was the fact that he had pure on an instrument that was most certainly foreign to the one who even taught him to begin with. , although being taught by a violinist. Unwillingly and without hesitance, De Belleville offered Claude lessons on piano, which Claude eagerly accepted. Antoinette Maude Belleville was very overwhelmed with Debussy aspiring talent.

Throughout the course of a year, De Belleville trained Debussy vigorously so that Debussy could enter the Conservatoire De Paris, which was (and still Is) a top drawer school for those who are serious on pursuing the career of music or any art for the matter. After a successful audition, on October 22, 1872, Debussy was sequentially admitted in the Conservatoire De Paris. Matt© was so glued onto Debussy and his accomplishments, that Debussy father declared her as Debussy Godmother. Debussy entered the Conservatoire De Paris with a mindset that he was going to major In Plano Performance.

Years later, he decided to change his major to interminable years. Debussy studied composition with Ernest Guard, harmony with Emilie Duran, piano with Antoine Francisco Marmoreal, music history and music theory with Louis-Albert Obbligato – Discouraged and college with Albert Laving. Throughout his life at the Conservatoire De Paris, Debussy endures many arduous examinations and competitions; some receiving him high marks and comments, others nothing. His first comment was given to him by his piano teacher, Antoine Francisco Marmoreal, on January 13, 1874.

The comment was, “Charming child, true temperament of an artist; will become a distinguished musician; a great future. ” Months later, on July, he receives a second honorable mention for playing Chopping Second Piano Concerto. One year later, he receives a first honorable mention in his piano examination; Chopping 1st Ballade is what he played for the examination. On January 16, 1876, Debussy made his first appearance in concert with a local industry brass band. At the concert, which took place in Chauncey, he accompanied Letting Mended in a program filled with operatic excerpts and instrumental pieces.

Back in the Conservatoire De Paris, later that year, he receives his a first medal for his excellence in the college examinations. Soon, the year 1877 comes along. It was that year that experiences the expiration of his brother, Eugene, who was less than four years old. The cause of his death was meningitis, a sickness that wouldn’t find a cure until many years after. The death of Eugene did not affect Debussy playing and study, for he won second prize in his piano examination, playing Schumann Sonata in G Minor. In 1878, Debussy failed his piano examination.

In 1879, Debussy, he was awarded no prizes for his piano and college examinations. Mile Duran says that Debussy a child that is extremely gifted in Harmony, but is desperately careless during school. 1880 was a certainly a year of learning and rebuilding for Claude Debussy. Debussy signed up for an Accompanist class with Augusta Bacilli in 1879 and in 1880, he won first medal on the accompanist examinations. Debussy soon realizes hat he needs to start finding out ways in which he can make ends meet while still attending the Conservatoire De Paris.

He later then found two part-time Jobs that lead to an essentially critical part for the formation of his composition career. His first part time Job was to be an accompanist to a choral society named La Concordia. This was proved almost disastrous because, predictably, Debussy decided to never show up to any of La Concordat’s rehearsals. His other part-time Job was being an accompanist to singer Victorian Mortar-Saints. This part-time Job is the one he favored over the dreadful choral works of La Concordia. During an event with Mortar-Saints, Debussy received an invitation from Menhaden Von Neck.

Menhaden Von Neck was an important figure, due to her great friendship and patronage with the genius Photo Lacily Tchaikovsky, whom which Debussy respected and looked Upton as a composer but had very little impact on him and his future works. Von Neck sought out Debussy so that Debussy could accompany Von Neck and her family as an accompanist and a piano teach/tutor. During the three summers that Debussy was with the Von Neck family, Debussy and the Von Neck family traveled many lengths on grand tours all across Europe and even extending to Asia. Debussy traveled to Interlayer in Switzerland, Archon in Russia.

Debussy had a short relationship with Sonic Von Neck, Menhaden Von Necks daughter. Although short, Debussy was almost close to marrying Sonic Von Neck, but was then denied after Menhaden’s refusal, since Sonic Von Neck was in fact only sixteen and too young to marry in Menhaden’s eyes. This love must have not lasted great lengths; this love was merely on adolescent and could have soon been forgotten n. But eventually, Debussy did find much grander love, and also much older if you will. Although thirteen years to his senior, Debussy fell in love with Bleach Adelaide Evasive. Evasive was everything Debussy every wanted.

The color of her eyes were the perfect shade of green, which was Debussy favorite color, and her voice, to him, was heavenly light. And to top it all off, she sung with the voice of a thousand angels. Her hair color was red to brown which Debussy thought was splendid. Evasive was thirty-two and was married to Eugene-Henry Evasive, a man very dedicated to his work as a “registrar of buildings”. Eugene-Henry Evasive was also extremely wealthy man and only two years to Debussy senior. Although a married woman, Evasive longed for Debussy. Evasive ultimately longed for love, and to her, Debussy could supply that love.

Eugene-Henry Evasive could supply her expensive tastes, but not her love and passion for music. Debussy was Evasive unsatisfying craving for an ever so passionate but secretive love. Evasive had a profound impact on Debussy and his compositions. On May 12, 1882, Evasive performed two of Debussy compositions, Less Roses and Fete Gallant, with Debussy as an accompanist. Debussy was truly in love with the only woman or person that have sung his music to date. He would pour out music for her to sing Just so that he can her voice. Evasive was an inspiration for Debussy to write music.

From 1881 to 1884, Debussy wrote twenty-three gorgeous compositions. Madame Evasive was “the only muse to ever inspire musical feelings”. In 1883, Debussy was admitted for the PRI De Rome competition. The PRI De Rome was highly competitive contest for scholarship solely for students of the arts. Disciplines included Architecture, which is what the PRI De Rome was originally intended for, Painting, Sculpture, Engraving and Musical Composition. He was ranked Ruth for his composition Invocation, a work for male voice choir and orchestra based on a text by Alphorns De Almandine.

A couple of weeks later, Debussy is admitted for the final competition for the PRI De Rome. Second prize is given Debussy with his cantata to words by Mile Mortar, called Lee Gladiator. Debussy was surely the new of everyone in the PRI De Rome competition. On his first attempt, he was awarded second prize which is a crowning achievement. One year later, Debussy was admitted for the PRI De Rome competition yet again. His composition Lee Printer’s, a composition for mixed choir and orchestra to words y Jules Barrier, ranked Debussy fourth in the preliminaries.

On May 24, 1884, Debussy was admitted for the final competition for the PRI De Rome. It was then that he won the PRI De Rome with Leant Prorogue, a lyrical composition. The PRI De Rome demanded that the first place winner had to stay for three years to study in Rome at the Villa Medici. Debussy was actually quite depressed when he received word that he had become the winner of the PRI De Rome. Debussy despised Rome. At the Villa Medics, along side Paul Vidal (1883 PRI De Rome Winner), Georges Marty and Gabriel Pierre.

The first couple months in Rome are depressing for Debussy and he intentionally makes no effort to even being happy. Debussy only wants to leave and be with Evasive. During the years at Villa Medics, he wrote nothing of interest. The most interest he had in Villa Medics was meeting and becoming acquaintances with Franz List. Paul Vidal and Debussy perform Faust-symphony for two pianos for Franz List to hear. List, a couple days later, performs his very own transcription of Schubert Eave Maria and Au board dune source. During his stay at Rome, Debussy would escape to Paris see his love Evasive.

Eugene-Henry would be completely unaware of the affair between them, since Eugene-Henry would often be on work leaves and would assume that Debussy would visit to accompany her. After two dreaded years at Rome, he finally convinces the committee of the PRI De Rome and of the Villa Medics to allow him to leave Rome. After returning to Paris, he went to go seek the Vaccines but couldn’t. The Evasive shunned Debussy and his decision to leave Rome. With nowhere else to go, he decided to go back to his family in the rue De Berlin. Shortly after his arrival, he found that his father was without a Job.

He soon saw that that he had to make of his own living by giving piano lessons and doing hackwork for publishers on occasion. The money made from his pieces that have been published over the next few years like Artistes, Deuce Arabesques, The Petite Suite and more, did not produce enough monetary income to sustain his parents while he was with them momentarily nor did it even sustain him as he moved into a fifth floor apartment at 42 rue De Londoner. Since his return from Rome, Debussy began socializing more and more with symbolist poets, whose work would crucially inspire Debussy own work.

Mallard, a poet that Debussy befriended, said that poetry should be “transcendental” and should strive for the abstraction of music. With this being said, it is to no surprise that Mallard’s writing is generally regarded as obscure. In 1891, Debussy met one of his soon to be, most loyal friend at the time, composer Erik State, who is famous for his Gymnosperms composition. In spring of 1890, Debussy meets Gabrielle Dupont, daughter of a tailor at Leslies. Gabrielle soon becomes Debussy newfound love. Debussy and Gabby both struggled together, looking for way to make ends meet.

The inevitably split and go in different directions, but much praise is given to Gabby. During Debussy time with Gabby, Debussy wrote many masterpieces such as The String Quartet, the Propose Leeriness, Pellets et Melanesian, Prelude a Leaper’s-midi dun fauna (which is regarded as the first ground breaking piece of modern music), the Nocturnes and much more. It was a wonder how Debussy and Gabby even stayed together for so long! Debussy was with more women that ever during his affair with Gabby! He even proposed and organized a marriage with There’s Roger, a renowned interpreter of Debussy vocal works.

He called off the marriage on March 17, 1894. She then fell into a depression, married a divorced engraver four years later, and then died four years later. Gabby soon got fed up with Debussy cheating on her, so she left him in September of 1898. Debussy met his next love during his relationship with Gabby in the spring of 1898. Her name was Rosalie Dexter but was commonly known Lilly. Gabby told Lilly about Debussy threatened to commit suicide if she didn’t. They soon got married on October 19, 1899 with Erik State and Lousy as their witnesses. They enjoyed three years of utter happiness.

Debussy was able to continue to work on his works such as Pellets, and Stamped and two of the Nocturnes. The Nocturnes would soon be written for Lilly because of their incapability of having children, her abortion, and her tubercular patches on the top of both of her lungs. Debussy had to send poor Lilly away to the Pyroxenes for three to four months. On top of the recent events, Debussy was also in a horrible financial situation. After months at the hospital, Lilly finally came back and in time to hear the premier of Pellets. In 1904, Lilly Debussy attempts suicide by shooting herself.

Unsuccessful, her attempted suicide appears all over the news and many friends of Debussy start to draw away. Along with their divorce in 1905, many of Debussy pieces start to become more and more frequently performed. Performances of Masque, La Mere, Lease Joyous, Pellets et Melinda and Trots Melodies De Overlain. Debussy soon meets Emma Abroad, the mother of a pupil of his. They had a wonderful time together as their loved sparked more and more. During this time, around October, Lilly decided that she could not live through another anniversary, so she killed herself publicly. In 1905, Debussy started thinking about children more often.

Emma, a woman who was still not married to Debussy yet, was an astonishing seven months pregnant. Now that his old professor bought a piece from Debussy, called La Mere, Debussy was receiving much royalties and had more time on his hands to compose music. Debussy started composing Children’s Corner Suite, a gorgeous six movement suite, for his impending daughter. Then, ever so promptly, Claude-Emma Debussy was born on October 30, 1905. Both Emma and Debussy were both flourishing financially and their relationship was without flaw. In 1908 Children’s Corner Suite was finished and dedicated completely to Claude-Emma, or better known as Couch.

Children’s Corner Suite

Children’s Corner Suite was inspired by toy animals and childhood memories for Couch to remember as she gets older. But the good times most certainly don’t last forever, especially in Clause’s life. Sigmund Abroad, Enema’s ex-husband, failed to pay his alimony payments and have to be pursued and put into court. Also, on Enema’s Uncle’s will, only to her displeasure, only left Emma 5000 francs, which is essentially nothing. Debussy had to resort to going on the road to conduct his own works to raise up some money. Lonely, toothsome trips to London, Vienna, Amsterdam, Budapest, Moscow, SST.

Petersburg, Turin, Rome, The Hogue and Brussels from this moment to the time of his death. This made relationships with Emma more complicated and she even mailed a lawyer about a possible separation, but she endured and stuck with him. Debussy was major in debt and him nor could his family even afford a happy holiday in the year 1912 and 1913. Over the next five years, his life became worse and worse. He started getting thinner and weaker and paler. On March 1917, he finished his Violin Sonata, which was the last piece he ever rote before staying in bed for the last year of his life.

One year later, during his last days, he was relieved by his dearest friend Vines, who would come to play him his so much pleasure like a cigarette, is the one thing that surely helped kill him. Claude Achilles Debussy died Monday, March 25th, 1918, due to Collateral Cancer. Couch only outlived her father by a mere year, due to the Diphtheria epidemic of 1919 when a doctor gave her a wrong treatment. Claude Debussy was an influence not only to pianists, but to composers and musicians of all genres. Debussy may have been a bastard of love, but a genius of music.

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Claude Debussy's Life and Work. (2017, Nov 16). Retrieved from

Claude Debussy's Life and Work
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