By Simon Trezise
L. a. mer stands on the centre of Debussy's success: defined through the composer as 'a seascape with out figures', it truly is arguably the best and most unusual French symphony. during this research los angeles mer is taken into account within the context of Debussy's own and musical improvement, and within the French musical renaissance ordinarily, on reflection to César Franck and ahead to the orchestral photos and Jeux. the writer makes use of new biographical details and a variety of resources to bare the interval of l. a. mer's composition as certainly one of excessive emotional turbulence. precise dialogue of functionality types attracts on present recordings, and analytical chapters hint the expansion of principles during the paintings. stories of rhythm, motif and tonality express how Debussy generates 'narratives' around the 3 hobbies, which provide l. a. mer a structural integrity extraordinary in French track on the flip of the century.
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Extra info for Debussy: La Mer (Cambridge Music Handbooks)
Louis Laloy accounts for the poor showing partly by the fact that the artist had to pay for the sins of the man, and also by enlarging on the view that La mer was not what the Pelleastres wanted or expected from their idol: They could no longer rediscover him in the clouds or under the branches of a legendary park, for he had set up his easel on the edge of a sheer cliff where he sought to paint three parts of a composition laid out like a classical symphony with large formal schemes and sustained lines, unfussy and uninhibited — three landscapes evoking the force, the splendour, the joy, and the fear of the sea.
And pasted . . 30 Under Toscanini's direction, as under Koussevitzky's, La mer became an orchestral showpiece of the first order - a noisier, more brilliant work than seems justified by the authority of the score or the illuminating Paris recordings. Few conductors since have thought it worthwhile to question many of the assumptions that have been made about La mer. The resultant distortions are only partly charted in Table 1, which compares ten historically or interpretatively interesting performances (no attempt is made to quantify fidelity to dynamic markings, balance, and other potentially subjective categories).
The way colour is distributed on the canvas, the new treatment of perspective, and the loosening of other classical techniques were crucial in the evolution of modern painting. Whatever attitude we have to the description of Debussy's artistic goals as Impressionistic, one has to be wary of extending the term to his musical technique. Lockspeiser in his inadequate discussion of Debussy's musical language resolutely refuses to define Debussy's tonal procedures, preferring instead to quote the Belgian composer Gilson, whose own La mer preceded Debussy's by fifteen years: 'This is ornamental music in the broadest sense of the term .