Biography of Achille-Claude Debussy Essay

Achille-Claude Debussy was one of the most renowned French composers who stimulated the music of the twentieth-century. Debussy’s life experiences have given an emotional and relatable truth in his work. Works such as Clair de Lune, Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune, and La Mer are great achievements of Debussy that are the most familiar today. Debussy is worth reviewing because he uniquely structured his compositions that served as a base for musicians in the past, and will easily continue to motivate musical masterpieces for years to come.

Claude Debussy (born Achille-Claude Debussy) was born August 22, 1862, in St-Germain-en-Laye France. He showed a knack for the piano at the age of 9. Debussy was one of 5 children. Debussy did not come from a wealthy family. His parents owned a small shop. At age 11 he entered the Pairs Conservatory. At the Conservatory Debussy study piano and composition. While there he also studied theory with Alfred Lavignac, piano with Antoine Marmontel, harmony with Emile Durand, and harmony composition with Ernest Guiraud. Around 1880 a wealthy woman named Nadezhda Filaretovna von Meck, who was a pupil of Frederic Chopin, and supported Pyotr llyich Tchaikovsky hired Debussy to teach her children. During summer vacations at the Conservatory he traveled with Nadezhda. He learned more about the Russian music and cultural which later would be reflected in his work. During his time in Paris he fell in love with Blanche Vasnier, who was an inspiration to his works in the early years. In 1884, Debussy won the Grand Prix de Rome with his cantata L’Enfant prodigue. Debussy became a cautious and difficult man who preferred cats to people. He did not really have many friends or confidants. In 1887 Debussy li…

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…n end. Debussy started to find inspiration from Musorgsky. In 1889 he heard Javanese Gamelan orchestra. Hearing this exotic music from the orchestra he later applied it to some of his work. He also drew his inspiration from poems, songs, and other composers, such as, Stephane Mallerme poem, Mary Gardens song, and Louis Bourgault-Ducoudray compositions.

Debussy’s achievements and works were composed through his own life experiences. The emotional vibe from his pieces gives the everyday ear something to connect too. This connection to his audiences and compositions gives him importance. Debussy’s achievements and success through works such as Clair de Lune, Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune, and La Mer credits his importance. A lot of people can relate to some aspect of Debussy’s life and his work allows a window to a past experience through music for everybody.


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