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Transcript of Claude Debussy
In 1880 Debussy met Nadezhda von Meck, who was a Russian business woman that had previously provided financial support to Tchaikovsky. She hired Debussy to be a piano teacher for her children. Debussy travelled around Europe with her family. During these travels he was exposed to Russian composers who influenced his work. Debussy wrote many compositions including Claire De Lune and Prelude a lapres-midi d’un faune (Prelude to the afternoon of a faun) which earned him widespread recognition. Debussy was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1909. He had one of the earliest colostomy’s performed on man which was in 1916. The operation did not go well, with the Doctors only managing to get a small part of the cancer. He then died on the 25 March 1918 during World War I. When the funeral was held the coffin was led through the deserted streets of Paris where they reached Père Lachaise Cemetery. While that was all happening bombs and guns were going because of the war. Debussy’s body was relocated a year after, moving to the Passy Cemetery. He is located behind the Trocadéro making his wish come true, to be with birds and trees and also being laid next to his wife and daughter, his daughter dying a year after him at age 13 from diphtheria. The grave he was in before being moved The grave he is in now R.I.P Debussy’s first wife, Lilly Texier, attempted suicide as he abandoned her for a singer, Emma Bardac. He married Emma and together they had a daughter Claude-Emma (nicknamed “Chouchou") who he dedicated a composition - Children’s Corner Piano Suite. Emma Bardac Lilly Texier Claude-Emma (Chouchou) Clair De Lune My Reflection
In my opinion Claude Debussy was a musical prodigy, which is shown by him going to the Paris Conservatory at 11. He composed many pieces for both piano and orchestra. He wrote his only opera, named “Pelleas et Melisande” which featured simple melodies that appealed to a younger audience. People either loved or hated it.
He contributed to the music industry and helped to define European classical music. His greatest orchestral work was three nocturnes (music inspired by the night) normally played for an evening party. La Mer, one of his compositions is considered one of the best French pieces ever written. When Debussy was a student he didn’t want to stick to the rules of traditional musical theory, he once said “There is no theory, you have only to listen. Pleasure is the law”. He preferred basic effects, similar to the French painters and poets. His free use of harmony has been seen as an influence to many people in particular the rise of jazz music.