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Claire de Lune & Reverie for Late Beginner to Early Intermediate Piano* with Performance CD

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Debussy’s Clair de Lune & Reverie, published by Santorella Publications, is arranged by Jonathon Robbins at the late-beginner to early-intermediate level and includes a performance CD. These masterpieces provide an exceptional display of talent possessed by Claude Debussy and the stylistic impact he had in moving the Romantic Era towards Impressionism. Clair de Lune, the third and most famous movement from Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque was composed in 1890 when Debussy was 28 years old; this masterpiece was not published until 1903. For decades, Clair de Lune has been featured in films, commercials, and television shows and has most recently experienced a popular revival in movies such as Ocean’s Eleven and Twilight. It is widely believed that Debussy was inspired by the Paul Verlaine poem of the same name. The quiet, rolling melody and fantastical nature of the mood it evokes speaks to the dream-like landscape that Verlaine references where costumed figures dance and play in the moonlight, whereas Reverie is indicative of his stylistic approach. Debussy once said, “Music is made up of colors and rhythms. The rest is a lot of humbug, invented by frigid imbeciles.” No piece exemplifies his conviction better than Rêverie. Debussy’s use of melodic transitions, arpeggios, dynamics and tempo creates a feast for the senses. Though he dedicated much of his life to Orchestral, Chamber, and Operatic works, Debussy left an indelible mark on the piano world with his piano masterworks. Clair de Lune may be the most popular and recognizable of his piano works, but Rêverie is the most colorful and significant example of the Romantic period evolving into Impressionism. Clair de Lune Clair de Lune by Paul Verlaine by Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896) Translation Votre âme est un paysage choisi Your soul is a chosen landscape Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques Where charming masked and Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi costumed figures go Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques. Playing lute and dancing and almost Sad beneath their fantastic disguises. Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur All sing in a minor key L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune Of all-conquering love and careless fortune Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur They do not seem to believe in their happiness Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune, And their song mingles with the moonlight. Au calme clair de lune triste et beau, The still moonlight, sad and beautiful, Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres Which gives the birds to dream in the trees Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau, And makes the fountain sprays sob in ecstasy, Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres. The tall, slender fountain sprays among the marble statues. Claude Debussy was born in St. Germain-en-Laye, France, on August 22, 1862; died in Paris, France on March 25, 1918. Although he disagreed with the title, Debussy is often regarded as the creator of musical impressionism. He denied that his aims should be described as such. However, it is undeniable that after his early regard for Wagner vanished, he came under the influence of Mallarme, Verlains, etc., and coloring became more important to him than form. Debussy’s use of the pentatonic and whole-tone scales as well as consecutive intervals of various kinds, lent his music an uncommon coloring. Since his style lends itself to imitation, many feel that it is a dead-end that leads to no further developments. Yet successful composers like Ravel, Bartok and Stravinsky have all found inspiration in Debussy’s pieces. Instead of leading to further developments in Impressionism, the composers turned it in new directions such as Neo-Classicism, Expressionism, Serial Music, etc.

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