DEBUSSY Claude, Two Arabesques

Debussy was still in his twenties when he composed these two short pieces, and from a time before he created works that began to draw comparisons with the Impressionist artists, a comparison he never acknowledged himself. At the time he wrote his Arabesques in the 1890s, Art Nouveau was changing the face of Paris, and this seems to have been more an influence on Debussy than Impressionism. Art Nouveau’s simplicity of lines and shapes, rooted in the natural world, was of great appeal to Debussy, which reminded him of music from the French Baroque period, and he once wrote: “That was the age of the ‘wonderful arabesque’ when music was subject to the laws of beauty inscribed in the movements of Nature herself.”


© Music in the Round


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