Tombeau de Claude Debussy

Marianne Wheeldon

in Rethinking Debussy

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199755639
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894932 | DOI:
Tombeau de Claude Debussy

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In 1920 Henry Prunières dedicated an issue of La Revue Musicale to the achievements of Debussy. This publication is significant because it documents the beginnings of the composer's posthumous reputation and offers an early appraisal of the late works. Particularly striking about the issue is how little mention is made of the last four years of the composer's life. Debussy's efforts to affiliate his music with the French eighteenth century in these years are refuted or treated with ambivalence by the contributors. What is most noticeable about the volume as a whole is the disparity between the composer's desired legacy and the one afforded him by La Revue Musicale. Debussy's efforts in the final years of his life to associate himself with certain musical traditions appear to have been in vain, and La Revue Musicale would contribute, albeit unwittingly, to the negative evaluation of Debussy's late music in the decades following his death.

Keywords: Debussy; late works; legacy; musical traditions; posthumous reputation; reception; La Revue Musicale; Tombeau de Claude Debussy

Chapter.  6924 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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