Claude Debussy, born 22 August 1862 at St Germain-en-Laye, is recognised as the creator of what is termed impressionism in music. His musical language was an innovative blend of modality and the whole-tone scale with fascinating textural experiments. Twentieth-century composers have found his music a challenge to their own exploration of pastures new. He died in Paris on 25 March 1918.
A selection of M&V articles about Claude Debussy
Ferocious Energy - Jackie Campbell's piano recital at Buxton, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Refined Phrasing - Gemma Lois Summerfield and Sebastian Whybrew at Buxton impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Festive Sparkle - A concert to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of composer Joseph Horovitz, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Stunningly Atmospheric - Fiona and John York play Stravinsky, Ravel and Debussy, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... worthy of the highest recommendation.'
Ensemble. Distinctly Gallic - Rosanna Ter-Berg and Leo Nicholson, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Rippling Imagery - A piano recital by Jeremy Eskenazi, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... evident affinity with music requiring rapid rippling imagery and astute tonal control.'
Refreshingly Wide-ranging - A recital by Korean pianist Jenna Sung, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Les Dissonances - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Bucharest
CD Spotlight. Seeds of Excellence - Haydn and Debussy from Masahiro Yamaguchi, heard by Howard Smith. 'I was agreeably surprised at Masahiro's sparkling clarity ...'
CD Spotlight. Impressively Able - An-Ting Chang's 'Water Image', heard by Howard Smith. '... highlighting the theatrical and audio possibilities of nineteenth century piano music ...'
Ensemble. Infectiously Enjoyable - Anniversaries at The VoiceBox in Derby, by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Wonderfully Airborne - Christina McMaster plays Debussy, McKenzie, Crawford Seeger, Ives and Beethoven, and impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Something More Fluid - Mike Wheeler listens to Stephen Johnson 'discovering music', and to the BBC Philharmonic and Juanjo Mena
Impressionism and Symbolism - Debussy, by Eric Jensen, read by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Brought to Life - Music for violin and piano completely captivates Geoff Pearce. 'The partnership is incredible ...'
CD Spotlight. Likeable Discs - Music for cello and piano, heard by Howard Smith. '... affectionately presented throughout.'
CD Spotlight. Sheer Delight - Halida Dinova plays music for children, recommended by Howard Smith. '... palpable finesse.'
Ensemble. Depth and Elegance - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Printemps des Arts in Monte Carlo
CD Spotlight. Variety of Tone - Michelangeli's Beethoven and Debussy, heard by Robert Anderson. '... a sympathetic medium for Debussy's vision.'
Consummate Elegance - Mike Wheeler listens to Sarah Beth Briggs
CD Spotlight. Collaborative Effect - Martha Argerich and friends in Lugano, heard by Barbara Sealock. 'Among the recorded gems of 2013 ...'
CD Spotlight. A Special Affinity - Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt from Viktor Bijelovic, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... beautiful voicing and highly sensitive phrasing.'
Ensemble. Power and Delicacy - Eloisa-Fleur Thom and Mark Austin, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. An Awkward Mix - Contemporary music for strings, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... Burwasser sets himself apart from the others with music that exhibits a strong sense of form and proportion ...'
Ensemble. Highest Accolades - Gerald Fenech enjoys his visit to Festival Maribor in Slovenia
Ensemble. Smoothly Compatible - Malcolm Troup is witness to the manual (four-handed) marriage of two musical missionaries
A Thoughtful Account - Richard Uttley plays Beethoven, Grieg, Britten, Bartók, Debussy, Timothy Jackson, Liszt and Schumann, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. European Impressionism - Quartets by Ravel, Debussy and Saint-Saëns, heard by Howard Smith. '[Quatuor Modigliani] attack it with some vehemence.'
Impressive Control - A piano recital by Richard Uttley, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Still Radical - Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Irridescent Colourings - The Debussy Ensemble, enjoyed by Bill Newman. '... beautifully balanced ...'
Ensemble. Finely Judged - Chinese pianist Di Xiao, heard by Mike Wheeler
Most Impressive - Bill Newman listens to Swiss-Italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi
CD Spotlight. Wondrous Music - Cuarteto Casals, heard by Robert Anderson. '... impeccable ensemble, just intonation, a rich variety of tone colours, and a youthful freshness of approach.'
Great Delicacy - Jenny Lin at Notttingham's Royal Concert Hall, heard by Mike Wheeler
Pianistic Colour - Jong-Gyung Park at Derby Chamber Music impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. The Flame of Music - Malcolm Troup reports on new arrivals from China and Lithuania at the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe's Summer Festival in London
Ensemble. The Finest of Them All - The 2012 Hereford Three Choirs Festival, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Purity of Sound - Richard Strauss, Fauré, Debussy, Poulenc, Wolf and Berg from Christiane Karg and Malcolm Martineau, heard by Bill Newman
Ask Bill! - Everything you've wanted to know about music (and more) from your self-appointed agony uncle, Bill Newman, who also visits London's Wigmore Hall to hear French pianist Bertrand Chamayou
Wonderful Performances - Latvian magic from pianist Reinis Zarins, heard by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. An Umbrella Occasion - Debussy songs, heard by Robert Anderson. '... very accomplished ...'
South Bank Pianists - Bill Newman listens to Peter Donohoe, Richard Goode and Peter Jablonski
Expressive Insights - A recital by Lara Melda, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Romantic Melodies - Gaubert and Debussy for flute, heard by Ron Bierman. '... a fine, well-played collection ...'
CD Spotlight. Dubious Tampering - Chamber arrangements of Mahler and Debussy, heard by Howard Smith. '... a highly skilled, finely rehearsed unit.'
CD Spotlight. Superb Music - Susanna Phillips sings Debussy, Messiaen and Fauré, heard by George Balcombe. '... Fauré knew how to make music live ...'
Ensemble. Airy Textures - The Piatti String Quartet, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Stunning Portrayals - Debussy and Bartók, reviewed by Bill Newman
Tonal Refinement - Cédric Tiberghien plays Debussy Preludes, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Rapturous Praises - Yasmin Rowe, Sarah Sew and Tadashi Imai at London's Wigmore Hall, heard by Bill Newman
Vividly Captured - A piano recital by Richard Uttley, heard by Mike Wheeler
Clarity of Expression - Yasmin Rowe plays for the Keyboard Charitable Trust, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Beautifully Controlled - Mike Wheeler listens to Suk, Dvorák, Ravel and Debussy from the Hallé Orchestra in Nottingham
Ensemble. Exciting Teamwork - Roderic Dunnett was in Worcester for the 2011 Three Choirs Festival
Finest Attributes - Wigmore Hall recitals by Danny Driver, and by Jack Liebeck and Katya Apekisheva, admired by Bill Newman
Consummate Artists - Malcolm Troup reports on the BPSE Summer Festival at London's Regent Hall, where for the first time Music, not consumerism, called the shots
Ever Responsive - Two recitals by Alberto Portugheis impress Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Tremendously Exciting - The Dante Quartet at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
New Talent - Hannah Yip's Derby Cathedral recital impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Compelling and Pleasurable - Arthur Friedheim plays Liszt, Chopin, Gottschalk and Henselt, heard by Patric Standford. '... a slightly improvisatory interpretation ...'
Ensemble. Serious Intentions - Bill Newman listens to Stephen Hough
CD Spotlight. Unaffected Restraint - Halida Dinova plays music that tells stories, heard by Howard Smith. '... a mesmerising interpreter ...'
A Pleasant Evening - Lisa Friend and Mark Kinkaid in recital, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Poise and Vitality - Mike Wheeler listens to Lucille Burns and Catherine Milledge
Ensemble. Deeply Satisfying - Outreach work for Sinfonia Viva, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Zip and Sparkle - Alexandra Dariescu plays Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin and Constantin Silvestri, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Richly Expressive - The Cleveland Orchestra begins its annual South Florida residency, by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. A Smooth Delivery - Maria Nockin was at San Diego for Puccini's 'Turandot'
Subtly Controlled - Spanish pianist Javier Perianes plays Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and Falla, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Wonderful Rendition - Puccini's 'La Fanciulla del West' at the movies impresses Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Perfectly Adequate - Jacques Rouvier's Debussy Préludes, heard by Julian Jacobson. '... the performances lack a degree of intensity and personal involvement.'
New Year Blues - A roundup of recent London concerts by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Sensitive and Vivid - Laura Isaacson and Patricia Capone, heard by Mary Isaac
CD Spotlight. Well Worth Exploration - Orchestral music by Lodewijk Mortelmans, heard by Robert Anderson. 'The performances ... are a delight ...'
A Golden Treasury - Havergal Brian on European and American music, read by Patric Standford
Beautifully Subtle - Bobby Chen launches Derby Chamber Music's new season, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Pilgrimages of the Soul - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Italy's Sagra Musicale Umbra
Linear Clarity - Julian Jacobson's Wigmore Hall recital impresses Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Eyes Tight Shut - 'La Fanciulla del West' at the Puccini Festival, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Masks - Jennifer Paull continues her investigation of musical and theatrical masks
Masks - Jennifer Paull investigates a layering of musical and theatrical masks, with the omnipresent eerie reminder of the gas mask
Ask Alice - On songwriters and gamba sonatas, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. A Top-notch Formation - Operas by Zemlinsky and Puccini, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
A Vision of Shostakovich's String Quartet No 8 - A poem by J Jean Mayfield
Ensemble. Crystalline Lightness - A Symphony of the Americas concert, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Refreshingly Imaginative - A recital by Helen Reid impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Lyrical Athleticism - The Paul Taylor Dance Company and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra celebrate Paul Taylor's eightieth birthday, reviewed by Rebecca Schmid
Ensemble. Brisk Ebullience - Lawrence Budmen sends a second report from this summer's Tanglewood Festival
Bizarre Perception - Alistair Hinton discusses a recent article on English music by David Hamilton
Ensemble. Sing ye to the Lord - Roderic Dunnett was at the 2009 Hereford Three Choirs Festival
Ensemble. Especially Successful - Gillian Wills reports from the Australian Fesival of Chamber Music
A Liquid Lunch - A recital by Evelyne Berezovsky, heard by Julian Jacobson
Ensemble. An Immensely Successful Event - Thomas Bielinski reports from the West Cork Chamber Music Festival 2009
Ensemble. Lightness and Transparency - New World Symphony, the American orchestral academy, ends its season with an all-Tchaikovsky programme, reported by Lawrence Budmen
Music for Musicians Only? - The public turns a deaf ear to improvised music. As for classical music, Jan Dahlstedt claims that having abandoned improvisation, classical music entered a sidetrack from which it has never escaped, thus badly stifling creative progress. If he is guilty of heresy or may have a point, read on and judge for yourself.
CD Spotlight. Consistently Refined - Debussy transcriptions, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... these alternatives are never less than striking ...'
CD Spotlight. Virtuoso Duo - Performances by the Elaris Duo, recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. '... all the passion, drama and integrity one could want.'
Vigorous and Declamatory - Sacha Grynyuk plays for Derby Chamber Music, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Fire and Magic - Richard Stoltzman's 'Phoenix in Flight', recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. '... meltingly beautiful ...'
CD Spotlight. Sovereign Horn Territory - Music for horn and orchestra, recommended by Howard Smith. '... stunning breath control and consummate understanding ...'
Record Box. A Winner - Orchestral music by Debussy, recommended by Gerald Fenech
CD Spotlight. Shaken and Stirred - Maurice Steger plays Giuseppe Sammartini, recommended by Jennifer Paull
CD Spotlight. Pride of Place - Piano music by Frank Bridge, praised by Howard Smith. 'A standing ovation for Mark Bebbington ...'
Record Box. Richness of Colour - Stokowski conducts Wagner, Enescu, Debussy and Stravinsky, enjoyed by Robert Anderson
Ensemble. Strength and Toughness - Independent Opera's 'Pelléas et Mélisande' impresses Robert Hugill
Committed and Tough - Malcolm Troup plays Bloch's Piano Sonata, appreciated by Julian Jacobson
Record Box. An Eloquent Interpretation - Choral music by Karol Szymanowski, enjoyed by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Inspired Sibelius - Music for the theatre fascinates Robert Anderson. 'Again BIS has done the great master proud.'
Record Box. Many Moods - Orchestral music by Glazunov, recommended by Robert Anderson
Record Box. Great Entertainment - Stokowski conducts ballet music, heard by Patric Standford
Thought and Understanding - Wanda Jeziorska finds food for thought in Mishka Momen's latest recital
Ensemble. Force of Nature - The Matsumoto/Jacobson Duo and The Art of Falconry, by Malcolm Troup
CD Spotlight. Stylish and Pointed - Stokowski conducts Bizet and Debussy, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. '... a rhythmic élan and masterly sense of line ...'
CD Spotlight. A Memorable Disc - Ivan Ilic plays Debussy, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... superbly managed ...'
The Speed Merchant - Jonathan Scott plays the organ of Derby Cathedral, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Attractive Freshness - Celebrations in Derby, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Chopin in the Boondocks - Stephen De Pledge returns to New Zealand, by Howard Smith
DVD Spotlight. Visually Captivating - The Labèque sisters play Stravinsky and Debussy, reviewed by Patric Standford. 'Altogether an impressive production with excellent performances.'
Ensemble. Delectably Played - A concert by the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Genuine Appreciation - Robert Hugill at a concert by Londinium City Voices
Ensemble. Beautifully Realised - Music for flute, viola and harp from The Wakeford Ensemble, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Full Circle - The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra opens Musikfest Berlin, reviewed by Ciaran McAuley
Ensemble. Brahms and Jazz - Organist Peter Gould joins forces with The Swingle Singers, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Classy Performance - Summer with The Derwent Singers, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Sparkling Performances - The Hallé Orchestra plays Colin Matthews, Debussy, Poulenc and Tchaikovsky, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Distant Sound - LA Opera's 'Recovered Voices', reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Silvery Tone - A recital by Serena Leader and Gordon Back, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Exquisite Finesse - A concert by the Elias Quartet, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Stylistic Eclecticism - A concert by the Eden Chamber Orchestra, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. An Impressive Partnership - A recital by Katherine Jenkinson and Alison Farr, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Chinese Wunderkind - Nine-year-old Niu Niu's Wigmore Hall début, admired by Malcolm Troup
DVD Spotlight. Irresistibly Haunting - Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, reviewed by Robert Anderson. 'Franz Welser-Möst conducts admirably ...'
CD Spotlight. Textures which suit - Music for flute, clarinet and piano, reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall. '... unusual, enjoyable ...'
Profile. Tête-à-Tête - Bill Newman talks to British pianist Mark Bebbington
Ensemble. Assured and confident - James Gaffigan conducts the Cleveland Orchestra, reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz
Ensemble. Debussy to savour - Malcolm Miller admires Valerie Tryon in recital
Giants? - Alistair Hinton replies to Patric Standford's latest Provocative Thoughts
Ensemble. Liszt on Wagner's Steinway - Malcolm Miller applauds a young artist in the Festspiel-Soirée Series at the Wahnfried in Bayreuth
CD Spotlight. Often ravishing - Music by Debussy, Prokofiev, Britten and Ravel, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... admirably encompassed ...'
Ensemble. A memorable evening - Maurice Hasson's 70th birthday recital with Gabriela Montero was a notable 2005 Wigmore Hall event for Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. A voice to cherish - Dawn Upshaw sings Messiaen, Debussy, Golijov and Fauré, recommended by David Wilkins. '... a great disc!'
CD Spotlight. Playful and capricious - Piano music by Debussy, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... skilful presentation ...'
European tour - A preview, of sorts, of the Cleveland Orchestra's four-city, three festival visit, by Kelly Ferjutz
Ensemble. An exciting career ahead - Manus Carey listens to Chinese pianist Wu Qian
A dazzling recital - Misha Dacic plays Rachmaninoff with soul, admired by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. Appropriate ardency - Juliane Banse and András Schiff perform songs by Debussy and Mozart, reviewed by John Bell Young. '... a smart and authoritative singer ...'
Record box. Intensity - Debussy songs, appreciated by Basil Ramsey
Profile. A singing instrument - Martino Tirimo discusses the piano and its music with Bill Newman
Record box. The lady smiles - Basil Ramsey plus a duo
Ensemble. Warmth and communicability - Bernard Roberts' Romantic pianism launches the Glenilla concert season. Malcolm Miller listens
Reminiscent retrospectives - Meteorological obligati, with Jennifer Paull
Record box - Duetting. A new CD of French music considered by Basil Ramsey
Teenage talent - Malcolm Miller hears Asuka Nakamura at Leighton House, London
CD Spotlight - Piano masterpieces. '... these performances are as compelling as they are touching.' A recital by the young Texan pianist Roger Wright, by John Bell Young
Second Sight - Music with Wilfrid Mellers - The tragic dimension. Debussy's 'Pelléas et Mélisande' as in Opera North's current production
Berlin Festival Diary - Five weeks condensed into three, with Bill Newman (concluded from last week)