Music and Vision homepage All Risks Musical - an irreverent guide to the music profession by Alice McVeigh

Claude Debussy

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

Ensemble. Plus and Minus - Songs and arias from Jennifer Davis and Caroline Dowdle at the Buxton Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Much to be Gained - Jenny Q Chai explores sound and colour, impressing Geoff Pearce. 'The pianist is assured, exciting to listen to and totally compelling.'

CD Spotlight. Remarkable Sensitivity - Angela Brownridge plays Debussy Préludes, impressing Anett Fodor. '... her inexhaustible source of timbre, the delicate style and use of both pedals, as well as her excellent piano technique demand listeners' full attention.'

Ensemble. Engagingly Springy - The European Union Chamber Orchestra in Nottingham impresses Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Angel of the Apocalypse - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Messiaen in Rome

Ensemble. Mathematical Advantage - Sinfonia Viva's annual schools residency, experienced by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Debussy Perspective - Giuseppe Pennisi samples a concert series marking the one hundredth anniversary of the French composer's death

CD Spotlight. Unerring Beauty - Praga Digitals' tribute to Victoria de los Ángeles, heard by Roderic Dunnett. 'De los Ángeles herself is, needless to say, enchanting. The purity, the innocence of the voice, as one can hear here, is simply unique to her.'

Ensemble. Glorious New Directions - Roderic Dunnett looks ahead to 2018 and celebrates more of the best English provincial opera from 2017, at Garsington, Longborough and Winslow Hall

Ensemble. Deftly Navigated - Jeffrey Reid Baker, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Bizet and Rachmaninov from the Cann Twins at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall, heard by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. An Effective Combination - Music for viola and harp from Oliver Wass and Luba Tunnicliffe, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. The Egyptian - Early twentieth century French music by Ibert, Saint Saëns, Debussy and Ravel, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

Ensemble. More Celebratory than Elegiac - Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra at the opening of the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall season, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Real Emotions - Two concerts in Salzburg impress Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. Puckish Effervesence - A piano recital by Stephen Hough, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... music from the sublime to the Antipodean.'

Ensemble. Piquancy and Elegance - A recital by Claire Wickes and Tomos Xerri, heard by Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Uniquely Peculiar - French music for brass and piano, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Careful attention to the music's slightest details means the interpretive aspect is consistently special and charismatic.'

Nicely Unusual - Ingrid Jacoby plays Ponce, Fauré, Debussy and Musorgsky, and impresses Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. A Study in Dislocation - Mike Wheeler listens to Chopin, Debussy, Ligeti, Liszt, Grigory Ginzburg and Scarlatti, played by Isata Kanneh-Mason

CD Spotlight. Sheer Joy - Som Howie's debut recital, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... a lovely expansive open sound ...'

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)

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All Risks Musical - an irreverent guide to the music profession by Alice McVeigh