Claude Debussy at 150: We take his musical revolution for granted

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Claude Debussy, one of Western music’s revolutionaries.

As with the varying styles of Impressionist paintings, the long view represents something defined, but the closer you get, the more his compositions start to fall apart into the individual components that our minds work imperceptibly to piece together into meaningful shapes.

The long view is so sleek and seductive that listeners long ago began taking Debussy’s art for granted.

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Comparison: Not all pianistic fireworks are created equal

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall will see the Ashbridges Bay fireworks tonight (Brian Henry photo).

In honour of Victoria Day and the many different types of fireworks thousands will enjoy tonight, here are three different ways of playing Claude Debussy’s Feux d’artifice, the 12th from Vol. II of his Préludes. Continue reading

The mysteries of expressing colour and texture in sound come into focus with music of Debussy and Messiaen

“The Colors of Music,” submitted by Michigan public school student Caden Roberts in a Jackson Symphony art contest.

To many, it must be a mystery how classical music people talk about colour and light and texture in describing the intermingling of intangible sound waves. The secret to understanding this translation is not to think literally, but to think in metaphors and evocations, as when reading poetry. Continue reading