Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was a great harmonic innovator and one of the most original musical voices of the twentieth century. He created fresh, new tonal perspectives without abandoning tonality itself. With a revolutionary sense of instrumental colour and a fleeting, atmospheric sound world, he is often described, rightly or wrongly, as an 'Impressionist' composer. This book presents a clear narrative history of Debussy's life, work and cultural context along with essential reference material and striking illustrations, making it a vital purchase for anyone interested in the composer.
'Roberts [...] is a distinguished interpreter. ... an intimate portrait that takes us nearer to the heart of the music than any biography before. ... With copious quotes from the composer's letters and articles, Roberts charts the unstoppable evolution of his subtly revolutionary art - designed...but defining the course of Western music.' Michael Church, The Independent 'incisive ... Roberts meets the challenge of both person and music with empathy and acumen ... As for the composer's writings [...], here again Roberts is both sharp and sensible ... Generous quotations from letters and memoirs support this elegantly written volume.' Roger Nichols, BBC Music Magazine 'excellent design ... lavish illustrations ... Roberts shows virtuosity in putting Debussy's music as a whole in the context of the man. So well does Roberts capture the unconventionality of the man [...] that descriptions of the revolutionary nature of the music seem nothing but natural.' Andrew Green, Piano 'it's no surprise that each book is beautifully produced on shiny thick paper and filled with gorgeous illustrations. The texts are excellent too.' Pittsburgh, PA Post Gazette