Suite Bergamasque by Debussy
The Suite Bergamasque, or simply called Clair de Lune (although this is just a movement) is a suite of the French impressionist composer Claude Debussy. The work was composed in 1890, but was not published until 1905. He did not want to publish it because he said that its quality was inferior to his more modern works, but he eventually published. A suite is a musical work composed of several short movements whose origins are different types of baroque dance. It is considered an antecedent of the sonata form. This suite is for piano.
It has four movements. The first is the Prélude, full of dynamic contrasts with a vigorous beginning and ending, being a festive piece. The second is Menuet, a theme that contrasts with an alternatively mysterious and dramatic section. The thid part, and most famous, is the Clair de Lune, whose name come from a poem of Paul Verlaine. And the four movement is Passepied, whose name come from a typical brittish dance. It’s a happy and medieval piece.
Claude-Achille Debussy was born in France in 1862, and he is the soul and mastermind of Impressionism. His new style starts from 1893, which are features of Impressionism. He composed, among others, operas, piano suites, oratories... He died in Paris in 1918, and its impact was tremendous during the first quarter of century.
The French public in recent years of the century was beginning to tire of Wagnerianism. Debussy respond with Impressionism. Musically he was born under the influence of the symbolist poets and impressionist painters towards 1882. The musical impressionism rejects colors or classic tones in themselves, succeeding a number of shovelfuls of sounds, called chords, without dominating each other. What matters is the color or sound of each chord itself without importing shocks or dissonance. So, impressionist music only suggests thoughts and emotions without describing or imitate Nature.
In conclusion, both Debussy and this artwork is a clear example of musical Impressionism, which although it is an early work, is currently one of the best known pieces of this composer.