Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune Notes

Notes on the Debussy set work that might help.

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  • Created by: Louise
  • Created on: 14-05-13 16:53
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Prélude a l'aprèsmidi d'un faune
Debussy Impressionist composer Wasn't well received at the time
Series of colours and impressions ­ slightly more obscure
Blurred around the edges
End of the Romantic era
Child prodigy
Age 10 ­ awarded place at Paris Conservatoire
Became more explorative ­ created a lot of discourage between teachers etc
Debussy went to hear the "Ring Cycle" by Wagner
Gamelan influenced Debussy
Inspired by Mallarme poem ­ about a faun alone in a forest, playing on his panpipes. Partying
nymphs and Naiads surround him and he pursues them but is unsuccessful in his quest. Falls
asleep and has vivid dreams.
First performed in 1894
Full set of strings
Strings using mutes for extended periods
Strings frequently divided
Use of tremolo
Bowing over finger board ­ b.85
Pizz and arco ­ b.25/26
Set of 10 woodwind
Independent solo lines
Different ranges are explored
Doubled up to get different sound
Tremolo in clarinet
4 horns
Muted passages
2 harps
Antique cymbals ­ tuned to E and B
Impressionist composers liked to explore the ranges and techniques of instruments
Melody dominated homophony can be employed
Monophonic opening ­ flute solo
Doubling of instruments
Prelude ­ never wrote the following movements
Some call it a tone poem ­ when the story dominates the structure
Ternary form ­ 155 ­ flute melody ­ flute theme in b.130, transition based on opening flute
theme 3136, A1 ­ 3754 ­ oboe variation
7994 ­ flute melody in different guises ­ much shorter than first ­ oboe bit of A
94 ­ end ­ coda

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In the poem there are 110 lines, in the music there are 110 bars
4851 ­ ascending music which corresponds with the poem with shapes rising
Aspects of variation within this piece ­ the principal piece keeps returning
There is a sense of key however it is undermined by the following:
o Chromatic notes
o Dissonance that are unresolved
o Whole tone writing
Final bars(105106) ­ comfortably E major
55 ­ Db major ­ definite sense of key
Opening ­ chromatic melody provides no…read more

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Syncopation…read more


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