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Claude Debussy

Dátum narodenia: 22. august 1862
Dátum úmrtia: 25. marec 1918
Ďalšie mená:Claude A. Debussy, Claude Achille Debussy

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Claude Debussy [vyslov:ašil klód d-büsi] bol francúzsky hudobný skladateľ. Je považovaný za zakladateľa hudobného impresionizmu, hoci sám tento termín odmietal.

Jeho hudba sa vyznačuje odklonom od tradičného tonálneho systému, veľmi bohatou harmonickou paletou a dôrazom na senzualitu a náladu diela. Z hľadiska vývoja hudby ide o zásadnú a nesmierne vplyvnú postavu, jeho umelecké postupy boli veľmi inovatívne a jeho tvorba tvorí prechod medzi romantizmom a modernými smermi hudby 20. storočia. Jeho odkaz spočíva okrem jednej opery hlavne v niekoľkých významných orchestrálnych dielach a klavírnej tvorbe.

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Citáty Claude Debussy

„Works of art make rules but rules do not make works of art.“

—  Claude Debussy
As quoted in Companion to Contemporary Musical Thought (1992) by John Paynter, p. 590 Unsourced variant: Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.

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„It is necessary to abandon yourself completely, and let the music do as it will with you.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: It is necessary to abandon yourself completely, and let the music do as it will with you. All people come to music to seek oblivion. As quoted in The Cambridge Companion to Debussy (2003) by Simon Trezise, p. 120

„Music should humbly seek to please; within these limits great beauty may perhaps be found.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: Music should humbly seek to please; within these limits great beauty may perhaps be found. Extreme complication is contrary to art. Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part. Quoted in French Music : From the Death of Berlioz to the Death of Fauré (1951) by Martin Cooper, p. 136, and in Debussy and Wagner (1979) by Robin Holloway, p. 207

„Collect impressions. Don’t be in a hurry to write them down.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: Collect impressions. Don’t be in a hurry to write them down. Because that’s something music can do better than painting: it can centralise variations of colour and light within a single picture — a truth generally ignored, obvious as it is. Debussy in a letter to his pupil Raoul Bardac (1906)

„Music is a mysterious mathematical process whose elements are part of Infinity. … There is nothing more musical than a sunset.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: Music is a mysterious mathematical process whose elements are part of Infinity. … There is nothing more musical than a sunset. He who feels what he sees will find no more beautiful example of development in all that book which, alas, musicians read but too little — the book of Nature. As quoted in The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (1996) by Don Michael Randel

„When I gaze at a sunset sky and spend hours contemplating its marvelous ever-changing beauty, an extraordinary emotion overwhelms me. Nature in all its vastness is truthfully reflected in my sincere though feeble soul.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: I do not practise religion in accordance with the sacred rites. I have made mysterious Nature my religion. I do not believe that a man is any nearer to God for being clad in priestly garments, nor that one place in a town is better adapted to meditation than another. When I gaze at a sunset sky and spend hours contemplating its marvelous ever-changing beauty, an extraordinary emotion overwhelms me. Nature in all its vastness is truthfully reflected in my sincere though feeble soul. Around me are the trees stretching up their branches to the skies, the perfumed flowers gladdening the meadow, the gentle grass-carpetted earth, … and my hands unconsciously assume an attitude of adoration. … To feel the supreme and moving beauty of the spectacle to which Nature invites her ephemeral guests! … that is what I call prayer. As quoted in Claude Debussy: His Life and Works (1933) by Léon Vallas, p. 225 Variant translation: Before the passing sky, in long hours of contemplation of its magnificent and ever-changing beauty, I am seized by an incomparable emotion. The whole expanse of nature is reflected in my own sincere and feeble soul. Around me the branches of trees reach out toward the firmament, here are sweet-scented flowers smiling in the meadow, here the soft earth is carpeted with sweet herbs. … Nature invites its ephemeral and trembling travelers to experience these wonderful and disturbing spectacles — that is what I call prayer. As quoted in The Life of the Creative Spirit (2001) by H. Charles Romesburg, p. 240

„Composers aren't daring enough.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: Composers aren't daring enough. They're afraid of that sacred idol called "common sense", which is the most dreadful thing I know — after all, it's no more than a religion founded to excuse the ubiquity of imbeciles! Debussy Letters (1987) edited by Francois Lesure and Roger Nichols

Reklama

„I believe the principle fault of the majority of writers and artists is having neither the will nor the courage to break with their successes, failing to seek new paths and give birth to new ideas.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: I believe the principle fault of the majority of writers and artists is having neither the will nor the courage to break with their successes, failing to seek new paths and give birth to new ideas. Most of them produce them twice, three, even four times. They have neither the courage nor the temerity to leave what is certain for what is uncertain. There is, however, no greater pleasure than going into the depth of oneself, setting one's whole being in motion and seeking for new and hidden treasures. What a joy to find something new in oneself, something that surprises even ourselves, filling us with warmth.

„People don't very much like things that are beautiful — they are so far from their nasty little minds.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: People don't very much like things that are beautiful — they are so far from their nasty little minds. As quoted in Debussy : Musician of France (1957) by Victor Illyitch Seroff, p. 172

„There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law. I love music passionately. And because l love it, I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law. I love music passionately. And because l love it, I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it. It is a free art gushing forth — an open-air art, boundless as the elements, the wind, the sky, the sea. It must never be shut in and become an academic art. Quoted in An Encyclopedia of Quotations About Music (1981) by Nat Shapiro, p. 268 Unsourced variant: There is no theory. You have only to listen. Fantasy is the law.

„I do not practise religion in accordance with the sacred rites. I have made mysterious Nature my religion.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: I do not practise religion in accordance with the sacred rites. I have made mysterious Nature my religion. I do not believe that a man is any nearer to God for being clad in priestly garments, nor that one place in a town is better adapted to meditation than another. When I gaze at a sunset sky and spend hours contemplating its marvelous ever-changing beauty, an extraordinary emotion overwhelms me. Nature in all its vastness is truthfully reflected in my sincere though feeble soul. Around me are the trees stretching up their branches to the skies, the perfumed flowers gladdening the meadow, the gentle grass-carpetted earth, … and my hands unconsciously assume an attitude of adoration. … To feel the supreme and moving beauty of the spectacle to which Nature invites her ephemeral guests! … that is what I call prayer. As quoted in Claude Debussy: His Life and Works (1933) by Léon Vallas, p. 225 Variant translation: Before the passing sky, in long hours of contemplation of its magnificent and ever-changing beauty, I am seized by an incomparable emotion. The whole expanse of nature is reflected in my own sincere and feeble soul. Around me the branches of trees reach out toward the firmament, here are sweet-scented flowers smiling in the meadow, here the soft earth is carpeted with sweet herbs. … Nature invites its ephemeral and trembling travelers to experience these wonderful and disturbing spectacles — that is what I call prayer. As quoted in The Life of the Creative Spirit (2001) by H. Charles Romesburg, p. 240

Reklama

„To feel the supreme and moving beauty of the spectacle to which Nature invites her ephemeral guests! … that is what I call prayer.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: I do not practise religion in accordance with the sacred rites. I have made mysterious Nature my religion. I do not believe that a man is any nearer to God for being clad in priestly garments, nor that one place in a town is better adapted to meditation than another. When I gaze at a sunset sky and spend hours contemplating its marvelous ever-changing beauty, an extraordinary emotion overwhelms me. Nature in all its vastness is truthfully reflected in my sincere though feeble soul. Around me are the trees stretching up their branches to the skies, the perfumed flowers gladdening the meadow, the gentle grass-carpetted earth, … and my hands unconsciously assume an attitude of adoration. … To feel the supreme and moving beauty of the spectacle to which Nature invites her ephemeral guests! … that is what I call prayer. As quoted in Claude Debussy: His Life and Works (1933) by Léon Vallas, p. 225 Variant translation: Before the passing sky, in long hours of contemplation of its magnificent and ever-changing beauty, I am seized by an incomparable emotion. The whole expanse of nature is reflected in my own sincere and feeble soul. Around me the branches of trees reach out toward the firmament, here are sweet-scented flowers smiling in the meadow, here the soft earth is carpeted with sweet herbs. … Nature invites its ephemeral and trembling travelers to experience these wonderful and disturbing spectacles — that is what I call prayer. As quoted in The Life of the Creative Spirit (2001) by H. Charles Romesburg, p. 240

„I wish to write down my musical dreams in a spirit of utter self-detachment. I wish to sing of my interior visions with the naïve candour of a child. No doubt, this simple musical grammar will jar on some people. It is bound to offend the partisans of deceit and artifice. I foresee that and rejoice at it.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: I wish to write down my musical dreams in a spirit of utter self-detachment. I wish to sing of my interior visions with the naïve candour of a child. No doubt, this simple musical grammar will jar on some people. It is bound to offend the partisans of deceit and artifice. I foresee that and rejoice at it. I shall do nothing to create adversaries, but neither shall I do anything to turn enmities into friendships. I must endeavour to be a great artist so that I may dare to be myself and suffer for my faith. Those who feel as I do will only appreciate me more. The others will shun and hate me. I shall make no effort to appease them. On that distant day — I trust it is still very far off — when I shall no longer be a cause of strife, I shall feel bitter self-reproach. For that odious hypocrisy which enables one to please all mankind will inevitably have prevailed in those last works. As quoted in Claude Debussy: His Life and Works (1933) by Léon Vallas, p. 226

„I confess that I am no longer thinking in musical terms, or at least not much, even though I believe with all my heart that Music remains for all time the finest means of expression we have.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: I confess that I am no longer thinking in musical terms, or at least not much, even though I believe with all my heart that Music remains for all time the finest means of expression we have. It’s just that I find the actual pieces — whether they’re old or modern, which is in any case merely a matter of dates — so totally poverty-stricken, manifesting an inability to see beyond the work-table. They smell of the lamp, not of the sun. And then, overshadowing everything, there’s the desire to amaze one’s colleagues with arresting harmonies, quite unnecessary for the most part. In short, these days especially, music is devoid of emotional impact. I feel that, without descending to the level of the gossip column or the novel, it should be possible to solve the problem somehow. There’s no need either for music to make people think! … It would be enough if music could make people listen, despite themselves and despite their petty mundane troubles, and never mind if they’re incapable of expressing anything resembling an opinion. It would be enough if they could no longer recognize their own grey, dull faces, if they felt that for a moment they had been dreaming of an imaginary country, that’s to say, one that can’t be found on the map. Letter to Paul Dukas (1901)

„Music would take over at the point at which words become powerless, with the one and only object of expressing that which nothing but music could express.“

—  Claude Debussy
Context: Music would take over at the point at which words become powerless, with the one and only object of expressing that which nothing but music could express. For this, I need a text by a poet who, resorting to discreet suggestion rather than full statement, will enable me to graft my dream upon his dream — who will give me plain human beings in a setting belonging to no particular period or country. … Then I do not wish my music to drown the words, nor to delay the course of the action. I want no purely musical developments which are not called for inevitably by the text. In opera there is always too much singing. Music should be as swift and mobile as the words themselves. As quoted in Debussy (1989) by Paul Holmes, p. 36

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