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date: 19 October 2019

Debussy, (Achille-)Claudelocked

  • François Lesure
  •  and Roy Howat


(b St Germain-en-Laye, Aug 22, 1862; d Paris, March 25, 1918). French composer. One of the most important musicians of his time, his harmonic innovations had a profound influence on generations of composers. He made a decisive move away from Wagnerism in his only complete opera Pelléas et Mélisande, and in his works for piano and for orchestra he created new genres and revealed a range of timbre and colour which indicated a highly original musical aesthetic.

François Lesure

Debussy’s family was originally of modest peasant stock, settled in the Auxois district of Burgundy from at least the 17th century, and moving to the Paris region around 1800. The composer’s grandfather was a wine seller and later a joiner. His father, Manuel-Achille, served in the marine infantry for seven years, then settled with his wife in St Germain-en-Laye to run a china shop. Their first son, Achille-Claude, was born there, although it was two years before he was baptized. His father dreamt of making a sailor of him. In ...

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Revue belge de musicologie
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Current Musicology
Archiv für Musikwissenschaft
Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning
Musical Times
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Bulletin français de la S.I.M. [also Mercure musical and other titles]
Winterthur, Stadtbibliothek
Rivista italiana di musicologia
New York, Pierpont Morgan Library
Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association
Asnières-sur-Oise, Collection François Lang
Music Analysis
Rochester (NY), Sibley Music Library, University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music
Schweizerische Musikzeitung/Revue musicale suisse
Music & Letters
Boston, New England Conservatory of Music, Harriet M. Spaulding Library
Musical Quarterly
19th Century Music
Palo Alto (CA), University, Memorial Library of Music, Department of Special Collections of the Cecil H. Green Library
Paris, Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra
Revue musicale
Paris, Archives Nationales
Washington, DC, Library of Congress, Music Division
Revue de musicologie
Perspectives of New Music
London, British Library
Austin, University of Texas at Austin, The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center