Recorded on 10/03/2010, uploaded on 10/03/2010
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Claude Debussy composed his two books of preludes during a remarkably brief period—the first, between December 1909 and February 1910; and the second, during roughly the same period in 1912-13. Though totaling twenty-four in number between the two books, Debussy’s preludes do not follow the precedent established by J. S. Bach’s ubiquitously known Well-Tempered Clavier (namely, a prelude in each of the major and minor keys) and imitated by several other composers, including Frédéric Chopin, Charles-Valentin Alkan, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. However, this does not mean that Debussy’s preludes are without order, and the relationships that can be found among them indicate that their published order was, to a certain extent, quite purposeful, yet also designed with a degree of inherent flexibility. Debussy, in keeping with the artistic philosophy of his day, also composed each prelude with specific scene or image in mind. Yet, to partially disguise these intents from the listener and to allow his audience to discover them of their own accord, Debussy craftily placed his titles at the end of each prelude. Performance practice of the preludes varies. Early performances, even by Debussy himself, established a precedent of grouping the prelude in threes or fours, allowing performers to pick those in which they perhaps are most comfortable. However, some performers also choose to perform each book in their entirety.
The ninth prelude of Debussy’s second book of preludes takes as its source of inspiration the lovable and kind-hearted protagonist of Charles Dickens’s novel The Pickwick Papers (published in 1836), Samuel Pickwick. It begins in a purported serious tone with the first strain of God Save the Queen given in thunderous tones in the lowest register of the piano and accompanied by full-voiced chords above it. This grave rendition of the English national anthem, however, is soon dropped as the tempo quickens and the music begins to reflect the comic nature of Pickwick’s adventures. A lively dotted-rhythm becomes the principal motif of the prelude accompanied at periodic intervals by a rising scale figure that sound something like a whistle. Just as in Dickens’s novel, moments of grandeur and even sentimentality appear in Debussy’s prelude, yet in their proper place as part of the overall comedy. Joseph DuBose
Giorgi Latsabidze Plays Debussy Preludes Book 2
DVD/CD presented by Onward Entertainment, Wayne Adams, CharismARTist Foundation. A J.G. Weaver Documentary recorded LIVE in performance, November 2009, Los Angeles, CA.This is second documentary recorded live by the above, preceded by LATSABIDZE THE RECITAL, November 2008, Los Angeles, CA
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