Claude Debussy's exquisite piano works have captivated generations with their dreamlike atmosphere and mysterious soundscapes. Written in Paris at the height of the Belle Epoque, the music creates a soundtrack for Parisians' enjoyment of such delights as clowns, mermaids, eccentric dances, and the dark tales of Edgar Allan Poe.
Debussy's Paris: Piano Portraits of the Belle Epoque explores how Debussy's key works reflect not only the most appealing and innocent aspects of Paris but also the more disquieting attitudes of the time such as racism, colonial domination, and nationalistic hostility. Debussy left no avenue unexplored, and his piano works present a sweeping overview of the passions, vices, and obsessions of the era.
Pianist Catherine Kautsky reveals little-known elements of Parisian culture and weaves the music, the man, the city, and the era into an indissoluble whole. Her portrait will delight anyone who has ever been entranced by Debussy's music or the city that inspired it.
Chapter I: Pierrot Conquers Paris
Chapter II: Clowns, Poets, and Circus Daredevils
Chapter III: Dance Steps out of Line
Chapter IV: The Cakewalk Wars
Chapter V: A Taste for the Orient
Chapter VI: Asia on a Pedestal
Chapter VII: Child’s Play and Make Believe
Chapter VIII: Fairies and Fairy Tales
Chapter IX: Crossovers on Land and at Sea
Chapter X: The Floating World
Chapter XI: Fair-Haired Maidens
Chapter XII: Edgar Allan Poe’s “Imp of the Perverse”
Chapter XIII: The Sounds of Nationalism