Suite Bergamesque

Composer: Claude Debussy (b. 1862 - d. 1918)
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Composer: Claude Debussy (b. 1862 - d. 1918)

Performance date: 27/06/2022

Venue: Bantry House

Composition Year: 1905

Duration: 00:16:44

Recording Engineer: Eduardo Prado, Ergodos

Instrumentation: pf

Instrumentation Category:Solo

Artists: Nathalia Milstein - [piano]

This programme features works from four master composers, who were also extraordinary pianists. And while the styles in structure, harmony and underlying expressions are totally different, they share some interesting characteristics. In the first place, all of them are very difficult to play well.

Debussy, who constantly seemed to leap from one personal dramatic crisis to another, broke through into new conventions in musical tonalities, modes and harmonic textures with his Suite Bergamesque.

Suite Bergamesque contains the famous Claire de Lune ‘Moonlight’ movement, and in Debussy’s sublime harmonies and delicate broken chords that complement the melody, the listener truly is walking in moonlight. Like Bartók, Debussy looked to Baroque structures in the form, but the characteristic impressionism of the music is a masterpiece of devotion to aesthetic purity. The suite took fifteen years to be completed and published, and the title inspired from Paul Verlaine’s poem Claire de Lune, which mentions ‘bergamesks,’ a clumsy dance performed by the inhabitants of Bergamo in the Italian Alps. But there is nothing clumsy in the composition – even in the lively comic dance of the second movement, the typical elegance of Debussy’s harmonic structures and light melodies, are refined and supremely beautiful.

Helen Dawson