The magic of Debussy

Rune Vejby

Commodore of Water Music
Hi everybody,

I have just been playing "Clair de Lune" - a famous piece by Claude Debussy - on my piano, and in that relation I would very much like to know your personal oppinion of the music from the impressionistic period. I am myself mostly interested in the music written for piano as I find it very original in comparison to "traditional" classical. The element that i truly adore is the use of whole tone scales which can create a very dreamy feeling. At the same time it is very healthy finger-exercising technique by the piano, as it can be rather difficult to play at high pace

I have been playing Clair de Lune for a while and I don't think that I will ever get tired with it. My favourite work of Debussy is though the Arabesque no.1 which was written around 1890. The piece contains so many contrasts in terms of melody and flow, which makes it quite challenging to perform on the piano - but the sound is AMAZING.
In general, it is my belief that Debussy is not as well-known in the general public as famous composers before him. Maybe this is because he did'nt compose that many big orchestral works, but I still feel that he should be reckognized for his fantastic compositions for piano

Anyway, it would be nice to know your perspectives towards impressionistic music. Any comments are more than welcome


Frederik Magle

Staff member
I've always liked the music of Debussy, both his piano works (of which I've played a few including the Arabesques) and his orchestral works such as "Images", "Jeux" and many others.

This is an interesting discussion, I too would like to hear people's viewpoints on Debussy and impressionist music in general.


Hello people,

This is my first post on a music forum. I just had to respond because Debussy is the composer of my no.1 favorite alltime piece, La Mer. I`m a pianist/musician/music teacher who has been studying music pretty much my whole life. I feel it`s a shame more people don`t know about him/his works. Nothing beats the emotional roller coaster ride of many of his works. I would suggest his Préludes for piano. My fave is Ce qu`a vu le vent d`ouest.

As far as impressionist music, I love it. Ravel`s La Valse is great as well as Daphnis and Chloe (orchestral works.)

Thanks for giving me the chance to rant my personal opinions.

Rune Vejby

Commodore of Water Music
Hi rojo,

Welcome to the forums!
Thanks alot for your input, and great to meet a fellow impressionist

Actually, I have never heard any impressionistic piano music besides the compositions of Debussy. Maybe you can recommend me some music of other composers to play on the piano? I would appreciate that very much

By the way, please feel free to submit a post in the [New members] Introduce yourself forum


Vice Admiral of Notes, Dots & at times also Slurs
Sr. Regulator

The TWO impressionstic composers par excellence are Debussy and Ravel - although Debussy renounced the term and Ravel has written a lot of music outside with impressionistic "sphere".

As to other impressionistic piano music you could try "Jeux d'eau" by Ravel or some of the music by Charles Tomlinson Griffes, THE American impressionstic composer. (jeux d'eau - and, if you don't know it, also try the "pavane for a dead princess" - it's a real gem!)

Although not impressionistic, you might find the piano music (eg. the piano cycle "On an overgrown path") of the Check composer Leos Janacek interesting.