Debussy’s Instrumental Music in its Cultural Context


Siglind Bruhn
April 25, 2019

278 pp.

17 illustrations

SKU: 9378-4-4-1-2-1-14-1 Categories: ,


Complementing an earlier study on some of Claude Debussy’s preludes for piano (in Images and Ideas, Pendragon Press 2010) and a volume focusing on Debussy’s songs, cantata, and opera (Debussy’s Vocal Music, Pendragon Press 2018), the present book focuses on Debussy’s seminal works in the fields of chamber and orchestral music. The compositions analyzed, interpreted, and illuminated in their cultural context are grouped into five chapters, which are characterized by external characteristics but at the same time trace the chronology: I. Two early masterpieces: String Quartet (1893) and Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (1894); II. Three symphonic triptychs: Trois nocturnes (1897-99), La mer. Trois esquisses symphoniques pour orchestre (1903-05), and Images pour orchestre (1905-12); III. Concertante works: Danses sacrée et profane for harp and strings (1904) and Première rapsodie for clarinet and piano (1910); IV. Works conceived for the stage that live on mainly in the concert hall: Le martyre de saint Sébastien (1911), Jeux (1912-13), and Syrinx (1913); and V. The sonatas of the final years: Sonata for violoncello and piano (1915), Sonata for flute, viola, and harp (1915), and Sonata for violin and piano (1917). Siglind Bruhn, born in Hamburg and with a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna (Austria), is a music analyst, concert pianist, and interdisciplinary researcher. Since 1993 she has been affiliated with the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities, where she is responsible for “Music in interdisciplinary dialogue.” She is the author of more than 25 book-length monographs, most of them in the field of 20th-century music’s relationship to literature, art, and religion. In 2001, she was elected to the European Academy of Arts and Sciences; in 2008 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Linnaeus University (Sweden).


Siglind Bruhn

A musicologist, concert pianist, and interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on compositions of the 20th century. Prior to coming to the United States, she taught for ten years in Germany and at the University of Hong Kong. Since 1993 she has been a full-time researcher at the University of MichiganпїЅs Institute for the Humanities (one of six пїЅLife Research AssociatesпїЅ); in the fall of 2004, she was appointed chercheur permanent at the Institut dпїЅEsthпїЅtique des Arts Contemporains at UniversitпїЅ de Paris 1пїЅLa Sorbonne. She has been an elected member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2001.