Works By Debussy, in Performances by Eastman Students & Faculty

AUDIO #1:

“Hommage à Rameau”
“Hommage à Rameau” from Images, série I [for solo piano]
excerpt from Eastman Audio Archive call no. MO 1120

Performed by Professor Rebecca Penneys in a Faculty Recital on October 13, 2002 in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music. Professor Penneys has served on the piano faculty of the Eastman School since 1980.

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AUDIO #2:

“Fêtes”
“Fêtes,” second movement from Nocturnes [for orchestra with women’s chorus; the given movement is solely for orchestra]
excerpt from Eastman Audio Archive call no. DM 2620

Performed by the New Eastman Symphony under Professor Brad Lubman, conductor, on January 23, 1998 in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music. The New Eastman Symphony was a student-managed orchestra that flourished at the Eastman School in the years 1997-2000. Professor Lubman has served on the Conducting and Ensembles faculty of the Eastman School since 1996.

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AUDIO #3:

Golliwog’s Cakewalk
“Golliwog’s Cakewalk” from Children’s Corner [for solo piano]
excerpt from Eastman Audio Archive call no. ECD 1732

Performed by Kevin T. Chance in a Doctor of Musical Arts degree recital on January 11, 2010 in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music. Since January, 2010 Dr. Chance has served on the music faculty of the University of Alabama as Instructor of Piano.

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Audio #4

Act IV, scene iv ( “C’est le dernier soir . . .” ) from Pélléas et Mélisande (opera; 1893-95, 1901-02)
excerpt from Eastman Audio Archive call no. AM9274 : AM9279

Performed on May 7, 1987 in the Eastman Theatre by Eugenia P. Garrity, soprano, in the role of Mélisande, and John Kramar, baritone, in the role of Pélléas, and the members of the Eastman Philharmonia, conducted by David Gilbert.
Dr. Garrity is now a recitalist and voice teacher based in Lakeland, Florida.

Mr. Kramar is Associate Professor of Voice, Chair of the Department of Vocal Studies, and Director of the East Carolina University Opera Theater at the East Carolina University School of Music in Greenville, North Carolina. Maestro Gilbert currently serves as Resident Conductor at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

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BBC-Radio: The Young Debussy’s Secret Songs for Mme. Vasnier

The final event of Eastman’s “The Prismatic Debussy” is devoted to performance and study of Debussy’s early songs, including five that have been reconstructed by, respectively, Denis Herlin and Eastman’s Marie Rolf and made available for performance in the past year. Most of these songs were written for a remarkable soprano, Marie Blanche Vasnier, an older, married woman with whom the twenty-year-old Debussy was apparently in love during a year or more.

In this BBC radio feature, Richard Langham Smith (of the Royal College of Music, in London), Professor Rolf, and other authorities give a sense of the lyrical riches of Théodore de Banville, Alfred de Musset, Paul Bourget, Théophile Gautier, and Paul Verlaine–the poets Debussy chose to express his love for the remarkable Mme. Vasnier.

Hearing her sing moved Debussy, then an impressionable young student, to create a treasury of songs specially with her stratospheric voice in mind. Among the many songs he wrote for Madame Vasnier is the unpublished “La fille aux cheveux de lin.” It was the starting point of Debussy’s fascination with setting words to music, an obsession that reached a high point in Pélleas et Mélisande some twenty years later. But it was Mme. Vasnier whom Debussy acknowledged, in quite suggestive language, as “”the only muse to ever inspire in me musical feelings–to speak only of the musical ones!”

Listen on the BBC website.