Forging a performance practice for Debussy’s Douze Études: a historical and analytical approach

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Daniel S. Seyfried (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Andrew Willis

Abstract: This document integrates discussions of historical and analytical findings to support a performance practice surrounding Debussy’s Douze Études (1915). Historical observations are used to build comparative relationships between the compositional techniques and piano techniques used in the Études and those established by The French Clavecinistes; Debussy’s teachers, mentors and peers at The Paris Conservatory; Frédéric Chopin; and Robert Schumann. These relationships are used to highlight stylistic nuances that are paramount to the interpretation of Debussy’s music. While the Études provide the lens through which Debussy’s piano style is examined, this document is organized by topic, drawing upon individual études to illustrate various elements of style. These include: French Baroque unmeasured préludes, keyboard technique of the French Baroque, keyboard technique of the Paris Conservatory, keyboard technique of Chopin, Chopin’s rubato, Chopin’s rhythmic vernacular, Schumann’s explorations in sonority, Schumann’s use of repetition, Schumann’s use of quotation, and finally, Schumann’s use of contrasting characters.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Debussy, Etudes, Piano
Debussy, Claude, $d 1862-1918. $t Etudes, $m piano
Piano music $x Analysis, appreciation

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