Claude Debussy: Jeux

Erik Satie or Claude Debussy? Which one do you like more and why?

This title is available as instant sheet music download: Claude Debussy: Jeux

I find Satie to be quirky. As a young man I experimented with his music by purchasing several recordings of his works only to not enjoy them. I only find his Three Gymnopedies as arranged for orchestra by Debussy, memorable. I was introduced to Debussy as a young man in my early teens with a recording of “La Mer”. I never tire of its beauty along with the “Three Nocturnes”, “Prelude to an Afternoon of a Faun”, “The Martydom of St. Sebastian”, “Premier Rhapsody for Clarinet”, “Rhapsody for Saxophone”, “Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp” and even his only string quartet. All winners to my ears.

I agree with the above answerer’s remark that Satie is more quirky. For me, however, that’s the reason I generally prefer his music over Debussy’s. I can appreciate Debussy’s mastery of orchestration, but I’m personally more partial to Satie’s mastery of humor and satire. Also, I find I can listen to Satie for much longer periods of time. Debussy’s music is nice but it gets old to me after listening to more than 3 or 4 pieces back-to-back.

Debussy – new idea of getting away from the sense of tonality by taking the chords and extending more intervals to such a depth that the harmonic structure becomes unclear.Very nice.

I wouldn’t give either up: they are very different composers with very different musical personalities.The average listener knows very little of Satie’s entire works, ditto for Debussy.There is much more to Satie than the Trois Gymnopedies and the Six Gnossienes. There is a much starker Satie in the music he wrote as a Rosicrucian, that quite antique, mystic and modern sounding at the same time. There are suites of pieces like “Sports et divertissements’ which are much drier, too, and those are filled with that wry humor he is known to have. The ballet Parade, an orchestral work, is a bizarre masterpiece, highly episodic, somewhat surreal. His Socrate, a major work for voice and chamber orchestra, is another milestone of musicm and remarkably beautiful, unlike anything else at the time.Debussy admired Satie’s music. Satie had, in the Gymnopedies, published, surprisingly, in 1888 at the height of the late romantic era, when the vogue throughout Europe was the Germanic style of harmony and writing, are astoundingly clear, refined, and quite importantly, made an utter ambiguity of chord function unlike anyone had done before. Debussy, from the get-go, disregarded traditional common practice chord function (as per music theory of the time) and is the first truly ‘modern’ composer, with Satie a clear precedent.The most commonly known Debussy, Clair de lune, the girl with the flaxen hair, are but a small part of what this composer was about. L’apres midi d’un faun is a groundbreaking work, followed by a number of more amazing orchestral works, the Images, Nocturnes, La Mer, and the highly abstract ballet “Jeux.” Less known too, are the amazing last three sonatas for different small groups of instruments.The piano repertoire is amazing, especially the two books of Preludes and the highly abstract Etudes, the latter which sit on a par with the Chopin Etudes, the Liszt Transcendental Etudes, i.e. pinnacles of the piano literature, both technically and musically ‘great.’I would not, could not do without both composers work. It is unfair and not reasonable to compare two such different composers. Clearly, if it is a ‘Greatness’ rating, Debussy comes in first, but that does not lessen the interest, “importance” or worth of Satie’s music.Best regards.

Which of Claude Debussy’s pieces is most of the impressionist style? And are any Surrealist? Which of Claude Debussy’s pieces is most of the impressionist style? I know that Debussy’s pieces are classed as the gap between Romantic music and impressionist, but I am studying him for my GCSE and I need a good example of a piece of his which is more impressionist than romantic. And are any of his pieces surrealist? I’m studying Erik Satie and Debussy as impressionist composers together, so I need to stay clear of Debussy’s more romantic pieces.
Almost all of Debussy’s etudes are absolute music, very few of which have any of the characteristics of say, Clair de lune from Suite Bergamasque. A number of the etudes can be heard on youtube.Satie is really more dada than surreal. (On dada-ism);moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=35993A visual icon of surrealism is Meret Oppenheim’s art object, “Fur-lined teacup and spoon.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DadaBoth dadaism and surrealism originated in visual media, both meant to undue status quo thought. You will get a clearer idea of the characteristic attributes you want to look for in the musical examples by investigating these parallel branches of art.Most any piece of Satie’s with the more outlandish tonque-in-cheek titles, “Dried Embryos, Prelude for a Flabby Dog,” etc. may bear out the thesis. Those titles are often a good indication of an abstract bit of music of a particular nature.Although you are probably bound to piano music for this project, Satie’s full-length ballet “Parade” is certainly dada-ist / surreal, musically and otherwise.Debussy’s full-length score for the ballet “Jeux” is also highly abstract.The complete orchestral works of Satie were recorded (fine performances, vintage re-release CD) by the Utah Symphony, Maurice Abravanel, conductor.The complete piano works (ditto performance quality, vintage CD) were recorded by Aldo Ciccolini.Boulez has at least twice conducted and recorded all the orchestral works of Debussy.best regards, p.b.

I’m also in the midst of GCSE Music.Here is my favourite piece of impressionist Music from Debussy:youtube.com/watch?v=RNcvnOwxFrAAs if it were the wind!

About simonboli

Hi. I'm music arranger and composer. Mostly focus on classical genres. Also give music lessons.
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