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Debussy: A Painter in Sound Reviews

Debussy: A Painter in Sound by Stephen Walsh

Debussy: A Painter in Sound

Stephen Walsh

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication date: 1 Mar 2018
ISBN: 9780571330164

Claude Debussy is the composer who reinvented the language of music without alienating the majority of music lovers. He is the modernist everyone loves. How did he manage this? This book answers several questons about Debussy, which is told partly through the events of Debussy's life, and partly through a critical discussion of his music.

  • The GuardianBook of the Year
4 stars out of 5
Kathryn Hughes
24 Mar 2018

"a fine biography of a painter in sound"

As Walsh himself says in his introduction, the lives of composers are all too often told as if the music were an incidental afterthought to be wedged untidily between stories about bad debts and great parties. Walsh, by contrast, insists on pulling Debussy’s compositions into the heart of this biography, treating them as the essential register of emotional and intellectual existence. Life, on this occasion, finds itself in the novel position of being required to fit around art.