Claude Debussy’s Préludes are a collection of 24 piano pieces composed between December 1909 and April 1913. The title refers to Frédéric Chopin’s Préludes, who gave freedom to the musical form and ennobled it by regarding the prelude as a whole, standalone work worthy of performance in its own right. Greatly inspired by Chopin’s anarchic approach to the prelude, Debussy rapidly composed a Book I and a Book II of his preludes, even drafting some of them in one day. In Book II, the composer leads his audience into a fairytale realm populated by magical creatures: among the fairies in Prélude No. 4, or else among the nymphe Ondine in No. 8, to end with some splendid fireworks in No. 12… Debussy’s purpose, in fact, was to free the imagination of his public and, perhaps, his own self. As Debussy himself declared regarding his Estampes: “If one cannot afford to travel, one substitutes the imagination!”
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medici.tv is the best online platform for streaming Debussy’s Préludes live, on replay or VOD, offering you a virtual ticket to the most exciting concerts with the world’s best artists and orchestras captured in HD video. On medici.tv, you can find some of the best interpretations of the Book II of Claude Debussy’s Préludes, played by artists such as Grigory Sokolov, Richard Goode, and Emil Gilels in our superb video archives. In Book II of his Préludes, Debussy reached a high level of virtuosity, recalling the pages of Franz Liszt by exploiting fast-paced arpeggios and the whole piano sound range. Discover his Préludes on medici.tv!
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The aquatic element that dominated Book I of Debussy’s Préludes gains a new dimension in the second part of his collection—in the Book II, we can listen to No. 1, Mists, or meet the nymphs in No. 8, Ondine, or the Egyptian god of water in No. 10, Canopic Jar… Besides, as the musicologist Jacques Viret wrote, the aesthetic of Debussy in Book II and his Préludes is “subtle, light, elusive, flexible, floating.” It is enough to think of La Mer, or to his famous Clair de lune (evoked in Prelude No. 7, La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune). And just as water is by definition ungraspable, changeable, and protean, Debussy composes his Préludes, Book I and Book II with great freedom! Walking in the footsteps of Chopin, he finds the perfect form to craft some small jewels with a pearly, multicolored sheen in this genre. Come and discover the marvels of Book II of Debussy’s Préludes: on medici.tv, listening to music is a prelude to happiness!