DEBUSSY, C.: 4–Hand Piano Music, Vol. 2 – Prélude à l’Après–midi d’un faune / La Mer / Images (Armengaud, Chauzu)
In 1891 Symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé asked Debussy to compose incidental music for a theatrical version of his poem L’Après–midi d’un faune (The afternoon of the faun) and the resulting work, with its innovative melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic writing, is both impassioned and expressive. The four–hand arrangement was made by Ravel in 1910. Inspired by the natural phenomena of water, light and wind and, according to Mme Debussy, unplayable in its piano four–hands version, La Mer is a masterpiece of some stuctural complexity. Of the technically inventive Images, which evoke Spanish sights, sounds and fragrances, Debussy wrote that the work marked a departure for him, dealing with “realities” not impressionism.