Paper $19.00 ISBN: 9781861897596 Published August 2010 For sale in North and South America only
An e-book edition will be published.

Claude Debussy

David J. Code

Claude Debussy

David J. Code

Distributed for Reaktion Books

216 pages | 29 halftones | 5 x 7 7/8 | © 2010
Paper $19.00 ISBN: 9781861897596 Published August 2010 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $16.95 ISBN: 9781861899859 Published August 2010

French composer Claude Debussy (1862–1918) created music that was revolutionary, with a distinctly modern sound that highlighted the intersection of art and life. Here, in this unique biography, David J. Code explores the important moments in the development of Debussy’s literary interests that shaped his music—and in the process brings to life Debussy’s sardonic personality.

            Claude Debussy presents an in-depth look at how Debussy’s love for poetry influenced his musical compositions. Code explores both Debussy’s earlier years, filled with student cantatas inspired by Verlaine and Baudelaire, as well as his later works, dominated by nationalistic pieces inspired by French Renaissance poets and composed in the lead-up to World War I. Along the way, Code looks at Debussy’s orchestral compositions and operas, inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé and Maurice Maeterlinck.   

This book will give readers a fresh way of listening to Debussy’s classic music by offering the most up-to-date critical analysis of the intersection of Debussy’s literary interests and musical compositions and will appeal to any reader with a love of Debussy, as well as modern music, literature, and the arts.


1 A Music that Clothes the Poetry
2 A Dream from Which One Draws Back the Veils
3 The Art of a Curious Savage
4 Something New, Which Surprises Even Ourselves

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