This blog is dedicated to discussion of the performance of the piano pieces of Claude Debussy. I’m only an amateur pianist, but have been playing Debussy’s piano works since the late 70’s. Debussy’s piano pieces require deep thought and understanding. In these pages I’ll try to summarize what references I have on the performance of each piece, combined with my opinions of what works.

You will find the list of pieces on the right in the categories. Titles in parentheses do not yet have any content, but you can start their discussion by adding comments.

More Debussy resources can be found on my primary Debussy web page or through the links on the right (scroll down).

What I write are just my relatively uninformed opinions. I hope all of you will contribute and add your ideas.

28 comments on “Welcome!

  1. Alvin says:

    Hi Steve…..can you write up anymore of the children’s corner pieces??
    would be very helpful thanks

  2. 'princess*// says:

    im actually doing a music project,
    and i think ure web is really helpful!
    thanks a million !

  3. priscilla says:

    Heyy can you write up Debussy Preludes Book 2 No. 9 & No.6 please?

    and last year your review of Preludes Book 2 No. 10 “Canope” really helped me, thanks!

  4. Ron says:

    In 1991, I took a piano lesson for about 9 months from an inexperirence Russian guy who just came to the States. My first piece that I learned from him was Arabesque No.1. And then, I quit taking piano lesson for 16 years. Several months ago, I started taking piano lesson again, but this time I take lesson from a concert pianist. He won many international competition and was a contestant in the 1993 Van Cliburn competition. By the way, he is happened to be a Russian too.

    I revisited the Arabesque. He taught me how to play with totally different interpretation and he told me he himself used to play incorrectly. The correct way is like what you described in your website.


  5. SEO says:

    great stuff. well done.

  6. NWCP says:

    Steve, I found your website of Debussy will be very helpful, especially for me who just want to touch Debussy. I’ll read those abundance stuff. Thanks for your goodwill to share all of this with us.

    Can you give the information about Debussy Prelude Book II No. 3 La Puerta del Vino? I need to work on it soon.

    Thanks before 🙂

  7. Domain says:

    Very good information!

  8. richard shapiro says:

    Hi Steve,
    I love both Ravel and Debussy above all other composers. I have their orchestral scores and their piano music. When I was about 22 (I’m now 74) I met Baroness Catherine d’Erlanger in Beverly Hills who was a patroness of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo under Diagilev. She knew Ravel, Debussy and all the greats of the fin de siecle in Paris. Just up the street on Wetherly Drive lived Igor Stravinsky. At her home I also met his wife Vera, son Soulima and biographer and conductor, Robert Craft. The Baroness was then in her eighties, she didn’t speak much English and her mind was going but I asked her about my heroes. She also knew Marcel Proust and photographer Cecil Beaton, whose career she financed at the beginning. I asked for details of all my heroes but she was difficult to understand. She said things like “Ravel wore white gloves” and other bits of trivia but I’m grateful that I met her because her life touched those of my greatest artistic heroes. For me there hasn’t been any composer that could compare with theirs since then, especially Debussy. His sensitivity to sound and life in general has been unmatched by any 20th century composer. I wonder what he would have done (if anything) with electronic music. I’m not a fan of it either because it doesn’t breathe like acoustic music and it’s not natural. I hope you find my experience with the Baroness interesting.

  9. Fritz says:


    I am looking for an analysis of Debussy’s Rapsodie for Saxophone and Orchestra. Do youhave any idea where to get a hold of this?
    Fritz (Switzerland)

  10. ptang says:

    Hello Steven, do you know where i can find an analysis for debussy’s preludes book 2 no.6 and 9? any information will be thoroughly helpful, thanks.

  11. Prospero says:

    This blog is wonderful. Debussy is one of my primary musical obsessions… Right now, when I’m writing this, I’m listening to Debussy’s Sarabande. It is always a pleasure to hear someone play Debussy, especially when he is good. Greetins!

  12. cristiane says:

    hello! I’m looking for an analysis of Les Collines d’Anacapri. i’d really like to understand how it wrks, it’s so beautiful!

    by the way… how often do you usually update this blog? i’m REALLY interested in it, i’ve read about the arabesque I and i think you’re doing a great job!

  13. Steve says:

    Wow, a fellow pianist and astrophotographer, how awesome is that?

    I’ve found your reviews very interesting. Thank you for taking the time to post it; however, there seems to be one glaring oversight, L’isle Joyeuse. I love Debussy and to me that piece is a beautiful representation of the “whole-tone” , voyage-into-outer-space, kind of sound.

    I’m also very inspired by your review of Homage a Rameau. Currently, my skill has limited me to some of Debussy’s easier works (Heather “bruyers”, Delphic Dancers, Clair d’lune, Reflect dans l’eau) but I will certain try to tackle that one.

    Best wishes,
    Steve A.

  14. David says:

    Hi Steve
    a most insighful and helpful expose of Hommage a Rameau
    Thank you

  15. David says:

    very helpful to any amateur playing works of debussy

  16. Claire says:

    hi, i’m taking a the DipABRSM exam a couple months from now and I’m playing prelude book 1 no.4 ‘les sons et les parfums tournet dans l’air du soir’. could you write up that piece? Thanks!!

  17. Maureen says:

    Hi Steve,

    What are your pedaling suggestions for Passepied? Right now I am working on the first section — measures 1 through 38.


  18. Ann says:

    Hi Steve,
    I’m looking for any good websites or information on Feux D’artifice (Preludes book 2)

  19. James Grider says:

    I would be very interested in what you have to say about these pieces of music.

  20. jim bazr says:

    just play it the way you want to play it .. forget about what others say..just play it…

  21. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  22. Mark Hodges says:

    Hi there – Debussy is one of my favorite composers, and I love the idea of someone analyzing each piece like you are attempting to do here. I noticed that it hasn’t been updated in a while, but I have enjoyed reading through your previous posts. Thanks!

  23. Meghan says:

    Hi. I’m an A-level music student and i’m performing some Debussy pieces in a couple of weeks. This site has been very useful. I just wondered if you could possibly upload some advice on playing Minstrels? Many thanks, Meghan

  24. Ken Lim says:

    Thank you for your writings on Pagodes. It led me to Paul Robert’s that I find absolutely helpful in playing Impressionistic music.

  25. Duane M says:

    Thanks so much for your insightful analyses. I’m in the midst of discovering Debussy’s piano music (after a year of Ravel obsession) and feel like it’s teaching me how to really listen deeply to the “sound” and is improving my relationship to the piano in a profound way.

    Almost got myself around Reflets dans l’Eau and am working on Hommage à Rameau now. Your insights and descriptions surrounding this piece speak directly to my own responses…and I’m discovering it to be utterly profound. Very much appreciated!

  26. Benjamin Crawford says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for creating this excellent blog.

    I spent a large part of my childhood (reluctantly) playing piano and at the age of 40 have found myself reconnecting with the instrument through the discovery of Debussy’s music, firstly as a listener and now as a musician. You could say I’m obsessed, studying Debussy’s music has brought a great sense of peace and intrigue to my life beyond the music alone.

    I started with pagodas and found your resource invaluable to better understand the inspirational context of the piece. I have now started images book 1 and once again am finding your writings incredibly helpful.

    I have scoured the internet, obsessively searching for insights into the man and his music, I believe this blog to be the best resource I have encountered for an amateur pianist to guide their journey into this profound and magical artist.

    You are an excellent navigator for those of us who are interested in diving deep into Debussy’s world.

    Much gratitude from New Zealand.

  27. victoria a vandiver says:

    I have a Sealed Unopen Vinyl of: Claude Debussy:Kalaviermusik:Piano Music Record. Imported by Polygram From West Germany with a price tag from Marshall Fields & Co. Record#13958 imprinted on record cover. Would like to sell to a Debussy Fan to appreciate such a treasure. Any interest?

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