Les Collines d’Anacapri (Preludes, Book I, 1909 – 1910)

(The Hills of Anacapri)

I haven’t had a chance to write this piece up yet, but feel free to start the discussion in the comments!

5 comments on “Les Collines d’Anacapri (Preludes, Book I, 1909 – 1910)

  1. LYK says:

    I can’t get the rhythm right. What do the inverted commas indicate on the 2nd and 3rd measures?

  2. Steve Bryson says:

    Hi LYK – I interpret those commas as breaks to silence (which is not necessarily what rests mean in Debussy), in other words to take a breath. The first comma is in tempo, while the second has a fermata so should include a pause.

    That probably doesn’t help you understand tempo. My understanding of the tempo comes from listening to recordings, particularly Paul Jacobs’. If you haven’t done so, perhaps it would help to hear what this piece sounds like. I think of the four phrases (the ones that start in m. 1, 3, 5 and 7) as independent phrases with a statement-reply feel. The tempo is a little loose (rubato) even within the phrases. One thing for sure is that there is no feel of downbeats and I have never counted these phrases.

    My guess about what Debussy intended is that the rhythm is to be hidden until m. 10 and following, so there is a feeling of the piece taking off after a somewhat sleepy start. Like waking up in the morning. I’ve been in Anacapri, and it has beautiful mornings.

    More questions? please ask.

  3. LYK says:

    Thanks! That helped a lot.

  4. Lily says:

    Does anyone have any general tips for learning the piece please? specifically fingers for the 3rd and 10th measures to make it playable, light and quick?
    Thank you!!

  5. Brian says:

    This piece has a lot of effervescence and serene exuberance. Debussy really knows how to work those chords in that very slow intermission part (right after that moderato French sounding part). The last measure where you hold the last five notes, the sustained echo effect is like the Anacapri’s landscape ocean air breeze. I guess. Never been there but just saw pictures.

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