Iain Cameron's Diary
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2012-07-12 - 8:40 a.m.

We have a new Widget and a new composite - Harpasach Heir at the top. Last night on R3 there was a concert dedicated to 1915. It started with the stunning Debussy Sonata for Flute Viola and Harp. I was so moved that I got the score and a thesis on its structure. 1915 also saw a two piano piece - En Blanc et Noir - which was in the broadcast as a recording by the Lebeque Sisters. I found a free mp3 of this which I also have somewhere on CD.Debussy's mood at this time is usually described as darkening and this is reflected in a more austere style - as shown in the Etudes and in the last 3 sonatas. The Etudes are seen as rather strained of passion and colour. But at the same time there are pieces which strongly echo his earlier passionate music. These are Syrinx, the Epigraphes Antiques and the flute viola & harp sonata which is the last of these. Debussy said of that piece when he heard it performed that it didnt sound to him as if he was the person had written it. Some suggest that the flute lyricism is a familiar impressionist effect esp with the harp underneath. I think this ignores the restraint and clarity in the piece. Closer to the point is the interpretation which says that different instruments take different perspectives on the earlier lyrical self with the flute taking a more reflective and sceptical line. En Blanc et Noir is different again and has been compared to Ravel's sceptical post FWW piano piece La Valse. This is a nice comparison but I have yet to make up my mind whether I support it.

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