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Claude Debussy - A Critical Biography

Francois Lesure Marie Rolf

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Boydell & Brewer
20 June 2019
Music; Individual composers & musicians, bands & groups; Biography: arts & entertainment
Francois Lesure's critical biography of Claude Debussy (Fayard, 2003) is widely recognized by scholars as the most comprehensive and reliable account of that composer's life and career as well as of the artistic milieu in which he worked. This encyclopedic volume draws extensively on Debussy's complete correspondence (at that time unpublished), a painstaking tracking of contemporary reviews and comments in the press, and an examination of other primary documents-including private diaries-that had not been available to previous biographers. As such, Lesure's book presents a wealth of new information while debunking a number of myths that had developed over the years since the composer's death in 1918.

The present English translation and revised edition, by Debussy authority Marie Rolf, augments Lesure's numerous notes with several thousand new ones by Rolf, providing more precise information on crucial and sometimes contentious points. It also reflects Debussy scholarship that has appeared since 2003, updating Lesure's seminal work. Rolf's translation-the first ever-will make Lesure's findings accessible to scholars, musicians, and music lovers in English-speaking lands and around the world.

FRANCOIS LESURE (1923-2001) was the Director of the Music division of the Bibliotheque nationale de France, Professor of Musicology at the Universite libre de Bruxelles, and Chair of Musicology at the Ecole pratique des Hautes Etudes.

MARIE ROLF is senior associate dean of graduate studies and professor of music theory at the Eastman School of Music and a member of the editorial board for the Ouvres completes de Claude Debussy.
By:   Francois Lesure, Marie Rolf
Imprint:   Boydell & Brewer
Country of Publication:   United States
Volume:   v. 159
Dimensions:   Height: 236mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 40mm
Weight:   1.066kg
ISBN:   9781580469036
ISBN 10:   1580469035
Series:   Eastman Studies in Music
Pages:   544
Publication Date:   20 June 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for Claude Debussy - A Critical Biography

An invaluable scholarly resource. LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS A much-esteemed volume...Marie Rolf of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, a Debussy specialist in her own right, was an ideal candidate for the task of translating. INTERNATIONAL PIANO This book is an outstanding event in Debussy scholarship and literature. Francois Lesure was at the center of international Debussy scholarship over several decades, devoting much of his career at the Bibliotheque nationale de France to collecting the material that lies at the core of this richly detailed biography. Marie Rolf has similarly dedicated the major part of a distinguished career to Debussy, having worked closley with Francois Lesure from the early 1980s on the Ouvres completes de Claude Debussy. She is perfectly placed to have realized the present edited and updated English translation, making a wealth of vital information available in English for the first time. --Roy Howat, Royal Academy of Music, London, and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland In Marie Rolf's new English edition of Francois Lesure's classic biography, Claude Debussy, Anglophones will discover Debussy's perosnality, his large network of friends and collaborators, and his impassioned relationships with women, all animating a rich chronology of his compositional life. A beautifully written, fluid translation incorporating new sources and over two thousand new footnotes, it is a welcome contribution to the burgeoning interest in the composer. --Jann Pasler, University of California-San Diego


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