Tablet - Portrait

Tablet - Landscape


Claude Debussy

This is Debussy's first published work, and shows many of the characteristics

that we see in the mature Debussy--a somewhat melancholy, bittersweet air,

considerable tone-painting with both voice and instruments, and an intense

lyricism. While it is a bit more old-fashioned than Debussy's later work,

more "hummably" melodic, and a bit more obvious in its craft, it is a strong

and attractive composition.

The refrain, sung three times, translates "Starry night, under your veils,

under your breaths and your scent, sad, sighing lyre, I dream of past loves."

The verses are less openly melodic, but flow naturally into the simple,

repetitive refrain. The piano accompaniment matches the rippling vocal

lines, and the final product is a perfect example of the sweetly melancholic

French salon music of its times.