Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Claude Debussy (photo: Tully Potter)Claude Debussy (photo: Tully Potter)


Debussy was among the most influential of all the 20th century’s composers. His lyrical gift, idiosyncratic harmonies, colours and rhythms, his preference for suggestion rather than direct statement, resulted in a sound world that was quite different from those of Brahms, Wagner and Tchaikovsky, whose music ruled the roost while he was struggling to become accepted. Read the full biography

More on Debussy...

Debussy: Playing with Colour – Debussy emancipated the orchestra, capitalising on its colours and freeing up its expressive potential. Geoffrey Norris talks to some of today’s leading Debussy interpreters about the ongoing resonance of his music

Debussy's Préludes – Martin Cullingford talks to Pierre-Laurent Aimard about Debussy's piano music

Debussy – 10 Essential Recordings

New to Debussy? Here's a list of the top 10 recordings to help start your collection...

  1. La mer – Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Karajan
  2. Nocturnes – Concertgebouw Orchestra / Haitink
  3. Etudes – Walter Gieseking (pf)
  4. Jeux – Hallé Orchestra / Mark Elder
  5. String Quartet – Quatuor Ebène
  6. Préludes – Krystian Zimerman (pf)
  7. Images – Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (pf)
  8. Prélude à L’après-midi d’un faune – Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Karajan
  9. Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp – Bernold (fl) Caussé (va) Moretti (hp)
  10. Pelléas et Mélisande – Soloists; French National Orchestra / Haitink

Building your Collection

Select a musical category below to explore the finest Debussy recordings available.

Orchestral Chamber Instrumental Opera

Fantaisie  Piano Trio Etudes Pelléas et Mélisande

Jeux Sonata for Fl,Va,Hp Images

La mer String Quartet Piano works cpte

Nocturnes Préludes

Prélude à L’après-midi

More Gramophone Composer Guides

Bach ● Beethoven ● Brahms ● Britten ● Handel ● Mahler ● Mozart ● 

Stravinsky ● Verdi ● Wagner

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2014