Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

“He felt, he imagined, he reasoned, he constructed…”

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Claude Debussy

Among all our musical masters, l should say, Claude Debussy was the least weighed upon by the dead hand of formula. Yet neither was he an improviser. This latter art, indeed, among all the compositional techniques, is the one most servile to rules of thumb. Debussy’s operation was more thorough. Like any Frenchman building a bridge or cooking a meal, painting a picture or laying out a garden, he felt, he imagined, he reasoned, he constructed—and in that order.

Virgil Thomson

Written by nevalalee

March 29, 2014 at 9:00 am

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