Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2009
Lowri Blake presents a programme about Debussy’s work during the summer of 1912, talking to pianists Roy Howat, Peter Hill and Alasdair Beatson as well as musicologist Robert Orledge, and introducing music from that time.
It was a very hot summer and Debussy had no time to take his wife and seven-year-old daughter Chouchou on their annual trip to the seaside, much to her displeasure. He had to compose a Diaghilev commission as well as his last completed orchestral work – the ballet Jeux. He was trying to finish the second book of the Preludes for piano, was working on numerous other projects and was tussling with the dancer Maud Allen who wanted changes to the ballet Khamma. He also had a visit from Stravinsky and together they played through, as a piano duet, the score of The Rite of Spring. It made a very significant impression on him.
Produced by Richard Bannerman & Ladbroke Productions (Radio) Ltd for BBC Radio 3
N.B. Some audio has been edited from the original broadcast version due to copyright restrictions