Bon anniversaire, Claude Debussy

Debussy is celebrated in Google's latest doodle. Photograph: Google

Debussy is celebrated in Google’s latest doodle. Photograph: Google

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Google is celebrating the 151st anniversary of the birth of French composer Achille-Claude Debussy with an animated doodle set to one of his best-known pieces, Clair de lune (Moonlight). (The Guardian)

What did Google do on this day last year? (I don’t recall.)

Digging into the archives of |A Twisted Pair|, I found that nothing had been posted to honour Debussy’s 150th anniversaire. The |cross-ties| post for 22 August 2012 carried a nice photograph, and a quote in which the composer admits: “I am too enamoured of my freedom, too fond of my own ideas!”

A few days earlier, The New York Times had carried Anthony Tommasini’s piece, Debussy at 150: The Impressions Still Deceive, which includes the following:

But what happened to Debussy, born 150 years ago on Wednesday in St.-Germain-en-Laye, west of Paris? His anniversary has drawn surprisingly little notice, at least from major New York institutions. Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center have scheduled no special events or festivals. The Metropolitan Opera last brought back its production of “Pelléas et Mélisande” for the conductor Simon Rattle’s overdue house debut in 2010, but for just five performances.

Tommasini’s thought-provoking essay is worth a read. Some nice comparisons and contrasts.

PS (23 August 2013): Here is a link to the YouTube version of the Google Doodle.

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