March 17 – Water in Classical Music

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Debussy: La Mer
Debussy’s “La Mer” is an ironic masterpiece.  It is a rich, musical description of the ocean, with incredible orchestration and color – composed by a man who was desperately prone to seasickness, and avoided sea travel at all costs!   It was also unusual in its day because no human or literary element is present in the work – only music centered on pure nature — water. It has inspired many a film score and remains one of the most popular of all classical compositions.  Fellow French composer Erik Satie poked fun at it, and after hearing the first movement entitled “From Dawn to Noon on the Sea” quipped  “I liked the bit that comes at about a quarter to eleven…”

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