My first real love in music was the music of Debussy. Throughout my early teens it became a goal of mine to own and listen to every note, every scribble that man ever put on paper. I listened to dozens of obscure works and unpopular pieces, some unpublished works that i could find recordings of.... and yet my thirst for finding unheard works never ended. I still bemoan the fact that he didn't write more. Its safe to say that Ive heard the entire bedth of his musical language. I know all kinds of pieces... from the Six épigraphes antiques of 1915 to the Printemps of 1888. and everything obscure in between.
Originally I preferred his earlier, lush and pretty pieces like the Arabesques to his more abstract, fragmented and dissonant later work. This changed. I soon found his earlier compositions to be too "fluffy", too "belle epoque" for me, and I began to favor his later, more angular pieces like En Blanc et Noir. Recently I found the Images pour Orchestre ( including Iberia) on glorious Imeem, re-affirming my old love of these works. Its from his Images pour orchestra that I found out what a cor anglais is. I heard the solo lines of that instrumentin the Gigues And Rondres des Printemps - and It mystified me. I still remember listening to it over and over again to figure out what instrument it was. I searched all over to try and figure it out.Anyway, those floating melodic fragments still make me melt.
how can you not love this? So many sublimely beautiful moments in this opening of Iberia:
Images, II. Ibéria: 1. Par les rues et par les chemins - Sir Simon Rattle
And that slow, languid Gigues, with its haunting cor anglais.
Images: I. Gigues - Sir Simon Rattle