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Nocturne et Scherzo

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Nocturne et Scherzo

While he was still a student at the Paris Conservatoire, the 18-year-old Debussy met - and was employed by - Mme. Nadzehda von Meck, the patron of Tchaikovsky. She took her "little Frenchman" on frequent travels in the summertime as a tutor for her children and as a kind of house musician, and he played chamber music with the other musicians in here entourage and with Madame herself. He composed the Piano Trio in G for her domestic ensemble during his first trip with her, and two years later, at the age of 20, produced the Nocturne and Scherzo for her resident cello and himself. Both are highly competent, well-made scores, "romantic" in the conventional sense of the word. Neither of them give a hint of the revolutionary things to come, although Debussy was already considered an "eccentric" by his fellow Conservatory students.

Shirley Fleming



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