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Petite Suite

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Petite Suite

1. En bateau
2. Cortège
3. Menuet
4. Ballet

Debussy completed the Petite Suite in 1888. The first movement, “En bateau,” is rippling and fluid, and hints at things to come in the brief appearance of the whole-tone scale that would emerge so significantly in later works. The second movement, “Cortège,” is an alert procession that is surely headed toward some cheerful destination; the middle section relaxes just a bit. The “Minuet” that follows is crystalline; the final “Ballet,” airily off the ground much of the time to a two-beat rhythm, melts into a three-beat waltz at its centre.

© Shirley Fleming

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