Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Debussy's Ariettes oubliées were composed intermittently between 1888 and
their publication year of 1903, and consist of six songs set to texts by the French
symbolist poet Paul Verlaine. Verlaine influenced Debussy with the dream-like
quality of his poetry: the suggestion of something was the ideal, rather than the concrete
statement - nuance rather than the bold colour. Debussy was reaching his maturity as
a composer with the Ariettes - their melody and harmony are moving towards the
rarefied atmosphere we associate so much with him today.