Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My French Music Obsession

Lately I've been obsessed with French music. I've been playing it all the time.  I can't 
ever remember a time in my past when I was loving the accordion so much, but somehow, It sounds different when its French.  At any rate, I've been lured in.
My Paris trip 2010
Of course not ALL of my favorites are accordion numbers but I had about 25 French songs in my iTunes library and a friend recently gave me 20 more contemporary French songs.  I play them on the train everyday on my way to work and imagine I'm in Paris on the Metro.

I'm going to share 3 of my favorites. I'll tell you a little about each one.

The 1st one is Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy. I've had it in my library since my 2010 Paris trip. At first it felt like a sort of sad song, but now it is among my one of my favorites. I've collected at least 6 different versions of the song.
Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862 - March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy is not only among the most important of all French composers; he was also a central figure in European music at the turn of the twentieth century.
 His music is noted for its sensory component and how it is not often formed around one key or pitch. Often Debussy's work reflected the activities or turbulence in his own life.
 His music virtually defines the transition from late-Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant
It is such a great work that it was part of the musical score for the movie Ocean's 11. How many of you remember the song?

Here's the scene below
Clair de Lune means "Moonlight" in French.  Debussy wrote a tone poem inspired by Paul Verlaine's 1890 poem of the same name:

Your soul is as a moonlit landscape fair,
Peopled with maskers delicate and dim,
That play on lutes and dance and have an air
Of being sad in their fantastic trim.
The while they celebrate in minor strain
Triumphant love, effective enterprise,
They have an air of knowing all is vain,—
And through the quiet moonlight their songs rise,
The melancholy moonlight, sweet and lone,
That makes to dream the birds upon the tree,
And in their polished basins of white stone 
The fountains tall to sob with ecstasy.



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rather be in paris