Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum — Claude Debussy

7 09 2010

Ah, what a classic piece this one is.  I’ve heard it for many years and know friends who can play it but it was only very recently that I actually taught it to myself on a whim.  Now, it’s one of the most fun pieces I play on the piano.  It just sounds so happy and cheerful and the sixteenth notes combined with the fast tempo make it challenging but impressive.

Maybe I’ll post a video of me playing this one sometime but for now, here’s one of many, many versions of this piece on youtube, performed by Michelangeli (I don’t know who that is… and now I feel kinda bad for not knowing because I feel like I should know.  Oh well)

Claire de Lune — Claude Debussy

13 08 2010

One of the most well-known “Classical” pieces, Claire de Lune has made its way into pop culture with its uses in movies such as Atonement (fantastic movie while I mention it now), mentioned in books like Twilight (apparently, from what I googled just now), and in that car commercial that appeared a couple months ago.  Despite it being overplayed and overused today, I can honestly say it is one of the most beautiful, evocative pieces I have ever heard and it will likely remain one of the few pieces I can listen to over and over again and never get tired of.  I think it is one of the most beautiful compositions ever written and its versatility in how it is used is remarkable as well.

I mainly listen to Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s version from the Atonement soundtrack but I came upon this version just now and thought it was also spectacularly played.  Not sure who plays this one but it’s fantastic, and has clips from Atonement as well.  Enjoy!  (and if you don’t, then there’s something wrong with you — perhaps you’re a cyborg?)