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Préludes, Book 2, No. 6: General Lavine – eccentric

By 

Claude Debussy

"General Lavine – eccentric," from Debussy's Préludes, Book 2, is a character piece that depicts the vaudeville performer Edward Lavine, whom Debussy saw in Paris. The prelude captures Lavine's quirky and whimsical performances through its syncopated rhythms and playful melodies, with a musical language that blends traditional harmonic structures with Debussy's innovative impressionistic touch. This piece is a lively and humorous contrast to the often dreamy and serene atmosphere found in the rest of Debussy's preludes.

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Préludes, Book 2, No. 6: General Lavine – eccentric

by:

Jean-Yves Thibaudet

In this lesson Jean-Yves Thibaudet introduces you to General Lavine, an eccentric clown immortalized by Debussy's satirical cakewalk in this 6th Prelude from Book II. Debussy represents the clown's movements and speech patterns through highly detailed dynamic and rhythmic markings. As Thibaudet demonstrates, capturing the comedy of the music is as straightforward a task as following Debussy's markings very precisely. Easier said than done, which is why Thibaudet also reveals the ways he's cultivated his touch to execute the irregular patterns in the score.

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