Sunday, May 15, 2011

Debussy: La Cathedral Engloutie (The Sunken Cathedral)

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
I have referred to this music by Claude Debussy many times in my class. If you are not familiar with it, please listen to this extraordinary composition. The name of the music in French is La Cathedral Engloutie. In English, the title is sometimes translated as The Sunken Cathedral or the Engulfed Cathedral.

This is a link to a recording of the Italian pianist Arturo Michelangeli playing La Cathedrale Engloutie (The Sunken Cathedral) by Claude Debussy.

For contrast, here is a link to a performance by Walter Gieseking (1895-1956).

Another recording of this music to enjoy is by the French pianist Alfred Cortot (1877-1962).

The music describes a great cathedral sunk below the surface of the ocean. When the sea is calm, one can hear the sound of the bells and the chanting from the ancient cathedral rising up from the deep.

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