Debussy - Text and Ideas: Hokusai and La Mer
- Extra Reading
The first edition of La Mer (published by Durand in 1905) had on its cover a picture of a wave. The image refers unmistakeably to Hokusai’s ‘The Wave’ and constitutes an act of homage paid by a composer to an artist whose work he revered. Rather than using Hokusai’s work to illustrate his own, Debussy chose to present an interpretation that, in significant ways, enabled him to reach over and transcend traditional boundaries. Dr Breatnach suggests that his purpose in using this image was, at least in part, to prepare his audience for an unprecedented aural experience.
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