HumanitiesWeb.org - Claude Debussy - The Painterly Composer [Quotations]
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Claude Debussy
Quotations



"Music is the arithmetic of sounds as optics is the geometry of the ear."
 
"The attraction of the virtuoso for the public is very like that of the circus for the crowd. There is always the hope that something dangerous will happen."
 
"I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it. It is a free art gushing forth, an open-air art boundless as the elements, the wind, the sky, the sea. It must never be shut in and become an academic art. "
 
"I wish to sing of my interior visions with the naive candor of a child. "
 
"It is our duty to find the symphonic formula which fits our time, one which progress, daring and modern victory demand? The century of airplanes has a right to its own music"
 
"First of all, ladies and gentlemen, you must forget that you are singers."
- upon first meeting the original cast of Pelléas et Mélisande.
 
"Music is the expression of the movement of the waters, the play of curves described by changing breezes. There is nothing is more musical than a sunset. He who feels what he sees will find no more beautiful example of development in all that book which, alas, musicians read but too little--the book of Nature."
 
"Some people wish above all to conform to the rules, I wish only to render what I can hear. There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law."
 
"Extreme complication is contrary to art. Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part."
 
"Art is the most beautiful deception of all. And although people try to incorporate the everyday events of life in it, we must hope that it will remain a deception lest it become a utilitarian thing, sad as a factory. People come to music to seek oblivion: is that not also a form of deception?"
 
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