Debussy et La Mer

06-fab01My memory Claude Debussy goes back to a Readers Digest box set of classical composers – 10 lps? with Monet’s water lilies on the cover. Each side devoted to a different composer. The Debussy side was lush & I remember the Submerged Cathedral, orchestrated to include muffled church bells. I have never found that recording, don’t even know who the conductor was. But I did love Debussy’s watery impressionism.

Thanks to MHS I eventually had the complete piano music, string quartets on lps. Plus various sets of his orchestra music – La mer is amazing. Those lps have since been replaced. In my collection now I have Pellieas orche06-fab02stal suite/La Damoiselle elue; Cello Sonata/Chopin: Cello Trio; Flute Music; Orchestral Music 1 2; Piano Music 4 cds; Pelleas et Melisande: opera /; String Quartet.

Where to start. Some of these I had too really search for such as La Damoiselle elue or the Songs of Bilitis – pieces, I guess, for completists like myself. Others are orchestral warhorses like La mer, Apres-Midi. I have Gordon Fergus-Thompson’s recording of the complete piano music on 4 cds: sublime & relaxing. The Children Corner’s Suite is a delight. If I name check everything I’d have to list everything 🙂

06-fab03Some of his piano music has been orchestrated endlessly: Clair De Lune, Girl With The Flaxen Hair. I have a James Galway & Marisa Robles cd of the amazing music for flute & harp. Lush & transporting. I was given the lp box set of the opera Pelleas et Melisande & eventually found the same recording as mp3 for half the price.

Pelleas is in an mp3 collection along with two takes on Bilitis: one by Vera Zorina & one Dawn Upshaw in her Voices of Light cd. In the mp3 collection is also the stunning Snowpiercer soundtrack by Marco  Beltrtami; Hindemith’s Herodiade (another spoken pieces set to music); Shostakovich’s Jewish Folk Poetry. Finally George Auric’s eerie film music.

06-fab04I have a double CD set of orchestral music by performed by Dutoit & the Montreal Symphony: excellent. Recently added the Complete Orchestral music performed by Jean Martinon & Orchestre National Ortf. It duplicates some of the CD but these are the recordings I heard first & was happy to get this nearly 5 hour collection for $9.99 from iTunes!!

Finally his stunning String Quartet (frequnetky paired with with Ravel’s). Wait there’s more: an lp to cd transfer of my MHS recording of his Cello Sonata, Violin Sonata (that include Chopin’s Trio for cello). Lastly, but not filed here in the classical collection, is Tomita’s Snow Flake Are Dancing – these electronic versions are astonishing. So I am a fan.



The auditorium was filled with people. Not a random melee but an orderly ebb and flow of lines almost like a maze. Security would direct people to the right line.

Chatter filled the air. I wanted to stop to listen but never caught more than a world here and there:

‘my great-grandmother’s’ ‘wedding present from an uncle who had travelled in the Orient’ ‘bought at a yard sale’ ‘been in the family since the crack of dawn’ ‘would never part with it’ ‘it was in the house when we moved in’

Glimpses of real stories. As much as the snippets of lives I wanted more of, I also wanted to get at the objects – things people held that all looked much more interesting than my dusty old pitcher.

Old ladies clutching old teddy bears, smart young things with Lone Ranger lunch boxes, hefty men with long thin rifles, paintings wrapped in brown papers, albums of old photos, books in clear plastic. The very first Action Comic! Superman! My hero.

The lines moved forward faster than I might have expected. We were to go through a series of lesser inspects before we would deserve the bigger ones. If our object deserved the bigger ones that is. I felt like a fool with my old creamer. Pitcher. Never really knew what it was. Could have been a water ewer or even a vase. It had been used as just about everything in our home, in my Gran’s house she had grown flowers in it.

Now I would find out once and for all what it really was. A man in the shuffling line next to me had a large box of tinker toys. I didn’t feel so foolish.

The young lady behind the table took my pot and looked at it very closely, turned it over, shone a light inside, tapped it gently with a finger nail.

‘This is very interesting Mr. Grenwan. Very interesting. You follow that lady to the next level. They will be very happy with this.’

‘Uh thanks you.’

Suddenly I was afraid to hold the old pitcher. What if I dropped it before I could advance to the next level? I studied it carefully as I went to where I was directed. The surface enamel was all cracked over the odd raised flowers. I’d never really given those flowers much heed. Till now.

A fortune bloomed in my hands.



on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes


March 4, Saturday, 8 pm: my first local feature in over two years: Glad Day Books


April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already


check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


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