Music: Sun Feb 16

Few composers intuited the interconnected web of existence more profoundly than Claude Debussy. Somehow, the whole world and its peoples seemed accessible to him through his incomparable imagination.

This morning’s Centering Music begins with La puerta del vino, an evocation of a gateway into the mighty Alhambra fortress in Granada, Spain, the last stronghold of the Arabs on the Iberian peninsula. Apparently, Debussy was inspired by a postcard sent to him by the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla.

Ondine speaks to the under-water domain of playful mermaids with their dangerous powers of seduction, while Bruyères alludes to the wild heather clinging to the Brittany coastline.

The remaining selections are all taken from Debussy’s collection Children’s Corner, written in homage to his daughter Chouchou. Jimbo’s Lullaby” is probably a mispronunciation of the famous circus elephant Jumbo, cast here in a subtly Asiatic pentatonic sing-song. “Golliwogg’s Cakewalk” speaks to the composer’s fascination with the world of American Vaudeville, even as it reminds us of the ethnic stereotyping once deeply ingrained in the dominant culture. Even as prophetic a composer as Debussy was still a product of his times, it would seem. Read on for programming details.

Centering Music: Adam Kent, piano
La puerta del vino
Jimbo’s Lullaby
                                                            Claude Debussy

Opening Music:
The Little Shepherd

Golliwogg’s Cakewalk


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