Debussy's Late Style explores Claude Debussy's musical responses to World War I. This period of composition encompasses the duration of the war and the last four years of Debussy's life. The works that emerged during this time reflect both wartime events and the composer's self-conscious desire to define his own musical legacy as he felt his life nearing its end. Debussy's complete wartime compositions comprise a small but significant body of works, some little kwn and some w ackwledged to be among the masterpieces of his career. These include the Berceuse heroique, En Blanc et ir, the Douze Etudes, the Noel des enfants qui n'ont plus de maisons, and the three instrumental sonatas (the Cello Sonata; the Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp; and the Violin Sonata). Through music analysis, musicology, and cultural history, this study offers interpretive readings of Debussy's late works, focusing in particular on how they reflect the unique cultural milieu of wartime Paris.
Marianne Wheeldon is Associate Professor of Music Theory at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include the late works of Claude Debussy, musical culture in fin-de-siecle Paris, and Schenkerian analysis.