Claude Debussy: Pelleas et Melisande Concert Suite
French composer Claude Debussy was born on this date in 1862, and we are celebrating tonight with our Evening Masterwork. The composer is best known for his innovative approach to harmony, often called Impressionistic because it really evokes the images of Impressionistic paintings from that time period. Tonight we will hear the concert suite from his only completed opera, Pelleas et Melisande. While writing the opera, one of the ways Debussy supported himself financially was by performing Wagner’s scores on the piano for private salons, including Tristan und Isolde, and there are a few connections between Debussy’s opera and Wagner’s: both Tristan and Pelleas have a love-and-betrayal storyline, and Debussy himself developed his own way of using leitmotifs.