Claude Achille Debussy (1862-1918) is regarded as the creator and leading figure of musical Impressionism, despite the fact that he deplored the term and denied his role in the movement. This, however, cannot alter the essential truth that, like Monet in painting and Mallarmé in poetry, Debussy introduced a new style of composition through many novel musical devices. These include the use of the Oriental pentatonic scale, the whole-tone scale, consecutive parallel chords and intervals, unresolved harmonies and the abandonment of traditional form.
In this album, I have included the pieces by Debussy that I teach most often and that serve as an excellent introduction to the performance of Impressionist music. The subtle shadings and balance of sound, as well as the complicated use of the pedal, can be challenging performance techniques. We at Academy Records hope that students will find these beautiful performances to be helpful examples of Debussy's unique style.
The pieces on this album have also been compiled into a book, available through your music dealer. Please ask for "Debussy; Selected Works for Piano, Compiled and Edited by Keith Snell" , Neil A. Kjos Music Company, Publishers (GP380).
Keith Snell, Producer
Pianist Diane Hidy made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1991 after completing her studies with John Perry and Leon Fleisher. In 1987 Diane was the first woman to become a Fellow of the American Pianists Association and in 1982 was the winner of the MTNA Collegiate Artist Competition. She has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra s First Prize winner of the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition. Diane attended the Juilliard School of Music, and holds music degrees from the University of Southern California and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She spent her high school years in Seattle, Washington, where she was a student of Michiko Miyamoto.
Diane and her husband, J. Tony Smith, live in San Francisco, CA, where she teaches young beginners through advanced high school students and adults.