Catalogue of works

Préludes (Deuxième livre)     131/(123)

For piano

I. Brouillards
II. Feuilles mortes
III. La Puerta del Vino
IV. Les Fées sont d'exquises danseuses
V. Bruyères
VI. " Général Lavine " eccentric
VII. La Terrasse des audiences du clair de lune
VIII. Ondine
IX. Hommage à S. Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C.
X. Canope
XI. Les Tierces alternées
XII. Feux d'artifice

Composition dates:

Durand, April 1913; Henle, 1998; Durand, 1985, Édition critique des œuvres complètes, I/5

First hearing:
I, II and III, Paris, Salle Érard, 5 March 1913, performed by the composer; IV, VII and XII, Paris, Société nationale de musique, 5 April 1913, Ricardo Viñes; V and VI, Salle Érard, 8 April 1913, Norah Drewett; Preludes (Deuxième livre) as a whole: London, 12 June 1913, Aeolian Hall, performed by Walter Rummel; VII, IX and X, the composer, Debussy Gala, on 19 June 1913

origin of titles: "La Puerta del Vino" is the name of a Moorish gate to Alhambra Palace in Grenada; "Les Fées sont d'exquises danseuses" is the title of an illustration by Arthur Rackham for J.-M. Barrie's book, Peter Pan in Kensingston Gardens given to Chouchou Debussy for Christmas in 1912; "Général Lavine eccentric" after Edward Lavine, clown performing in Paris in 1910; "Hommage à S. Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C." after The Adventures of Mr. Pickwick by Charles Dickens, P.P.M.P.C. standing for Perpetual President Member Pickwick Club; "Canope" name of Egyptian funeral vase, two copies of which Debussy had on his desk; "Feux d'artifice" is evocative of French National Day on 14 July with final musical quotation of La Marseillaise.