Preludes, Book 1 No.8 - The Girl With The Flaxen Hair

Composer
Claude Debussy
Year of composition
1910
Arranger
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
2 minutes
Genre
Modern classical music
Instrumentation
String quartet
Instrumental parts
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The eighth number in Claude Debussy's first book of piano Preludes, a volume the composer worked on between about 1907 and 1910, is the celebrated "La fille aux cheveux de lin" (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair), two pages of delicate, superbly-crafted music that rival the Clair de lune from the Suite bergamasque and the Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun as the most widely recognized entry in the composer's catalog.

The unaccompanied melody at the opening glistens (it is really just an arpeggio, so guilelessly drawn that one marvels at the effect it has). The mild climax in the middle of the piece is fine china ? radiant but ever so brittle, always in danger of being irreparably cracked or even smashed by an over-zealous pianist. The uncertain parallel fourths of the final pianissimo "murmuring" (called thus by Debussy) are turned on their heads after four bars, rising up into the warm sun of one last sonorous chord.

This arrangement comes with an additional bass part for use with string orchestra.

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