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Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Turn of the 20th Century > Petite Suite (Debussy)

Petite Suite

Claude Debussy

The "Petite Suite" of Debussy's was originally written for the piano, four hands, in 1889, and arranged for orchestra by Henri Bussex in 1909. The suite is in four movements. The first ("En Bateau") opens with a theme in the flute with accompaniment in the strings muted. After development, a new theme appears in the violins and clarinets. This in turn is developed, after which the opening theme returns this time to the violins.

The second movement ("Cortège") begins with a theme in the flutes and oboes, the strings pizzicato and the harp and triangle giving the march rhythm. A counter theme is given to the lower strings, after which march returns. After a new subject in the strings, the march closes the movement.

The third movement ("Menuet") after introduction in the woodwinds opens with a theme in the first violins. The theme of the Trio is announced by the bassoons with string accompaniment and after development, the theme of the first part is given in the oboe.

The fourth movement ("Ballet") opens with a theme in the strings in unison. After a continuing section in the strings and its developement, the first theme returns in full orchestra. A new subject appears in the violins to waltz time. After the recurrence of the first theme, the movement closes with suggestions of the waltz.

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See also:
Middle Ages Music
Renaissance Music
Baroque Era Music
Classical Era Music
Romantic Era Music
Nationalist Era Music
Turn of Century Music

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