Debussy was already a celebrated composer – thanks to the success of his 1902 opera 'Pelléas et Mélisande', and his 1905 symphonic masterpiece 'La Mer' – when he wrote his 24 'Préludes' for solo piano. He completely re-moulded this Chopinesque genre in his own inimitable programmatic style, re-creating “scenes from my emotional life”.
The 'Préludes' all feature descriptive titles. But, the titles are all placed at the end of the pieces rather than the start, so that they avoid being narrowly prescriptive for the performer, and allow the music to speak for itself first.
Six of Debussy's 'Préludes' are arranged for brass septet by trumpeter Simon Cox:
- Footsteps in the snow
- The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
- General Lavine (eccentric)
- The sunken cathedral
Septura: Simon Cox, Huw Morgan, Alan Thomas (trumpets), Matthew Knight, Matthew Gee, Dan West (trombones), Pete Smith (tuba)
Recorded 30 April 2019, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ Concert
Sound engineer: Graham Kennedy