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Analysis of Debussy Trois Nocturnes Sirnes
The first 200 words of this essay...
Analysis of Debussy Trois Nocturnes Sirènes
Charles Koechlin, in his book on Debussy, commented that "Sirènes has a subtle charm, and an irresistible and fatal sensuality that emerges from the slow vocalises. If its construction appears a little uncertain - especially after the precision of Fêtes - this uncertainness is surely intentional."1 The apparent "uncertainness" of construction that Koechlin wrote with regards to Sirènes most probably arises from the absence of a clear tonality which matches Debussy's intentions. This is compensated by skilful organisation of phrase structure and orchestral texture.
Typical of Debussy, this movement of Nocturnes has a sense of movement without direction and this can be illustrated clearly from bars 42 to 55. The lack of clear harmonic progression results in this extract's ambiguous tonality. In bars 41 to 42, the parallel chords moving in cycle of fifths (D - A - E - B) beginning on D at bar 38 (see fig. 1) are replaced by a III - I progression establishing the tonic of B as shown in fig. 2.
The III - I progression is a harmonic progression is not typical of the common-practice era and this
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