Claude Debussy, a signed photograph Nadar remembered: the model is seized o pro ile, the enigmatic eye. In its "critical biography", published with ayard 2003, rançois Lesure map composer portrait without concessions but endearing. And that is that today ' hui the portraituré descends rom its ramework and speaks itsel . Or rather the pen. With about three thousand letters, correspondence joined to the Pantheon epistolary those o Hector Berlioz and Emmanuel Chabrier, not to mention Mozart. And as these, it shows a de eloped heart bare, in a language ali e and tasty who wields brilliantly the compliment or claw stroke.
The existence o a musician sometimes takes cross road speeds. Because o ten enough money ("I just need to tell you that my li e is always di icult and amous"ends"are a regrettable obstinacy to join", he wrote to his publisher Georges Hartmann in April 1899), the daily hassle weigh hea y. and somewhat unstable sentimental li e delineated he le t Gaby Lilly, whom he married, but he then mo e to Emma (relie o his banker husband), which he earned denunciation o e erything-Paris and the loss o a ew riends, including Pierre Louÿs. A belo ed daughter, Chouchou, was born o this union.
Impressi e list o correspondents (386 exactly) includes, in addition to the wi es and amily, writers (Mallarmé, D'Annunzio, Léon Daudet, Toulet), theatre directors (Albert Carré), interpreters (baritone Hector Du ranne, sopranos Lucienne Bré al, Claire Croiza, Mary Garden, pianist Ricardo ines), conductors (Inghelbrecht, Messenger, Toscanini), painters (Odilon Redon), publishers (Hartmann, Jacques Durand), composers (Bachelet, Bruneau, Caplet, Dukas, Chausson, Ra el). No one is in surprising: this is when he talks about music that Debussy is irreplaceable. Ruthless with some colleagues (Gusta e Charpentier, author o the "musical no el" "Louise", established in 1900, two years be ore "Pelléas et Mélisande", knows any thing, but as erruccio Busoni and Richard Strauss: "this a ternoon, I repeat not, k. (Chie Serge Kousse itzky) in need o the Orchestra or concert tonight, which Busoni playing a concerto which lasts one hour ten...") Well, do you think that he is the author! "The partition, it is a swamp music where the worst de ects o r. Strauss exaggerate to be employed by someone who has none o his quali ications" (to Emma, Moscow, December 1913). Nationalist misbeha iour will not lea e indi erent readers. It is better to ocus on the genesis o the works. That "Pelléas", among others.
As early as 1893, Maurice Maeterlinck had authorized him to de elop his play music. In September, he had already written a scene. Between pro isional completions (1895), representation attempts ailed, and the creation at the Opéra-Comique, the years will elapse, di icult, but marked by pages also essential that the "prelude to the a ternoon o a aun", the "songs o Bilitis", "night"... April 30, 1902, "pelléas" is inally gi en, with the turmoil that is known. "At this moment, I am in the hands o singers, Orchestra musicians and other people in theatre, it is the insurance to be stupid or some time..." "(A Henri de Régnier, March or April 1902). Essentially being summarized in a letter to the editor o the "Pall Mall Gazette", Edwin E ans: "emphasis must be placed on simplicity in"pelléas" I put 12 years to remo e what was to be slid o parasitic." Ne er I ha e sought to re olutionize anything... only took the habit o dragging the music in "poor places" or e en to make a game that nobody can understand without a hard dri e.