Regarded as the father of musical impressionism, Claude Debussy entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of eleven, subsequently winning the Prix de Rome and forging a career as arguably the greatest French composer of the twentieth century. Profoundly influenced by the inventive structure and tonality of Wagner’s opera Tristan & Isolde, he developed his own distinctive compositional language, combining influences from both Eastern cultures and antiquity with masterful layering of instrumental colours and textures.
Written in 1913 for the flautist Louis Fleury, Syrinx is a beguiling and sensuous work that became the first major composition for the modern ‘Böhm’ flute (perfected in 1847), and the most significant addition to the instrument’s repertoire for 150 years. Conceived as a movement of incidental music for an unfinished play by Gabriel Mourey (Psyché) and originally known by its initial title, ‘Flûte de Pane‘, the work is often performed out of view of the audience, replicating Debussy’s wishes at its première.
- Trumpet in E-flat