1909: Debussy: Gigues

SUNDAY, April 5, 2020

Debussy Gigues

Debussy wrote a whole group of pieces for orchestra called Images pour orchestre, and this really gets quite confusing. You can read the long story, but I’ll try to make it simple. It’s not simple at all for me, and I got very mixed up. Here are all the “Images”:

  1. Gigues (1909–1912) (There is only one.)
  2. Ibéria (1905–1908) (There are three pieces in this.)
  3. Rondes de printemps (“Round dances of spring”) (1905–1909)

“Gigue” is just another word for “jig”…

A jig is a fast dance that sounds like it has two beats, but each beat is divided up into three smaller parts. To me the name of this piece is a bit strange and makes me think of something totally different from what it is, but I do think it is great music.

The names are very confusing…

The weirdest part is that Gigue was written last. Ibéria and “Round dances of spring” were written during the same earlier period, but we don’t know which was created first. Finally, Ibéria is not one piece of music but three. It is by far the most famous of the whole group. So you see numbers one through three, but then second is really three, so in fact there are five separate pieces in the whole set,

I already linked the three parts of Ibéria to Stokowski in another post, but after Gigues is over you can let the recording run and hear everything. This is an excellent recording from beginning to end. Giques is less than eight minutes long.



2 thoughts on “1909: Debussy: Gigues

  1. I don’t think I’ve heard a Debussy yet that does not have a feel of unworldly magic, and yet the essence of nature in the wilds. I love this music. The juxtaposition of the different kinds of music that crisscross is interesting.

Leave a Reply