Awhile ago Dr. Tobin interviewed the world Debussy experts at a Debussy convnetion at UT Austin and put together a documentary filim. It was shot on the fly, without control of sound, image, and some conctent, but it honor the work of Claude Debussy.
Dr. Anthony Tobin, Music Director of Adam’s Music House, gave a double treat to a full house this past Sunday. Not only did he perform the first book of Claude Debussy’s Preludes for Piano, he also screened his short film “Le piano du reve”.
Dr. Tobin’s playing brought to life the shimmering world of Debussy’s pieces. From the majestic opening Danseuses de Delphes (Dancers of Delphi) to the playful Minstrels his control of sound and clarity held us all spellbound. Indeed, it felt as if we were experiencing a only vague representation of our normal senses hearing La cathédrale engloutie (The Engulfed Cathedral) and the ethereal De pas sur la neige (Footsteps in the Snow). My personal favorite, La fille aux cheveux de lin (The Girl with Flaxen Hair), left me simply breathless. The sound of the seven foot Bösendorfer that was just recently returned to the performance space rang with a true, rich tone that Dr. Tobin took every advantage of.
In “Le piano du reve” Dr. Tobin demonstrates how the construction of Debussy’s Bleuthner piano inspired him to create the sound-scapes in the Preludes. Not merely theorizing about this possibility from a distance, Dr. Tobin gained access to the Bleuthner now housed in the Musee Labenche in Brive la-Gaillarde. The film frames the period in Debussy’s life when he married a second time, became a father, purchased the Bleuthner, and wrote both books of the Preludes. Playing on both a modern piano and Debussy’s, Dr. Tobin demonstrates the sound quality and keyboard response the Bleuthner opened for the composer. The film closes with Dr. Tobin’s performance of the virtuosic Feux d’artifice on the instrument it was imagined upon.
Thank you to all who came to our event and we look forward to seeing you again at Adam’s Music House.