This is one of Claude Debussy’s most evocative Preludes, one of the last composed in December, 1912. It was inspired by an article in Le Temps which described the coronation of King George the V as emperor of India. It is Debussy’s answer to Wagernism, Twelve-tone harmony, and the logical completion of tonality that Brahms composed in his late piano works.
This week Dr. Tobin discusses Claude Debussy’s Book I Prelude Engulfed or “Sunken Cathedral”. It is based on the legend of the sunken town of Y off the Breton French Coast. Dr. Tobin discusses how Debussy paints the image of a sunken cathedral that rises from the depths of the sea. After the discussion, he includes are recording he made on the piano Debussy composed it on, the Bluethner in Brive la-Gaillarde, France. For further contrast, Dr. Tobin includes a video he made at Mont St Michel on the coast of Normandie and a recording made on a Steinway Model A piano in Wetizkon, Switzerland.
After playing the Bach e minor Toccata, the Mozart c minor Sonata, and Book I of the Debussy Preludes at Adam’s Music House on Sunday May 12, Dr. Tobin embarked on a tour of Switzerland. He performed this program at the Musik Schule Zurcher Oberland in Wetzikon on May 18th, and Evangelisch-Methodistische Kirche in Davos on May 25th to appreciative audiences.
Dr. Tobin, a Steinway Artist, visited Steinway Hall Zurich and played a few of the pianos, on this one he played Debussy’s Minstrels:
In Wetzikon, where he has performed since 2006, Dr. Tobin played on a 1960’s Model A Steinway, this is a fugue from Bach’s e minor Toccata:
In Davos Dr. Tobin returned for the fifth time to perform in a 120-year-old church. This is the first movement of the Mozart c minor Sonata:
Dr. Tobin looks forward to his next performance at Adam’s Music House, Saturday June 29th at 4PM. This will be the first 2-piano performace at Adam’s, Debussy’s Petite Suite and the Mozart Sonata in D for Two-Pianos, with Soo-Jung Kwon, will be featured. Please join us!
During a recent trip to New York, Adam’s Founder Joe Bratcher and Artistic Director Anthony Tobin visited Strand Books and found “Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by J.M Barrie, illustrated by Arthur Rackham.
Claude Debussy read the stories to his daughter Chouchou and was inspired by the vivid, victorian color drawings which depict the fantastic scenes of fairies and other mythical beings Peter Pan encounters. The Book II Prelude, “The Fairies Are Exquisite Dancers, was inspired by this stunning drawing:
Hear Anthony Tobin playing “The Fairies Are Exquisite Dancers” in Steinway Hall Zurich, June 2018:
We are really excited to have this historic book in the collection at Adam’s Music House!