Debussy and the art of the cinema

Smith, R. L. (1973) Debussy and the art of the cinema. Music & Letters, 54 (1) pp. 61-70. ISSN 0027-4224 (print) 1477-4631 (online)


Perhaps Debussy, of all composers, has suffered the most from misguided comparisons with the visual arts. Ever since 1887, when the jury of the Academie des Beaux Arts found in his youthful 'Printemps' the work of a "vague Impressionist", subsequent critics have twisted and turned the comparison for the most part without attempting to uncover the true rapports between Debussy's music and the visual arts. But this superficial comparison with Impressionism is not so much lamentable because it is erroneous, but rather because it has obscured other areas of thought.

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