PETITE SUITE (1888) CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918) (flute, oboe, clarinet (Bb), violin, guitar, bass)
The Petite Suite is an early work that contains suggestions from many of the later more mature developments of Debussys style. En Bateau (In A Boat) is one of the composers irresistible water pieces suggesting Renoir and Monets paintings of reflections on the water. It presents a delicate theme reminiscent of Fauré over a rippling guitar accompaniment, which also contains the flattened seventh to which the composer was later to become so identified with. The descending bass against the cheerful tune of Cortège, along with the syncopation in the middle section is typical of Debussys later compositions. In the Menuet, an elegant theme is presented against an ever-changing accompaniment. The work ends with the Ballet – a rhythmic and energetic piece evoking Chabrier or Borodin, with a charming Tempo di Valse providing an exhilarating coda. Throughout the work, the guitar contributes an important part to the sonic fabric, serving to heighten and accentuate its rhythmic and sensual nature.
The Petite Suite for a sextet chamber music combination, is based on both the original version for piano solo and orchestrator Henri Büssers expanded version for Chamber Orchestra.