En blanc et noir (1915) by Claude Debussy

It is exactly 100 years and one day since the death of Claude Debussy on 25th March 1918. This is one of my favourite pieces. Camille Saint-Saëns condemned this work, saying “We must at all costs bar the door of the Institut [de France] against a man capable of such atrocities; they should be put next to the cubist pictures.” And that is why I have far more Debussy in my collection than Saint-Saëns (just a “Best of…”).

Another favourite work is the troubled Cello Sonata, also from 1915. In a letter to the conductor Bernardo Molinari, from 6 October 1915, Debussy wrote: “I spend nearly a year unable to write music – after that I’ve almost had to re-learn it. It was like a rediscovery and it seemed to me more beautiful than ever! The emotional satisfaction one gets from music can’t be equaled, can it, in any of the other arts?”