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Debussy's Letters to Inghelbrecht

Debussy's Letters to Inghelbrecht: The Story of a Musical Friendship

Annotated by MARGARET G. COBB
Translations by RICHARD MILLER
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 167
  • Book Info
    Debussy's Letters to Inghelbrecht
    Book Description:

    Désiré-Emile Inghelbrecht was a conductor and composer. His friendship with Claude Debussy began in 1911 (although they had met previously), and he soon became one of the Master's closest friends. This book is the first publication, in the original French and in English translation, of the correspondence between these two musicians. Beginning rather formally in 1912, with the salutation "Mon cher Inghelbrecht," the correspondence soon became much more intimate, with Debussy addressing Inghelbrecht as "Mon cher ami" or "Cher Inghel." Although Debussy had a reputation for being cold and distant and for avoiding strangers, this was just his way of maintaining his privacy. This aloofness enabled him to express in private the warmth he felt toward those few close friends whose intimacy he needed and cherished. Inghelbrecht was in the forefront of this group. Their friendship was based not only on a mutual respect for each other's talents as artists and musicians, but also on the sharing of intimate secrets and warm feelings. Inghelbrecht's wife would later write that her husband retained the mark Debussy left on him. "For him, he was a beacon, a guide. And he had the deep joy of being able, up until his last days, to bring to life with passion, with all his talent-the works of a man who had been for a few years his friend." Margaret G. Cobb, the "doyenne of Debussy scholars," brings to life these two talented men. She enriches Richard Miller's idiomatic translation of the letters with copious notes and wonderful illustrations to illuminate a great musical friendship. Margaret G. Cobb is also the author of The Poetic Debussy, available from the University of Rochester Press. In 2002 she was awarded the title of Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government's Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication.

    eISBN: 978-1-58046-639-4
    Subjects: History, Music, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. List of Letters
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. List of Illustrations
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xv-xx)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
    Margaret G. Cobb
  7. D. E. Inghelbrecht: A Biography
    (pp. 1-8)

    Désiré Emile Inghelbrecht was born in Paris on 17 September 1880 and died there on 14 February 1965. His father was a viola player with the Paris Opéra. His mother, a piano teacher, gave him his first piano lessons at the age of four, when he had already started to play the violin. His parents soon discovered that he had perfect pitch.

    When he was seven, he entered the Conservatoire, where he studied solfège and harmony and also audited a violin class. At the age of sixteen, he was expelled, allegedly because of “musical incompetence.” In fact, the real reason...

  8. Letters from Debussy to Inghelbrecht
    (pp. 9-92)
  9. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  10. Appendix A: Letter from Inghelbrecht to Debussy
    (pp. 93-100)
  11. Appendix B: Letters from Inghelbrecht to d’Annunzio
    (pp. 101-108)
  12. Appendix C: Letters from Chouchou Debussy to Inghelbrecht
    (pp. 109-114)
  13. Biographies
    (pp. 115-120)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 121-124)
  15. Discography
    (pp. 125-128)
  16. Index
    (pp. 129-132)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 133-137)