Sunday, November 18, 2007

La Cathedrale Engloutie

Debussy was inspired to write this piece by an ancient legend of the Cathedral of Ys, told by the people of the Brittany section of France. When analyzing this piece it can be helpful to look at the famus painting of the Cathedral itself. In it you can see the very outline of the song written by Debussy.

I found that the over all for of the piece is ABCBA. In the painting there is almost a mirror efect. In the middle of the paining is a horizontal line which devides the sky, and the ocean. on the line is the Cathedral. It is a pictur of the songs for. The form is known as an arch form. reflection. The piece is devided at measure 28, 47, 72, and 84. there are transitions from theme to theme. The first is from m26-28. The C section starts at m47 with the key change. Then, just like a reflection, it returns back to its origonal key in measure 72.

Also... He paints a pictur in the begining of church bells ringing which make the listener think of the church, on the quiet shore with bells ringing.


Billy Richards said...

I like the way you went with a very large scale division of the work. I would only add one more section starting at 16, other than that I think it's great.

Ben said...

Wow, what a great relation between the painting and the piece. Guess I should have looked into the background on this one a bit more. The analysis seemed to be filled with combo chords such as E/C# beginning in mm. 8 through to E/A# halfway through mm. 12 and throughout the piece as a whole. Form I can't comment on. Lots of first inversion seven chords beginning at Sonore sans durete. I almost wonder if there is a specific point to this because it is the ONLY chord structure Debussy uses until mm. 42. Au Mouv in C obviously through the end of the piece at mm. 89.

sarah s said...

I totally agree with your analysis of the form and I agree with Michael Janz about the tone poem possibility. As far as using the same chord structure for so long that Ben was talking about, it probably has to do with the intense parallelism and planing that are throughout the piece. The tone poem idea that Michael had was similar to the idea that I had for the eighth note arpeggios in the bass from m. 72 to m. 84. They seem to portray the cathedral sinking deeper and deeper and the bubbles of air coming up out of it as it sinks. I don't entirely know if you can completely call it a mirror form unless you are referring more to the key areas than to the actual material. The A material comes back at 84, but the B material is totally different except that they seem to be in the same-ish key.