Achievement Literature Sheet

Clair de lune

Claude Debussy

Clair de lune is the quintessential impressionist piano piece, as magical as the moonlight of its title. Composed in 1890, it was revised by Debussy for publication in 1905 as the third of four pieces that form the Suite bergamasque. Claire de lune was the first piano composition to evoke the musical atmosphere of “impressionism” as portrayed in the paintings of Claude Monet and in the poetry of Paul Verlaine. The piece is perfectly proportioned and deserves the immense popularity it has enjoyed for nearly a century. Performance requirements include musical sensitivity and special attention to chord voicing, subtle dynamic gradations, and tone color. When played with elegance and clarity, Claire de lune is immensely gratifying for both the performer and listener.

This edition includes fingerings and redistribution of notes between the hands for fluency and expression.

Watch “A Performance and Discussion of Clair de lune by Randall Faber,” where Dr. Faber shares insights into historical reference, keyboard geography, and structural analysis to enhance musical understanding and performance.

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