Posts Tagged ‘En blanc et noir’

“En blanc et noir” and his neighborhoods: or, what should we do against war

In 1914, First World War broke out, and soon came to France. Claude Debussy, his spirit already marked by other (financial, familiar, medical) worries, will write almost nothing for a year: his first far-reaching composition completed in wartime will be En blanc et noir, for two pianos, in 1915.

The second among the three pieces which comprise this work is a peculiar example of how a musician would compose during wartime. First of all, as a motto for the piece there is a fragment of the Ballad against France’s enemy (1416) by the French poet François Villon:

Prince, porté soit des serfs Eolus
En la forest ou domine Glaucus
Ou privé soit de paix et d’espérance
Car digne n’est de posséder vertus
Qui mal vouldroit au royaume de France

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