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Debussy‬. Arabesque # 1 Played by Stanislav A. Bunin (Photos by Pianopod)

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Uploaded on Dec 5, 2010

I took the photos around the Fanad Peninsula, Donegal, Ireland.

The Deux arabesques (Two Arabesques) is a pair of arabesques composed by Claude Debussy. The arabesques are two of Debussy's earliest works, composed between the years 1888 and 1891. Debussy was still in his twenties.
Although quite an early work, the arabesques contain hints of Debussy's developing musical style. The suite is one of the very early impressionistic pieces of music, following the French visual art form. Debussy seems to wander through modes and keys, and achieves evocative scenes through music.
The word "arabesque" is derived from Western ideas of Arabic music, which were highly embellished. In actuality, arabesques and Arab music are not closely related.

This arabesque is in the key of E major. This piece begins with parallelism of triads in first inversion, a composition technique very much used by Debussy and the impressionist movement. It leads into a larger section beginning with a left hand arpeggio in E major and a descending right hand E major pentatonic progression which breaks with the D note. From bars 13 to 16, because of the impressionist movement, one could opt for saying the piece changes to E Lydian (instead of the A-sharp being merely a IV secondary leading tone chord, and a II secondary dominant chord) returning to the normal Ionian mode (major scale) in bar 17. The introductory theme returns then modulates briefly to G# minor, back to E major, then to C# minor, to A major, and then back to E major before the end of the first section.
The second quieter B section is in A major, which starts with a gesture (E-D-E-C#), , briefly passes through E major, returns to A major and ends with a bold pronouncement of the E-D-E-C# gesture, but transposed to the key of C major, played forte. In this C major sections we see once again parallelism of triads. The gesture is repeated in a higher register, with slight modifications resulting in a transposition back to the E major of the A section.
In the middle of the recapitulation of the A section, the music moves to a higher register and descends, followed by a large pentatonic scale ascending and descending, becoming a V7 chord (B7), and resolving back to E major, before the descending right hand E major pentatonic progression is played an octave up. Both hands rise up the keyboard with a progressions of 4ths and closes with gentle E major chords.

Stanislav Stanislavovich Bunin (Russian: Станислав Станиславович Бунин, Stanislav Stanislavovič Bunin; born September 25, 1966) is a Russian-born pianist.
He was born in Moscow in 1966 into an established European musical family which included his grandfather Heinrich Neuhaus and his grandmother Zinaida (Boris Pasternak's wife).
In 1985, after a series of prizes, he won first prize and the gold medal in the 11th International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. Recently, he recorded a few of Chopin's works for the soundtrack to the video game Eternal Sonata. He currently resides in Japan.

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