B0712. CLAUDE DEBUSSY. Monsieur Croche, The Dilettante Hater. The first appearance in English in America of Debussy's music criticism, a collection of brief essays in musical criticism by Debussy on such topics as Moussorgski, Massenet, Rameau, Beethoven, Wagner, Richard Strauss, etc.. Foreword by Lawrence Gilman. English Translation. New York, Viking, 1928. 212pp. Index; Notes; Photo.
“There’s no need either for music to make people think! … It would be enough if music could make people listen, despite themselves and despite their petty mundane troubles, and never mind if they’re incapable of expressing anything resembling an opinion. It would be enough if they could no longer recognize their own grey, dull faces, if they felt that for a moment they had been dreaming of an imaginary country, that’s to say, one that can’t be found on the map.”
- Claude Debussy – Letter to Ernest Chausson, 1894.
“I do not practise religion in accordance with the sacred rites. I have made mysterious Nature my religion. I do not believe that a man is any nearer to God for being clad in priestly garments, nor that one place in a town is better adapted to meditation than another. When I gaze at a sunset sky and spend hours contemplating its marvelous ever-changing beauty, an extraordinary emotion overwhelms me. Nature in all its vastness is truthfully reflected in my sincere though feeble soul. Around me are the trees stretching up their branches to the skies, the perfumed flowers gladdening the meadow, the gentle grass-carpetted earth, … and my hands unconsciously assume an attitude of adoration. … To feel the supreme and moving beauty of the spectacle to which Nature invites her ephemeral guests! … that is what I call prayer.”
- As quoted in CLAUDE DEBUSSY: HIS LIFE AND WORKS (1933) by Léon Vallas, p.225.