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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

Jean-Yves Thibaudet on Debussy's music: "Wonderful colors and light... It's part of my life"

Jean-Yves Thibaudet in a blue shirt
E. Caren
International touring pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet's longstanding mastery of and fondness for the music of Debussy and Ravel means their music is never far from his solo programs. Several times over the past few years Thibaudet has performed Debussy's complete Preludes, Books I & II in New York, California and Europe. He will do so again at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Mar 30 in a concert presented by The Gilmore at Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College.

Thibaudet spoke to Cara Lieurance about the historic period in which Debussy composed the Preludes, the joy of playing them together from first to last, and how Debussy wrote out the poetic titles of the preludes at the bottom of the page rather than the top, indicating that they were not essential for enjoying and interpreting the music. They also take a close look at the longest prelude, "La Cathedrale engloutie" (The Sunken Cathedral), Bk I No. 10. When the music hits its peak the sun comes out and "you almost have to close your eyes, the light is so strong," says Thibaudet.

Tickets and more information are available at The Gilmore's website.

Cara Lieurance is the local host of NPR's All Things Considered on 1021 WMUK and covers local arts & culture on Let's Hear It on 89.9 Classical WMUK weekday mornings at 10 - 11 am.
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