Friday, October 22, 2021

Francine Kay plays Debussy


No. 369 of the ongoing ITYWLTMT series of audio montages is this week's Friday Blog and Podcast. It can be found in our archives at


Original posts: TalkClassical; Blogger

The original post featured some keyboard works by Claude Debussy, including his second book of preludes. As I stated in the original post, these were composed about two years after the first book, between the last months of 1912 and early April 1913. The works in Debussy's second book of préludes are similar in intent to those of Book I (1907 - 1910). Several of them look ahead to Debussy's later style, in which the composer's earlier impressionistic, almost Romantic poetry was supplanted by a greater concentration upon technique and neoclassical objectivity.

In order to “stretch” the original share, I added Debussy’s cello sonata to open the A la Carte montage. Initially subtitled "Pierrot is angry at the moon," the Sonata for Cello and Piano does have in it some of the modern-day commedia dell'arte sensibility - a raw, heart-on-the-sleeve, dark humor. The Cello Sonata is the most unrefined, emotionally exposed of Debussy’s three sonatas - maybe even of all Debussy's works.

Canadian pianist Francine Kay received her early musical training at L’Ecole de Musique Vincent D’Indy in Montreal, where she studied with Sr. Rita de la Croix and Yvonne Hubert. A scholarship from the government of France took her to Paris to study with Yvonne Lefebure as part of “Juillet Musical”, held in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the birthplace of Debussy. She obtained her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees on scholarship at the Juilliard School, where she studied with Adele Marcus. Ms. Kay then pursued her studies with Marek Jablonski and Leon Fleisher.

I think you will (still) love this music too.

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