Debussy - Syrinx
Type of Spiritual Experience
Concerning the spiritual in art – Wassily Kandinsky
The most modern musicians like Debussy create a spiritual impression, often taken from nature, but embodied in purely musical form. For this reason Debussy is often classed with the Impressionist painters on the ground that he resembles these painters in using natural phenomena for the purposes of his art.
Whatever truth there may be in this comparison merely accentuates the fact that the various arts of today learn from each other and often resemble each other.
But it would be rash to say that this definition is an exhaustive statement of Debussy's significance. Despite his similarity with the Impressionists this musician is deeply concerned with spiritual harmony, for in his works one hears the suffering and tortured nerves of the present time.
And further Debussy never uses the wholly material note so characteristic of programme music, but trusts mainly in the creation of a more abstract impression.
Debussy has been greatly influenced by Russian music, notably by Mussorgsky. …. The experience of the hearer is frequently the same during the performance of the works of these two musicians. He is often snatched quite suddenly from a series of modern discords into the charm of more or less conventional beauty.
He feels himself often insulted, tossed about like a tennis ball over the net between the two parties of the outer and the inner beauty. To those who are not accustomed to it the inner beauty appears as ugliness because humanity in general inclines to the outer and knows nothing of the inner.
A description of the experience
Emmanuel Pahud, flute
Directed by Stéphan Aubé · Filmed in December 2010 at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Denmark)