Debussy: (The Sunken Cathedral) Preludes Book 1 No. 10: La cathédrale engloutie (The Engulfed Cathedral): Profondément calme
I have had several people request that I record some Debussy preludes so here is the first! This prelude is one of Debussy’s best-known works. It was composed just over 100 years ago and appeared in Debussy’s first book of preludes. This piece is composed after the legend of the city of Ys (pronounced «ees») — which was engulfed in the sea but was allowed to rise out of the sea once each day to serve as a reminder of the great city that was lost. Part of the legend, which is so critical to this work, is the sound of the church bells that you first begin to hear as the city rises from the sea. The piece starts off with the sound of these bells, and after some fantastic imagery, evolves into the resounding and powerful sound of the church’s organ. The city then begins to slowly sink again into the sea. The imagery in this work is astounding and Debussy’s ingenius interpretation of this legend is deserving of the highest praise.