François Lesure's "critical biography" of Claude Debussy (Fayard, 2003) is widely recognized by scholars as the most comprehensive and reliable account of that composer's life and career as well as of the artistic milieu in whichhe worked. This encyclopedic volume draws extensively on Debussy's complete correspondence (at that time unpublished), a painstaking tracking of contemporary reviews and comments in the press, and an examination of other primary documents-including private diaries-that had not been available to previous biographers. As such, Lesure's book presents a wealth of new information while debunking a number of myths that had developed over the years since the composer's death in 1918.
The present English translation and revised edition, by Debussy authority Marie Rolf, augments Lesure's numerous notes with several thousand new ones by Rolf, providing more precise information oncrucial and sometimes contentious points. It also reflects Debussy scholarship that has appeared since 2003, updating Lesure's seminal work. Rolf's translation-the first ever-will make Lesure's findings accessible to scholars, musicians, and music lovers in English-speaking lands and around the world.
FRANÇOIS LESURE (1923-2001) was the Director of the Music division of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Professor of Musicology at the Université libre de Bruxelles, and Chair of Musicology at the École pratique des Hautes Études.
MARIE ROLF is senior associate dean of graduate studies and professor of music theory at the Eastman School of Music and a memberof the editorial board for the Ouvres complètes de Claude Debussy.