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5.19 X 0.63 X 8.0 inches | 0.7 pounds
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About the Author

Stephen Walsh is Emeritus Professor of Music at Cardiff University and the author of a number of books on music including Musorgsky and His Circle and the prizewinning, two-volume biography of Igor Stravinsky. He served for many years as deputy music critic for The Observer and writes reviews for a variety of publications. He lives in Herefordshire, England.


"Illuminating and compelling. . . . [An] engaging critical biography." --The Wall Street Journal

"Walsh is a deep reader of Debussy's music with an uncommon ability to translate complex details into words that are precise yet evocative and that are refreshingly free of academic jargon. . . . [He] treats Debussy both as a creature of his own time and as a harbinger of 20th-century modernism." --John Adams, The New York Times Book Review

"[Walsh] explores [Debussy's] genius with erudition and style." --The Atlantic

"[A] finely tooled biography. . . . [Walsh] insists on pulling Debussy's compositions into the heart of this biography, treating them as the essential register of emotional and intellectual existence." --The Guardian

"Walsh has managed the rare tightrope act of describing and analyzing widely beloved music in ways that will neither seem simplistic to connoisseurs nor confuse a general audience." --The New York Review of Books

"Excellent . . . A lucid and elegant introduction to the French revolutionary." --The Times (London)

"Impeccably researched and intellectually engrossing . . . This is a thorough and important study of the composer who forever changed the direction of music in our time." --Stuart Isacoff, author of When the World Stopped to Listen: Van Cliburn's Cold War Triumph and Its Aftermath

"[A] wonderfully warm, wise and witty book about the greatest French composer of the modern era. As a comprehensive and integrated survey of Debussy's life and work, it could hardly be bettered." --The Literary Review

"An enjoyable and impressive achievement. . . . Walsh depicts Debussy's Paris with the same verve and scholarship that he applies to the man." --The Economist

"Outstanding." --Booklist (starred review)

"[An] engaging and thorough book. . . . Walsh's biography will become a valuable companion to deep listening." --Austin Chronicle

"Walsh is one of our most insightful writers on music, and his judgment always illuminates what it touches. . . . Debussy: A Painter in Sound concentrates on what truly matters." --The Spectator

"[A] brilliant gem of a book. [Walsh] has made me want to relisten to and re-reflect on every piece Debussy ever wrote." --Harvey Sachs, author of Toscanini: Musician of Conscience

"Fascinating . . . Walsh is a superb guide to [Debussy's] music." --The Observer

"A sensuous portrait of an iconic composer. . . . A richly detailed life of a modernist master." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The author weaves the composer's life and loves, his penny-pinching habit of eating, schoolboy-style, a crust of bread and chocolate bar for lunch, with discussions of modes and chords, cadences and pentatonic scales, all lucidly explained." --The Times Literary Supplement

"The book shines a welcome light on the composer, his music, and his times." --Library Journal

"[Walsh] places proper emphasis on Debussy's myriad links to other art forms." --The New Yorker

"Stephen Walsh has produced a wonderfully detailed biography of a truly groundbreaking composer." --John Powell, author of How Music Works