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Pianist Lucy Parham’s ‘words and music’ Rêverie of the life of Debussy, narrated by Simon Russell Beale

25 January, 2018 — By Sebastian Taylor

Lucy Parham and Simon Russell Beale

Pianist Lucy Parham is putting on her celebration of the life and loves of French composer Claude Debussy this Sunday at St John’s Smith Square.

Her “words and music” piece Rêverie is being performed with actor Simon Russell Beale as the narrator.

The piece looks at Debussy’s complex intellectual and emotional world, notably an entangled love life that brought illicit trysts in Jersey, a brush with a revolver and even a suicide attempt.


Portrait of Claude Debussy by Marcel Baschet (1884)

The narrative of Rêverie takes the form of a personal journal, following Debussy from his initial success with the Prix de Rome in 1885 to his untimely death, aged 55, in 1918.

It is punctuated with solo piano works ranging from the ever-popular lyricism of Clair de Lune, Rêverie and The Girl with the Flaxen Hair.

In addition, there are such virtuosic showpieces as Jardins sous la Pluie, Etudes and L’Isle Joyeuse.

Rêverie: The life and loves of Claude Debussy: Lucy Parham piano/Simon Russell Beale narrator, St John’s Smith Square, SW1, 020 7222 1061, 3pm, £25/cons £15,  https://www.sjss.org.uk/events/rêverie-life-loves-debussy

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