First Measures

A four note motive appears in the first measures and will be present all over the piece. We will call this motive the motive from now on. The motive is made with the first three notes of the D minor scale. In this analysis we will see multiple re-harmonizations of the motive. In its first appearance it is harmonized simply with a D pedal.

Debussy adds the following indication to this first appearance of the motive: This rhythm should have the sonorous value of a sad and frozen landscape.

A melody in the right hand also uses the D minor scale notes but sounds more as a mode. The first notes seems to be a Bb Lydian mode while the last part may be an A Phrygian mode. As he often do, Debussy does not makes clear the tonic of the mode:

Nicole Muller, piano - Piano Society

© 2011 José Rodríguez Alvira. Published by

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