Debussy violin sonata L.140 in g minor Yeh Shih hsien
What is the motivation for Debussy composing this violin sonata and how the historical situation around him influences the piece?
History of the piece:
This piece was composed in 1917, and this composition was his last chamber music he wrote before he died (in 1918). These six set of sonatas were originally dedicated to his wife Emma in 1915 during the summer, he took his family to a sea-the channel coast at Pourville- and he started a project, intended to be named as Six sonates pour instruments divers, par Claude Debussy, musician francais (Six sonatas for various instruments, by Claude Debussy, French musician), completed in 1917. The first performance took place on May 5th , 1917 with Debussy himself played the piano, with the violinist Gaston Poulet. This performance was also Debussy’s last public concert before his death.
In the context of the historical turbulent time of World War. By the time, Debussy had big problems of financial difficulties and health problem of a terminal cancer, which actually slowed down his composition progresses, as evident in the long period of completion of the Violin sonata. In the 1914, because of his health problem and the world war situations, at one point, the outbreak of the war further curtailed his creativity; he was unable to compose almost a year. Combined with his lack of productivity in the first half of the 1914, he faced 18 months of diminished compositional activity. Himself described this situation as” factory of nothingness”. There is a letters he wrote to Durand, he complains that” what I’m doing seems to me so miserably petty, it’s impossible to work! To tell you a truth, I don’t dare to compose. After few months of non composed, in the summer of 1915, during the summer, the situation seems turning better, he wrote several composition including En blanc et noir, the Douze etudes, the sonata for Cello and Piano and the sonata for...