Entertainment Music A Breakdown of Debussy's Suite Bergamasque Share PINTEREST Email Print Claude Debussy, the famous composer. Henri Manuel /Hulton Archive/ Getty Images Music Classical Music Basics Lyrics Operas Rock Music Pop Music Alternative Music Country Music Folk Music Rap & Hip Hop Rhythm & Blues World Music Punk Music Heavy Metal Jazz Latin Music Oldies Learn More By Aaron Green Music Expert B.A., Classical Music and Opera, Westminster Choir College of Rider University Aaron M. Green is an expert on classical music and music history, with more than 10 years of both solo and ensemble performance experience. our editorial process Aaron Green Updated January 12, 2018 Background Debussy’s “Suite bergamasqe” (made of four movements) is one of his most fascinating works for piano, not only for its rich, impressionistic qualities but also for its somewhat mysterious creation. It’s believed that Debussy began composing the “Suite bergamasque” in 1890, while he was still studying music. However, in 1905 he revised the works and published them under the title “Suite bergamasque.” It is unknown how much of the work was completed in 1890 and/or 1905. The Movements of Suite Bergamasque 1: PreludeThroughout the first movement, Debussy evokes a feeling an improvisation (a sound Debussy meticulously sought after while composing his work). Opening triumphantly, its playful harmonies dance along flowing lines until it finally pushes toward a climactic end similar to the opening bars. 2: MenuetThe menuet is unlike a Haydn or Mozart minuet and trio; its dance-like structure is more reminiscent of the Baroque style. Yet, its harmonies remain true to Debussy’s impressionistic sound. 3: Clair de luneThe most famous of the movements, “Clair de lune” or “Moonlight” has a mysterious uniqueness. It's sublime melody, rivers of rolling notes, colorful harmonies, and intriguing dynamic phrases are, perhaps, Debussy’s interpretation of moonlight filtered through the leaves of a tree. It’s a masterpiece unto itself. 4: PassepiedThe exciting final movement to the “Suite Bergamasque,” with staccato in the left hand relatively throughout the movement’s entirety, is one of the most difficult to play. It's sharp contrast between the staccato in the left hand, with flowing themes in the right hand, paints a marvelous, complex sound; a perfect ending to a beautiful suite.