I have been playing this Debussy prelude coupled with a few others in marking his 150th anniversary of birth.
I remember a Master Class given by my teacher Ben Kaplan in Israel at the Tel Hai Master Classes long time ago and I remember his description of the work: trying to get out from a landscape of endless snow and glimpses of hope that after the next footstep you will see the end of it, but there’s more snow… and again with the next footstep… until there is no more hope….
I never liked to add images to my music as I want for music to evoke a particular emotion to the listener, not a story. But Ben’s description will stay with me forever as that’s the best way I can think of expressing the sadness, the despair and loss of hope.
And with these thoughts of Ben, Debussy and Des pas sur la neige I am adding here a performance by Michelangeli who also was Ben’s mentor.