C'est presque incroyable!
I am aware he is a true master, un artiste véritable, un compositeur magnifique! He has done more for music than any other man in Paris. Mais, Mon dieu… he sure can be a challenge.
Dan mi-août I was to be playing the Deux Arabesque in a concert, and he was interested enough in my piano playing to offer me some advice. I, bien sûr, agreed readily. It is a day très bizarre when one refuses a lesson from Claude Debussy. I come into his home and he leads me to his piano.
“Show me, Emile” he said.
It is not long before I am stopped. “Non, non” he said. “You must play more agile.”
Frustrated, I tried again, and was stopped soon after beginning again. He motioned me to let him sit. And then, he played. It was more belle than I could possibly recount. Délicat, étincelant… Ah, mon dieu! I could hardly believe my ears. Encouraged by this, I sat down again, and tried to play what was now in my heart. And then, after I was done…
“Bien,” he said. And that was all.