The Newest Sound of Debussy circa ’81

Who is this?


I’ll let the record sleeve do the talking:



I went for a drive this afternoon, to pick up a birthday present for a friend, to a great record store on the very edge of the suburbs: Wonderland Records and having driven all that way I couldn’t not have a dig through some of the likely crates… and came across this LP:


Gotta love a record that versions Debussy AND lists the modules involved:


Debussy wrote some beautiful music, so whenever I see a piece that I know well, versioned I am always intrigued… and Tomita-san does not disappoint:

Debussy – The Engulfed Catheral, by Tomita:

Debussy – The Girl with the Flaxen Hair, by Tomita:


That piece, The Engulfed Catheral, published in 1920 has a beautifully evocative back story:

“The name of the music in English is The Sunken Cathedral; It is the tenth of twelve pieces from the first book (there was a second book 3 years later) of Preludes for Piano, written in 1910. Much of Debussy’s music tells a story. The story behind Sunken Cathedral: An ancient Breton legend records that the Cathedral of Ys was drowned by a giant wave because God was displeased with the town people’s impiety. Ever since that disaster which took the innocent along with the sinful, the sunken cathedral rises from the ocean floor on occasion and tolls its bells for the dead townsfolk before returning to its watery grave. Debussy adds narrative notes in the score to suggest where the ghostly Cathedral rises out the ocean fog and then slowly sinks back into its enchanted sleep at the bottom of the sea.

4 Responses to The Newest Sound of Debussy circa ’81

  1. Matthew Carpenter says:

    I have this album on vinyl and love it, particularly Arabesque. I remembered this piece from an old public television segment called ‘Star Hustler’ in which a Members Only-jacketed fellow gave the night’s astronomical highlights while treading a virtual Milky Way…

  2. Matthew Carpenter says:

    Here’s a link to Star Hustler:

  3. sirenka says:

    Wonderful. I can’t stop listening to “The Girl With The Flaxen Hair”

  4. Jon Clark says:

    I wore my record out. Thanks for the reminder!

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