Estampes (Prints), L.100, is a composition for solo
piano by Claude Debussy. It was finished in 1903.
"When you don't have any money to go on holiday, you
must make do by using your imagination," Debussy wrote,
and the first two pieces in his triptych Estampes
constitute an exotic travelog; the third piece is
stay-at-home music, watching the rain. "Estampes" means
print or engraving, and these three pieces are musical
depictions of particular moments at particular locales.
They also represent an interior journey of sorts, a
newly personal idiom for Debussy, who is now seemingly
unconcerned with the conventions and expectations of
the salon and the concert hall.
"Soirée dans Grenade" takes listeners to Spain, but
again the tour guide is Ravel, whose Habañera covers
much the same musical territory. Debussy uses the same
rhythm -- which, technically, is Cuban rather than
Spanish, although the French strongly associated it
with the Iberian peninsula. Debussy's dreamy treatment
includes rather Moorish material and, except for two
brief outbursts four-fifths of the way through, avoids
the fast, fiery, flamenco-inspired effects that
foreigners associate with Spanish music. Manuel de
Falla thought highly enough of this piece to quote from
it in his Homage to Debussy.
Although originally composed for Piano, I created this
Interpretation of the "La soirée dans Grenade" (The
Evening in Granada) for String Quartet (2 Violins,
Viola & Cello).