Debussy Jimbo's Lullaby

Debussy Jimbo's Lullaby

Music Description

Children’s Corner (L. 113) is a six-movement suite for solo piano by Claude Debussy. It was published by Durand in 1908, and was given its world première in Paris by Harold Bauer on 18 December that year. In 1911, an orchestration of the work by Debussy’s friend André Caplet received its première and was subsequently published. A typical performance of the suite lasts roughly 15 minutes.

It is dedicated to Debussy’s daughter, Claude-Emma (known as “Chou-Chou”), who was three years old at the time.[1] The pieces are not intended to be played by children; rather they are meant to be evocative of childhood and some of the toys in Claude-Emma’s toy collection.

Jimbo’s Lullaby describes an elephant, Jumbo, who came from the French Sudan and lived briefly in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris around the time of Debussy’s birth. The misspelling “Jimbo” betrays the Parisian accent which often confuses the pronunciation of “um” and “un” with “im” and “in.” It is a beautiful lullaby with some dark moments and whole-tone passages in the middle.

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