Debussy Prélude à  l'après-midi d'un faune

Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, known in English as Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, is a symphonic poem for orchestra by Claude Debussy, approximately 10 minutes in duration. It was first performed in Paris on December 22, 1894, conducted by Gustave Doret.

Listening Guide: Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

The Philharmonia Orchestra's Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Esa-Pekka Salonen, talks about Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune and its significance for the end of the Romantic Era.

To hear more about this piece, why not download our iPad app, 'The Orchestra'? Visit for more information.

The composition was inspired by the poem L'après-midi d'un faune by Stéphane Mallarmé, and later formed the basis for the ballet Afternoon of a Faun, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky. It is one of Debussy's most famous works and is considered a turning point in the history of music; composer-conductor Pierre Boulez even dates the awakening of modern music from this score, observing that "the flute of the faun brought new breath to the art of music." It is a work that barely grasps onto tonality and harmonic function.

Source: Wikipedia

More pieces by Debussy

Forthcoming Concerts featuring Debussy