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.
More pieces by Debussy
- La damoiselle élue