The Suite bergamasque (French pronunciation: [bɛʁɡamask]) is one of the most famous pianosuites by Claude Debussy. Debussy commenced the suite in 1890 at age 28, but he did not finish or publish it until 1905.
The Suite bergamasque was first composed by Debussy around 1890, but was significantly revised just before its publication in 1905. It seems that by the time a publisher came to Debussy in order to cash in on his fame and have these pieces published, Debussy loathed the earlier piano style in which these pieces were written. While it is not known how much of the Suite was written in 1890 and how much was written in 1905, it is clear that Debussy changed the names of at least two of the pieces. “Passepied” was called “Pavane”, and “Clair de lune” was originally titled “Promenade Sentimentale.” These names also come fromPaul Verlaine‘s poems.
The Suite bergamasque consists of four movements:
- “Clair de lune”
The suite has been orchestrated by many composers, including André Caplet, Leopold Stokowski, and Lucien Cailliet. Dimitri Tiomkin arranged “Clair de lune” for organ for his musical score for Warner Brothers’ 1956 film Giant.