Room 11

Now we will introduce you to a French composer of the early 20th century. His name was Claude Debussy. Don't try to pronounce his last name correctly unless you've studied French. The approximation that is close enough is deb-you-SEE. He was perhaps the greatest composer of the school known as Impressionism.

As you might expect by the titles of his works, the music gives you impressions of non-musical things. He composed pieces with names like Fireworks, The Girl With the Flaxen Hair, The Gate of Wine, The Engulfed Cathedral, The Snow is Dancing, and Reflections In the Water.

His most famous work for piano is called Moonlight (Clair de lune). To prepare yourself for the music, imagine this scenario, then click on the link and close your eyes. Imagine it's a cool night and there's a gentle breeze. There might be a few clouds in the sky along with the full moon. You're alone. Perhaps you miss someone. A woman. a man, your favorite cat? It doesn't matter. Now listen to the music and see the moonlight in your mind. Feel the sense of romance and longing in the sound. Listen!

The performer at the piano was a wonderful Southern Calfornia pianist, Mona Golabek. Her performance is from a recording where she performs and speaks. The disc is an audio version of her book, The Children of Willesden Lane. The book tells a dramatic story of her mother's escape from Nazi-occupied Vienna as a child. Mona's mother Lisa was put on the Kindertransport, which saved hundreds of children from certain death, by moving them to England. You can find her disc at Amazon or at

Mona is also the voice of The Romantic Hours, the syndicated radio program. To visit her website, click here.

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