This symposium is dedicated to these two great composers. In a series of lectures by international specialists from the academic world, their influences, similarities and differences will be traced. At the heart of this day-long event will be the afternoon concert 'Debussy & the fin de siècle' with poetic chamber music by Claude Debussy and Eugène Ysaÿe and lovely lieder by Ernest Chausson to text by Maurice Maeterlinck.

Anxiety of influence, that's what Harold Bloom called the fear that artists have of being influenced by a monumental model. This was a major concern for Claude Debussy. He absolutely wanted to get away from the spirit of 'old Klingsor', as he called Wagner. He had to distance himself from the idol of his youth in order to find his own voice. Nevertheless, Pelléas et Mélisande comes closer to the spirit of Wagner's Tristan and Parsifal than all other Wagner epigones combined. The composition was the result of a process of both appropriation and abandonment. From Parsifal to Pelléas is a rich slice of music history that exhaustively explores questions of music, drama, expression and symbolism.

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