Le vent dans la plaine

(The Wind on the Plain)

by Claude Debussy – arranged for wind orchestra by Robert Lennon

This, the third in Debussy’s first book of piano preludes, evokes a windswept landscape partly by way of rapid ostinato figures which, at first sight, would seem to present insurmountable challenges for wind players. However, in this arrangement, they are presented in the form of brief dovetailing woodwind figures that make them quite straightforward to perform.   

As always, my intention is to realise as closely as possible, what Debussy’s intentions would have been had he scored the piece for wind. This accounts for the choice of cor anglais to carry a good deal of the melodic material – which is typical of Debussy’s orchestral music. That being said, since this instrument is not universally available among wind orchestras, cues for other instruments are provided in the final published version.

Perhaps the middle part of the piece suggests that there is a mild storm brewing, but all in all, it creates the impression of nothing more than a fleeting, benevolent whirlwind!

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