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Decoding Debussy with Pierre-Laurent Aimard / NPR

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Claude Debussy ignored the old rules about how to write music and in the process created a brave new world of sonic possibilities. To mark the Debussy sesquicentennial, French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard stopped by to spin a few of his favorite Debussy recordings. The 54-year-old pianist knows a few things about adventurous music himself. At age 19, Pierre Boulez chose him as the first solo pianist in the Ensemble Intercontemporain, a group devoted to avant-garde music. A year later, Aimard performed the demanding solo part in Olivier Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. These days, his repertoire ranges widely from contemporary music back to J.S. Bach. LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION