Children's Corner

Composer: Debussy Claude

Instruments: Piano

Tags: Suite


Download free scores:

Selections. 1. Doctor gradus ad parnassum PDF 0 MBSelections. 2. Jimbo's Lullaby PDF 0 MBSelections. 5. The Little Shepherd PDF 0 MBSelections. 6. Golliwog's Cake-walk PDF 0 MB
Complete. Complete Score (scan) PDF 4 MBComplete. Complete Score (filter) PDF 2 MB
Complete. Complete Score PDF 1 MBComplete. Complete Score PDF 1 MB
Complete. Complete Score (scan) PDF 3 MBComplete. Complete Score (filter) PDF 3 MB
Selections. 5. The Little Shepherd PDF 0 MBSelections. 6. Golliwogg’s Cake-walk PDF 0 MB
Selections. 3. Serenade for the Doll (scan) PDF 0 MBSelections. 3. Serenade for the Doll (filter) PDF 0 MB
Complete. Complete Score PDF 3 MB
Complete. Complete Score PDF 16 MB



Golliwogg's Cake-walk (No.6). Cello(4) (Malte Meyn)Complete. Orchestra (André Caplet)The Little Shepherd (No.5). Piano (Larocque, Jacques)Complete. Bassoon(2) + Clarinet(2) + French horn(2) (Patterson, Robert G.)Golliwogg's Cake-walk (No.6). Piano (Larocque, Jacques)Golliwogg's Cake-walk (No.6). Saxophone(4) (Larocque, Jacques)The Little Shepherd (No.5). Saxophone(4) (Larocque, Jacques)The Little Shepherd (No.5). Bassoon + Clarinet + Flute + Harp + French horn + Oboe (Shin-Itchiro Yokoyama)The Little Shepherd (No.5). Flute + Piano + Violin (Jacques Durand)Serenade for the Doll (No.3). Piano + Violin (Choisnel, Gaston)Selections. Orchestra (Geng, Shiqi)Complete. Clarinet(2) + Contrabassoon + French horn(2) + Oboe(2) (John Clarke Whitfield)Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum (No.1). Flute (Marcoux, Jean-François)Golliwogg's Cake-walk (No.6). Bassoon + Clarinet + Flute + French horn + Oboe (Michael V. Hindrichs)The Little Shepherd (No.5). Bassoon + Clarinet + Flute (Roe William Goodman)Golliwogg's Cake-walk (No.6). Recorder(5) (Jaap Wiebes)The Little Shepherd (No.5). Bassoon + Clarinet + Oboe (Roe William Goodman)Golliwogg's Cake-walk (No.6). Piano + Violin (Choisnel, Gaston)Golliwogg's Cake-walk (No.6). Flugelhorn(2) + Trombone(4) + Trumpet(2) + Tuba + French horn (Rondeau, Michel)Selections. Recorder(11) (David Edward Kemp)Golliwogg's Cake-walk (No.6). Bass accordion + Accordion(3) (De Bra, Paul)
Children's Corner, L. 113, is a six-movement suite for solo piano by Claude Debussy. It was published by Durand in 1908, and was first performed by Harold Bauer in Paris on 18 December that year. In 1911, an orchestration by André Caplet was premiered and subsequently published.
Debussy composed Children's Corner between 1906 and 1908. He dedicated the suite to his daughter, Claude-Emma (known as "Chou-Chou"), who was born on 30 October 1905 in Paris. She is described as a lively and friendly child who was adored by her father. She was three years old when he dedicated the suite to her in 1908. The dedication reads: "A ma chère petite Chouchou, avec les tendres excuses de son Père pour ce qui va suivre. C. D." (To my dear little Chouchou, with tender apologies from her father for what follows).
The suite was published by Durand in 1908, and was given its world première in Paris by Harold Bauer on 18 December that year. In 1911, an orchestration of the work by Debussy's friend André Caplet received its premiere, and was subsequently published.
The suite is in six movements, each with an English-language title. This choice of language is most likely Debussy's nod towards Chou-Chou's English governess. The pieces are:
A typical performance of the suite lasts roughly 15 minutes.
The title of the first movement alludes to sets of piano exercises of that name (Gradus ad Parnassum translates as "Steps to Parnassus"), several of which had been published in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including one by the prolific publisher of piano exercises Carl Czerny. This piece is a rather ingenious study in finger independence with a twentieth century vocabulary. In the middle, the pianist slows down and tries the material in other keys for exercise. Debussy's "Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum" is of intermediate difficulty and requires experienced fingers. Debussy told his publisher that the movement should be played "very early in the morning".
This work describes an elephant, Jumbo, who came from the French Sudan and lived briefly in the Jardin des plantes in Paris around the time of Debussy's birth. The misspelling "Jimbo" betrays the Parisian accent which often confuses the pronunciation of "um" and "un" with "im" and "in". It is a beautiful lullaby with some dark moments and whole-tone passages in the middle.
This piece, in triple meter, is marked Allegretto ma non troppo (moderately fast, but not too fast). It is a description of a porcelain doll and features the Chinese pentatonic scale throughout. Debussy notes that the entire piece should be played with the soft pedal.
Technically, this piece is quite difficult as it requires precise semi-detached playing in both hands with the melody between them. Again, there are darker moments in the bass near the middle.
"The Little Shepherd" depicts a shepherd with his flute. There are three solos and three commentaries following them. The first solo has a breath mark at the end. This piece has different modes in it and uses dissonances which resolve into tonality.
At the time of its composition, Golliwoggs were in fashion, due partly to the popularity at that time of the novels of Florence Kate Upton ("golliwog" is a later usage). They were stuffed black dolls with red pants, red bow ties and wild hair, somewhat reminiscent of the blackface minstrels of the time. The cakewalk was a dance or a strut, and the dancer with the most elaborate steps won a cake ("took the cake"). The piece is a ragtime with its syncopations and banjo-like effects. The dynamic range is quite large and very effective.
During the piece, Debussy alludes satirically to Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde. The opening bars turn the famous half-diminished Tristan chord into a jaunty, syncopated arpeggio, while the middle 'B' section of this dance is interrupted on several occasions by the love-death leitmotif, marked avec une grande émotion (with great feeling). Each quotation is followed by banjo imitations.
Debussy composed one more piece in the same style a year later, "The Little Nigar" as part of a piano method.