Debussy's music, some of the greatest composed in the twentieth century, also ranks among the century's most challenging. His influence on other composers was enormous: Bartok, Stravinsky, Webern, Boulez, and Messiaen all freely acknowledge their debt to their groundbreaking predecessor. Author Victor Lederer explores the extraordinary sophistication and refinement of Debussy's music, pointing out subtleties that otherwise could take years of careful listening to fully appreciate. He shows how the composer developed his own unmistakable sound from a variety of musical inspirations, including folk and medieval music, the musical languages of Spain and Java, the seventeenth-century French clavecinistes, and his musical ancestor and idol, Chopin. Lederer also illustrates how Debussy's exquisite music, with its shimmering tonalities and bold harmonies, parallels the impressionist movement in painting. An accompanying full0-length CD includes selections from the maestro's masterworks.