La fille aux cheveux de lin

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La fille aux cheveux de lin is a musical composition by French composer Claude Debussy. It is the eighth of the composer's Préludes, Book I (1909-1910). The title is in French and translates roughly to "The Girl with the Flaxen Hair". The piece is 39 bars long and lasts about two and a half minutes. It is one of the most recorded of Debussy's pieces, both in its original version and various arrangements. It is in the key of G major.

Pianist Walter Morse Rummel (1887-1953) gave the premiere of La Fille aux cheveux de lin on 26 July 1910 at the Casino, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.[1]

There is also an earlier unpublished song, written by Debussy circa 1882, of the same title. The piece is dedicated to (auburn-haired) singer Marie Blanche Vasnier for whom the much younger Debussy wished to create songs inspired by her voice. Its text is the poem La fille aux cheveux de lin No. 4 of the Chansons écossaises (Scottish songs) from Charles Leconte de Lisle's Poemes antiques (Ancient poems), published by Alphonse Lemerre in Paris, 1874. Charles-Marie-René Leconte de Lisle (1818-1894) led the Parnassian school of poets.


  1. ^ see TIMBRELL , CHARLES. ( 1992) CLAUDE DEBUSSY AND WALTER RUMMEL: CHRONICLE OF A FRIENDSHIP, WITH NEW CORRESPONDENCE Music and Letters 73 ( 3) , 399- 406, who notes "The printed programme of this public concert is on file at the Stockbridge Library Association's Historical Room".