Celebrating Claude Debussy's 151st birthday through unusual performances of Syrinx

There was much ado over Google’s “celebrating” Claude Debussy’s 151st birthday through a “Claire de Lune” doodle.

It turns out that I do totally love this piece of music, but it may well be true that many people do not know much about a lot of the other great music he wrote.


Anyway, I decided to celebrate the birthday in my own way. I chose Debussy’s famous work for solo flute, Syrinx, as a starting point.

Two years ago, I already linked to a fine performance of it on flute by Emmannuel Pahud. There are many other good performances on flute, but inspired by Emily O’Brien’s performance that I attended last year of Syrinx on tenor recorder, I looked for other non-flute performances of this music.

I found two intriguing ones to share.

Tenor recorder

One is another tenor recorder performance, by Kenjiro Hibi. This Japanese musician made it seem as though it were traditional Japanese shakuhachi music!


Then I found this amazing performance on trumpet, by Alison Balsom.

I found this through someone else’s blog post on Syrinx for Debussy’s birthday!

More on Syrinx

Here is some interesting discussion of interpretation and editions.

At some point, of course, I must work on this piece and play it on flute. But not yet.


I have a fascination with music played in a context other than the original, such as on a different instrument. It was fun discovering some performances of Debussy’s Syrinx on recorder and trumpet.

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