Debussy’s “Les collines d’Anacapri”: A Sunny Mediterranean Postcard

Claude Debussy’s twenty four Préludes for solo piano, composed between 1909 and 1913, are atmospheric snapshots. Each opens up an enticing new vista which draws us in with the immediacy and sensuality of the most vivid impressionistic painting. 

Les collines d’Anacapri (“The Hills of Anacapri”), the fifth prelude from Book 1, was inspired by the Mediterranean scenery surrounding the town of Anacapri on the island of Capri. Debussy visited this location in the Gulf of Naples frequently. Set in sunny B major, the piece begins with bright splashes of color. The sounds of tolling bells mix with fragments of a vivacious tarantella. Quotes of two Italian songs emerge. One is a frivolous popular tune, while the other is a sultry love song. Following a moment of serene introspection, the prelude ends in a brilliant flash, marked lumineux. 


  • Debussy: Préludes / Book 1, L.117 – 5. Les collines d’Anacapri, Krystian Zimerman Amazon 

Featured Image: “Santa Maria a Cetrella, Anacapri” (c. 1892), William Stanley Haseltine

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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