Girl with the Flaxen Hair, The (Beyrent)

From Wind Repertory Project
Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy (trans. John Beyrent)

Subtitle: La fille cheveux de lin. Prelude No. 8, Book 1

General Info

Year: 1910 / 2013
Duration: c. 2:15
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Piano
Publisher: Brassworks 4
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $17.00


Full Score
Horn in F I-II-III-IV-V


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

La fille aux cheveux de lin is the original French title for this piano prelude, written in 1910 and published as one of a set of 12.

- Program Note from publisher

One of the most frequently excerpted preludes, La fille aux cheveux de lin (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair) is a return to the simple harmonies found in earlier works of Debussy. The work comes from the first of two books of piano preludes. Inspired by the poem of the same title by Leconte de Lisle from the collection Poèmes Antiques: Chansons Ecossaises, it is calm and lyrical, a stark contrast to mighty winds of the previous prelude in the set. The image is that of a young girl simply and softly singing of her daydreams, the opening motif reminiscent of the famous spinning wheel of the Gretchen tradition of the romantic period, recalling Schubert’s similar characterization of the young girl.

The harmony presents an interesting combination of Impressionist techniques: the melody is pentatonic; however, it is harmonized with diatonic chords. This very cleverly masks the oriental flavor of the pentatonic scale, and when combined with modal cadences, gives the prelude a folk-song like presence.

- Program Note from Michigan State University Wind Symphony concert program, 27 October 2016


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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  • Debussy, C.; Beyrent. J. (2013). The girl with the Flaxen Hair = (La fille aux cheveux de lin) : Prelude No. 8, Book 1 [score]. Brassworks 4: [Farmington, N.M.].
  • La fille aux cheveux de lin, Wikipedia Accessed 6 August 2018