La plus que lente - Claude Debussy

"La plus que lente" is a captivating solo piano piece crafted by the renowned French composer, Claude Debussy. Filled with suffused melodies and rhythmic vitality, this composition offers an intriguing glimpse into Debussy's dynamic musical palette. With its complex harmonic understanding and aesthetic sensitivity, "La plus que lente" remains a prime exemplar of Debussy's stellar musical craftsmanship.

The Making of "La plus que lente"

Established in 1910, "La plus que lente" ('The slower than slow') was composed during Debussy's exploratory phase where he played around with different tempos and musical expressions. The title is a subtle hint at the piece's unhurried nature. Its evocative melody and rhythmic intensity owe much to the influences of the day, particularly the Parisian music scene.

Inspired by the popular waltz dances of his era, Debussy transcended traditional boundaries and created his own unique musical language with this piece. It truly encapsulates his creative genius and innovative spirit, offering a taste of the daring musicality that later compositions would further develop.

Analyzing "La plus que lente"

"La plus que lente" deftly incorporates elements of the whole-tone scale, an aspect that lends to its distinctive tonal color and harmonic ambiguity. The piece fluctuates between various key changes, bearing notable hallmarks of Debussy's richly nuanced style.

Major index of this piece’s musical analysis are its recurring motifs and the interplay of rhythm and dynamics. The harmonies are intricate and dream like, while the lilting rhythm draws the listener in with its mesmerizing ebb and flow. Debussy's use of syncopation and varying tonalities serve to intensify the melody’s nostalgic allure.

The Enduring Popularity of "La plus que lente"

The enduring popularity of "La plus que lente" is testament to its universal appeal and timeless beauty. Its atmospheric elegance and melodious charm resonate with listeners worldwide. Deeply emotive, the wistful melody tugs at the heartstrings, inviting listeners to lose themselves in its lyrical beauty.

"La plus que lente" transcends the boundaries of classical music and is equally appreciated by novices and connoisseurs alike. Its accessible nature, coupled with its romantic undertones and complex harmonic structure, add to its widespread appeal.


When reminiscing about "La plus que lente", one has to admire the sheer ingenuity of Debussy. His genius effectively stretched the confines of the traditional waltz form creating a composition that is not only unique, but also substantially contributes to the repertoire of classical music.

With its evocative melody, atmospheric harmonies, and emotive resonance, "La plus que lente" continues to captivate audiences. Indeed, this piece remains a shining testament to Debussy's musical brilliance and continues to carry his legacy into the 21st century.

Publication date: 16. 11. 2023