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Debussy's Legacy and the Construction of Reputation$
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Marianne Wheeldon

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190631222

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190631222.001.0001

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Reputational Entrepreneurs

Reputational Entrepreneurs

(p.29) 2 Reputational Entrepreneurs
Debussy's Legacy and the Construction of Reputation

Marianne Wheeldon

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers four music critics and three performers—Emile Vuillermoz, Charles Koechlin, Louis Laloy, Léon Vallas, D. E. Inghelbrecht, Marguerite Long, and Alfred Cortot—whose writings in the postwar years helped to combat the negative press that surrounded Debussy after his death. Viewing these personalities through the lens of the “reputational entrepreneur” sheds light not only on what they wrote on behalf of Debussy, but also on how and why they wrote what they did. By drawing on multiple sources, this chapter provides an interpretation of their motivations that makes it possible to read between the lines of the narratives they constructed around the figure of Debussy. Indeed, the manner in which they defended and perpetuated Debussy’s reputation was in large part a result of how they renegotiated their own professional positions in the unsettled musical environment of postwar Paris.

Keywords:   Claude Debussy, reputational entrepreneur, music criticism, Emile Vuillermoz, Charles Koechlin, Louis Laloy, Léon Vallas, D. E. Inghelbrecht, Marguerite Long, Alfred Cortot

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