The German Empire known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918. It was founded in 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation. On 1 January 1871, the new constitution came into force that changed the name of the federal state and introduced the title of emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern. Berlin remained its capital, Otto von Bismarck remained Chancellor, the head of government; as these events occurred, the Prussian-led North German Confederation and its southern German allies were still engaged in the Franco-Prussian War. The German Empire consisted of 26 states, most of them ruled by royal families, they included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, one imperial territory. Although Prussia was one of several kingdoms in the realm, it contained about two thirds of Germany's population and territory.
Prussian dominance was established constitutionally. After 1850, the states of Germany had become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron and railways. In 1871, Germany had a population of 41 million people. A rural collection of states in 1815, the now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire was an industrial and scientific giant, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country. By 1900, Germany was the largest economy in Europe, surpassing the United Kingdom, as well as the second-largest in the world, behind only the United States. From 1867 to 1878/9, Otto von Bismarck's tenure as the first and to this day longest reigning Chancellor was marked by relative liberalism, but it became more conservative afterwards. Broad reforms and the Kulturkampf marked his period in the office. Late in Bismarck's chancellorship and in spite of his personal opposition, Germany became involved in colonialism. Claiming much of the leftover territory, yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africa, it managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British and the French ones.
As a colonial state, it sometimes clashed with other European powers the British Empire. Germany became a great power, boasting a developing rail network, the world's strongest army, a fast-growing industrial base. In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britain's Royal Navy. After the removal of Otto von Bismarck by Wilhelm II in 1890, the Empire embarked on Weltpolitik – a bellicose new course that contributed to the outbreak of World War I. In addition, Bismarck's successors were incapable of maintaining their predecessor's complex and overlapping alliances which had kept Germany from being diplomatically isolated; this period was marked by various factors influencing the Emperor's decisions, which were perceived as contradictory or unpredictable by the public. In 1879, the German Empire consolidated the Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary, followed by the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882, it retained strong diplomatic ties to the Ottoman Empire. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, Italy left the alliance and the Ottoman Empire formally allied with Germany.
In the First World War, German plans to capture Paris in the autumn of 1914 failed. The war on the Western Front became a stalemate; the Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food. However, Imperial Germany had success on the Eastern Front; the German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917, contributed to bringing the United States into the war. The high command under Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff controlled the country, but in October after the failed offensive in spring 1918, the German armies were in retreat, allies Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, Bulgaria had surrendered; the Empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution with the abdications of its monarchs. This left a postwar federal republic and a devastated and unsatisfied populace, which led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism; the German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June 1815 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, after being alluded to in Article 6 of the 1814 Treaty of Paris.
German nationalism shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism, to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck's pragmatic Realpolitik. Bismarck sought to extend Hohenzollern hegemony throughout the German states, he envisioned a Prussian-dominated Germany. Three wars led to military successes and helped to persuade German people to do this: the Second Schleswig War against Denmark in 1864, the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, the Franco-Prussian War against France in 1870–71; the German Confederation ended as a result of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 between the constituent Confederation entities of the Austrian Empire and its allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia and its allies on the other. The war resulted in the partial replacement of the Confederation in 1867 by a North German Confederation, comprising the 22 states north of the Main; the patriotic fervour generated by the Franco-Prussian War overwhelmed the remaining opposition to a unified Germany in the four stat
Boston Symphony Orchestra
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Boston, Massachusetts. It is one of the five major American symphony orchestras referred to as the "Big Five". Founded in 1881, the BSO plays most of its concerts at Boston's Symphony Hall and in the summer performs at Tanglewood. Andris Nelsons is the current music director of the BSO. Bernard Haitink holds the title of conductor emeritus of the BSO, Seiji Ozawa has the title of BSO music director laureate; the BSO was founded in 1881 by Henry Lee Higginson. Its first conductor was George Henschel, a noted baritone as well as conductor, a close friend of Johannes Brahms. For the orchestra, Henschel devised innovative orchestral seating charts and sent them to Brahms, who replied approvingly and commented on the issues raised by horn and viola sections in a letter of mid-November 1881; the orchestra's four subsequent music directors were all trained in Austria, including the seminal and influential Hungarian-born conductor Arthur Nikisch, in accordance with the tastes of Higginson.
Wilhelm Gericke served twice, from 1884 to 1889 and again from 1898 to 1906. According to Joseph Horowitz's review of correspondence, Higginson considered 25 candidates to replace Gericke after receiving notice in 1905, he decided not to offer the position to Gustav Mahler, Fritz Steinbach, Willem Mengelberg but did not rule out the young Bruno Walter if nobody more senior were to accept. He offered the position to Hans Richter in February 1905, who declined, to Felix Mottl in November, engaged, to previous director Nikisch, who declined, he was conductor until 1908 and again from 1912 to 1918. The music director 1908–12 was Max Fiedler, he conducted the premiere of Ignacy Jan Paderewski's Symphony in B minor "Polonia" in 1909. During World War I, was arrested, shortly before a performance of the St. Matthew Passion in 1918, interned in a prison camp without trial or charge until the end of the war, when he was deported, he vowed never to return, conducted thereafter only in Europe. The BSO's next two titled conductors were French: Henri Rabaud, who took over from Muck for a season, Pierre Monteux from 1919 to 1924.
Monteux, because of a musician's strike, was able to replace 30 players, thus changing the orchestra's sound. The orchestra's reputation increased during the music directorship of Serge Koussevitzky. One million radio listeners tuned in when Koussevitzky and the orchestra were the first to perform a live concert for radio broadcast, which they did on NBC in 1926. Under Koussevitzky, the orchestra gave regular radio broadcasts and established its summer home at Tanglewood, where Koussevitzky founded the Berkshire Music Center, now the Tanglewood Music Center; those network radio broadcasts ran from 1926 through 1951, again from 1954 through 1956. The orchestra continues to make regular live radio broadcasts to the present day; the Boston Symphony has been involved with Boston's WGBH Radio as an outlet for its concerts. Koussevitzky commissioned many new pieces from prominent composers, including the Symphony No. 4 of Sergei Prokofiev, George Gershwin's Second Rhapsody and the Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky.
They gave the premiere of Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation at the instigation of Fritz Reiner and Joseph Szigeti. Koussevitzky started a tradition of commissions that the orchestra continued, including new works by Heitor Villa-Lobos and Henri Dutilleux for its 75th anniversary, Roger Sessions, Andrzej Panufnik, for the 100th, for the 125th works by Leon Kirchner, Elliott Carter, Peter Lieberson. Other BSO commissions have included John Corigliano's Symphony No. 2 for the 100th anniversary of Symphony Hall. Hans Werner Henze dedicated his Eighth Symphony to the orchestra. Although Koussevitsky recommended his protégé Leonard Bernstein to be his successor after he retired in 1949, the BSO awarded the position to the Alsatian maestro Charles Munch. Munch had made his Boston conducting debut in 1946, he led orchestra on its first overseas tour, produced their first stereo recording in February 1954 for RCA Victor. In 1952, Munch appointed the first woman to hold a principal chair in a major U.
S. orchestra, flutist Doriot Anthony Dwyer. Erich Leinsdorf became music director in 1962 and held the post until 1969. William Steinberg was music director from 1969 to 1972. Steinberg was "ill and ailing" according to composer/author Jan Swafford, "for four years he was indisposed much of the time." After Steinberg's retirement, according to BSO trustee John Thorndike the symphony's board spoke to Colin Davis and "investigated thoroughly" his appointment, but Davis's commitments to his young family did not allow his moving to Boston from England. As the search continued, Leonard Bernstein met with four board members and recommended Michael Tilson Thomas, Assistant Conductor and Associate Conductor under Steinberg, for the directorship, but the young conductor "did not have sufficient support among the BSO players," according to journalist Jeremy Eichler; the committee chose Seiji Ozawa, who became Music Director in 1973 and held the post until 2002, the longest tenure of any Boston Symphony conductor.
(Bernard Haitink served as principal g
The Geheime Staatspolizei, abbreviated Gestapo, was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe. The force was created by Hermann Göring in 1933 by combining the various security police agencies of Prussia into one organisation. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it passed to the administration of Schutzstaffel national leader Heinrich Himmler, who in 1936 was appointed Chief of German Police by Hitler; the Gestapo at this time became a national rather than a Prussian state agency as a suboffice of the Sicherheitspolizei. From 27 September 1939 forward, it was administered by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, it became known as Amt 4 of the RSHA and was considered a sister organisation to the Sicherheitsdienst. During World War II, the Gestapo played a key role in the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe; as part of the agreement in which Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, Hermann Göring—future commander of the Luftwaffe and the number two man in the Nazi Party—was named Interior Minister of Prussia.
This gave Göring command of the largest police force in Germany. Soon afterward, Göring detached the political and intelligence sections from the police and filled their ranks with Nazis. On 26 April 1933, Göring merged the two units as the Geheime Staatspolizei, abbreviated by a post office clerk for a franking stamp and became known as the "Gestapo", he wanted to name it the Secret Police Office, but the German initials, "GPA", were too similar to those of the Soviet Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravlenie or "State Political Directorate", known as the GPU. The first commander of the Gestapo was a protégé of Göring. Diels was appointed with the title of chief of Abteilung Ia of the Political Police of the Prussian Interior Ministry. Diels was best known as the primary interrogator of Marinus van der Lubbe after the Reichstag fire. In late 1933, the Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick wanted to integrate all the police forces of the German states under his control. Göring outflanked him by removing the Prussian political and intelligence departments from the state interior ministry.
Göring took over the Gestapo in 1934 and urged Hitler to extend the agency's authority throughout Germany. This represented a radical departure from German tradition, which held that law enforcement was a Land and local matter. In this, he ran into conflict with Heinrich Himmler, police chief of the second most powerful German state, Bavaria. Frick did not have the political power to take on Göring by himself. With Frick's support, Himmler took over the political police of state after state. Soon only Prussia was left. Concerned that Diels was not ruthless enough to counteract the power of the Sturmabteilung, Göring handed over control of the Gestapo to Himmler on 20 April 1934. On that date, Hitler appointed Himmler chief of all German police outside Prussia. Heydrich, named chief of the Gestapo by Himmler on 22 April 1934 continued as head of the SS Security Service. Himmler and Heydrich both began installing their own personnel in select positions, several of whom were directly from the Bavarian Political Police, such as Heinrich Müller, Franz Josef Huber and Josef Meisinger.
Many of the Gestapo employees in the newly established offices were young and educated in a wide-variety of academic fields and moreover, represented a new generation of National Socialist adherents, who were hard-working and prepared to carry the Nazi state forward through the persecution of their political opponents. By the spring of 1934 Himmler's SS controlled the SD and the Gestapo, but for him, there was still a problem, as technically the SS was subordinated to the SA, under the command of Ernst Röhm. Himmler wanted to free himself from Röhm, whom he viewed as an obstacle. Röhm's position was menacing as more than 4.5 million men fell under his command once the militias and veterans organisations were absorbed by the SA, a fact which fuelled Röhm's aspirations. Several Nazi chieftains, among them Göring, Joseph Goebbels, Rudolf Hess, Himmler, began a concerted campaign to convince Hitler to take action against Röhm. Both the SD and Gestapo released information concerning an imminent putsch by the SA.
Once persuaded, Hitler acted by setting Himmler's SS into action, who proceeded to murder over 100 of Hitler's identified antagonists. The Gestapo supplied the information which implicated the SA and enabled Himmler and Heydrich to emancipate themselves from the organisation. For the Gestapo, the next two years following the Night of the Long Knives, a term describing the putsch against Röhm and the SA, were characterised by "behind-the-scenes political wrangling over policing". On 17 June 1936, Hitler decreed the unification of all police forces in Germany and named Himmler as Chief of German Police; this action merged the police into the SS and removed it from Frick's control. Himmler was nominally subordinate to Frick as police chief, but as Reichsführer-SS, he answered only to Hitler; this move gave Himmler operational control over Germany's entire detective force. The Gestapo became a national state agency. Himmler gained authority over all of Germany's uniformed law enforcement agencies, which were amalgama
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Louis-Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer. His output includes orchestral works such as the Symphonie fantastique and Harold in Italy, choral pieces including the Requiem and L'enfance du Christ, his three operas Benvenuto Cellini, Les Troyens and Béatrice et Bénédict, works of hybrid genres such as the "dramatic symphony" Roméo et Juliette and the "dramatic legend" La damnation de Faust; the elder son of a provincial doctor, Berlioz was expected to follow his father into medicine, he attended a Parisian medical college before defying his family by taking up music as a profession. His independence of mind and refusal to follow traditional rules and formulas put him at odds with the conservative musical establishment of Paris, he moderated his style sufficiently to win France's premier music prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1830 but he learned little from the academics of the Paris Conservatoire. Opinion was divided for many years between those who thought him an original genius and those who viewed his music as lacking in form and coherence.
At age 22 Berlioz fell in love with the Irish Shakespearean actress Harriet Smithson, he pursued her obsessively until she accepted him seven years later. Their marriage was happy at first but foundered. Harriet inspired his first major success, the Symphonie fantastique, in which an idealised depiction of her occurs throughout. Berlioz completed the first of which, Benvenuto Cellini, was an outright failure; the second, the huge epic Les Troyens, was so large in scale that it was never staged in its entirety during his lifetime. His last opera, Béatrice et Bénédict – based on Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing – was a success at its premiere but did not enter the regular operatic repertoire. Meeting only occasional success in France as a composer, Berlioz turned to conducting, in which he gained an international reputation, he was regarded in Germany and Russia both as a composer and as a conductor. To supplement his earnings he wrote musical journalism throughout much of his career.
Berlioz died in Paris at the age of 65. Berlioz was born on 11 December 1803, the eldest child of Louis Berlioz, a physician, his wife, Marie-Antoinette Joséphine, née Marmion, his birthplace was the family home in the commune of La Côte-Saint-André in the département of Isère, in south-eastern France. His parents had five more children. Berlioz's father, a respected local figure, was a progressively-minded doctor credited as the first European to practise and write about acupuncture, he was an agnostic with a liberal outlook. After attending a local school when he was about ten, Berlioz was educated at home by his father, he recalled in his Mémoires that he enjoyed geography books about travel, to which his mind would sometimes wander when he was supposed to be studying Latin. He studied philosophy, – because his father planned a medical career for him – anatomy. Music did not feature prominently in the young Berlioz's education, his father gave him basic instruction on the flageolet, he took flute and guitar lessons with local teachers.
He never studied the piano, throughout his life played haltingly at best. He contended that this was an advantage because it "saved me from the tyranny of keyboard habits, so dangerous to thought, from the lure of conventional harmonies". At the age of twelve Berlioz fell in love for the first time; the object of his affections was Estelle Dubœuf. He was teased for what was seen as a boyish crush, but something of his early passion for Estelle endured all his life, he poured some of his unrequited feelings into his early attempts at composition. Trying to master harmony, he read Rameau's Traité de l'harmonie, which proved incomprehensible to a novice, but Charles-Simon Catel's simpler treatise on the subject made it clearer to him, he wrote several chamber works as a youth, subsequently destroying the manuscripts, but one theme that remained in his mind reappeared as the A-flat second subject of the overture to Les francs-juges. In March 1821 Berlioz passed the baccalauréat examination at the University of Grenoble – it is not certain whether at the first or second attempt – and in late September, aged seventeen, he moved to Paris.
At his father's insistence he enrolled at the School of Medicine of the University of Paris. He had to fight hard to overcome his revulsion at dissecting bodies, but in deference to his father's wishes, he forced himself to continue his medical studies; the horrors of the medical college were mitigated thanks to an ample allowance from his father, which enabled him to take full advantage of the cultural, musical, life of Paris. Music did not at that time enjoy the prestige of literature in French culture, but Paris nonetheless possessed two major opera houses and the country's most important music library. Berlioz took advantage of them all. Within days of arriving in Paris he went to the Opéra, although the piece on offer was by a minor composer, the staging and the magnificent orchestral playing enchanted him, he went to other works at the Opéra-Comique.
Achille-Claude Debussy was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, he was among the most influential composers of the late early 20th centuries. Born to a family of modest means and little cultural involvement, Debussy showed enough musical talent to be admitted at the age of ten to France's leading music college, the Conservatoire de Paris, he studied the piano, but found his vocation in innovative composition, despite the disapproval of the Conservatoire's conservative professors. He took many years to develop his mature style, was nearly 40 when he achieved international fame in 1902 with the only opera he completed, Pelléas et Mélisande. Debussy's orchestral works include Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune and Images, his music was to a considerable extent a reaction against the German musical tradition. He regarded the classical symphony as obsolete and sought an alternative in his "symphonic sketches", La mer, his piano works include two of Études. Throughout his career he wrote mélodies including his own.
He was influenced by the Symbolist poetic movement of the 19th century. A small number of works, including the early La Damoiselle élue and the late Le Martyre de saint Sébastien have important parts for chorus. In his final years, he focused on chamber music, completing three of six planned sonatas for different combinations of instruments. With early influences including Russian and far-eastern music, Debussy developed his own style of harmony and orchestral colouring, derided – and unsuccessfully resisted – by much of the musical establishment of the day, his works have influenced a wide range of composers including Béla Bartók, Olivier Messiaen, George Benjamin, the jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans. Debussy died from cancer at his home in Paris at the age of 55 after a composing career of a little more than 30 years. Debussy was born on 22 August 1862 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Seine-et-Oise, on the north-west fringes of Paris, he was the eldest of the five children of Manuel-Achille Debussy and his wife, Victorine, née Manoury.
Debussy senior ran his wife was a seamstress. The shop was unsuccessful, closed in 1864. Manuel worked in a printing factory. In 1870, to escape the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War, Debussy's pregnant mother took him and his sister Adéle to their paternal aunt's home in Cannes, where they remained until the following year. During his stay in Cannes, the seven-year-old Debussy had his first piano lessons. Manuel Debussy joined the forces of the Commune. Among his fellow Communard prisoners was a musician. Sivry's mother, Antoinette Mauté de Fleurville, gave piano lessons, at his instigation the young Debussy became one of her pupils. Debussy's talents soon became evident, in 1872, aged ten, he was admitted to the Conservatoire de Paris, where he remained a student for the next eleven years, he first joined the piano class of Antoine François Marmontel, studied solfège with Albert Lavignac and composition with Ernest Guiraud, harmony with Émile Durand, organ with César Franck. The course included music history and theory studies with Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray, but it is not certain that Debussy, apt to skip classes attended these.
At the Conservatoire, Debussy made good progress. Marmontel said of him "A charming child, a artistic temperament. Another teacher was less impressed: Emile Durand wrote in a report "Debussy would be an excellent pupil if he were less sketchy and less cavalier." A year he described Debussy as "desperately careless". In July 1874 Debussy received the award of deuxième accessit for his performance as soloist in the first movement of Chopin's Second Piano Concerto at the Conservatoire's annual competition, he was a fine pianist and an outstanding sight reader, who could have had a professional career had he wished, but he was only intermittently diligent in his studies. He advanced to premier accessit in 1875 and second prize in 1877, but failed at the competitions in 1878 and 1879; these failures made him ineligible to continue in the Conservatoire's piano classes, but he remained a student for harmony, solfège and composition. With Marmontel's help Debussy secured a summer vacation job in 1879 as resident pianist at the Château de Chenonceau, where he acquired a taste for luxury, to remain with him all his life.
His first compositions date from this period, two settings of poems by Alfred de Musset: "Ballade à la lune" and "Madrid, princesse des Espagnes". The following year he secured a job as pianist in the household of Nadezhda von Meck, the patroness of Tchaikovsky, he travelled with her family for the summers of 1880 to 1882, staying at various places in France and Italy, as well as at her home in Moscow. He composed his Piano Trio in G major for von Meck's ensemble, made a transcription for piano duet of three dances from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. At the end of 1880 Debussy, while continuing in his studies at the Conservatoire, was engaged as accompanist for Marie Moreau-Sainti's singing class. Among the members of th