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Nijinsky as the Faun
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Claude Debussy

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Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Premiered in Paris in December of 1894, Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun was inspired by L'Apres-midi d'un Faune, a poem by French poet Stéphane Mallarmé. In order to reflect the veiled nature of Mallarmé's poem, Debussy used many novel musical ideas which barely retain the musical practices of his day. These musical choices lead many, including Pierre Boulez, to consider the work to be the first piece of Modern music. Debussy would later use the work as the basis for a ballet which was choreographed and performed by renowned dancer Vaslav Nijinsky.