In Situ Project - City of Bariloche - Argentina
La cathérdrale engloutie is a piece by Claude Debussy included in his first book of piano preludes from 1910. Its name refers to the Breton legend of the immersed city of Ys with its cathedral appearing once a day to remind the people of the city’s ancient and now lost glory.
25 years ago I tried for the first time to read the score of the piece and since then it became an obsession that lasts until today. During this time there were occasions in which I believed I had captured the magnificent and melancholic character of the piece, but in general my feeling about it was more related to disappointment: the music escaped from me as I wanted to get deeper into the piece. Not bad, if I think of the cathedral and its skill to appear and disappear under the waters.
Debussy included in the score some instructions to guide the player. At the end of the piece, the main theme that in the beginning of the piece have to be played Fortissimo, reappears like an echo of the phrase heard before. Not so long ago I realized the strong relation that exists between this instruction and certain recurrences of my imagination.
Jorge Macchi, Bariloche, November 2012