Paul Gilson (1865–1942) La Mer
Symphonic Scetches [orch] duration: 35' Text: Karl Woermann
2(picc).2.cor ang.2.2. – 188.8.131.52. – perc – hp.
Many composers were deeply impressed by the sea and its nature. One of them was the Belgian composer Paul Gilson, who with a four-movement symphony “painted” four sea pictures based on a poem by Eddy Levi.
In program-music style using all musical means, he portrays the beauty, sounds, noises, and even the horror of the sea. So, with Gilson’s work, the listener spends a day at the sea, from sunrise, with the sailors’ songs and dances, to dusk, crowned by a stormy finale. Gilson’s “symphonic sketches” were enthusiastically received at the time, and it is very likely that Debussy also got to hear them.