Grade 8

Debussy - Arabesque No. 2 (from Deux arabesques, L. 66)

Debussy’s two arabesques are from his early period, before he became influenced by Impressionism. Arabesque No. 2 requires a certain deftness (lightness) of touch to bring out the balletic qualities in the piece. The pedalling is too subtle for the player to notate in the score (Debussy famously didn’t even try), calling for light touches here and there to add colour and resonance. Certain spots (bars 42 and 82, for example) call for longer pedals to sustain the harmony, the rests are not to be taken literally here but instead indicate to play the surrounding notes lightly.

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Resources & links

  • This piece is available for digital download individually from the ABRSM shop here or in print as part of the Piano Exam Pieces 2023 & 2024 Grade 8 publication here.
  • Click here to view open domain editions for this work.

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