syrinx by claude debussy, performed by danielle boudrot, flute
The story of Syrinx ~
“There was a certain nymph, Mercury said, whose name was Syrinx, — much beloved by the satyrs and spirits of the wood. She would have none of them, but was a faithful worshiper of Diana and followed the chase. Pan, meeting her one day, wooed her with many compliments, likening her to Diana of the silver bow. Without stopping to hear him she ran away. But on the bank of the river he overtook her. She called for help on her friends, the water-nymphs. They heard and consented. Pan threw his arms around what he supposed to be the form of the nymph and found he embraced only a tuft of reeds. As he breathed a sigh, the air sounded through the reeds and produced a plaintive meoldy. Whereupon the god, charmed with the novelty and with the sweetness of the music, said, ‘Thus, then, at least you shall be mine.’ Taking some of the reeds of unequal lengths and placing them together, side by side, he made an instrument and called it Syrinx in honor of the nymph.”
Claude Debussy composed “Syrinx” (La Flute De Pan) based on Pan’s sadness over losing his love. Written in 1913, “Syrinx” was the first unaccompanied flute solo of the 20th century and was dedicated to French flutist Louis Fleury. This brief atmospheric sketch is rich with programmatic references. See if you can hear the reeds blowing in the wind, leaves falling, or Pan’s heartbroken sighs of sorrow.