Considering the piano music of Debussy (1862-1918), "L'isle joyeuse" (the isle of joy) is in the larger scale, needing virtuosity to perform. It was composed in 1904, between "Estampes" (1903) and "Images" (1905-07). While Debussy's style is often more subdued, this piece is joyous and colorful with a grandiose climax.
Debussy was inspired by "The Embarkation for Cythera" of Watteau, French Rococo painter of the 18th century, and so titled the piece. The island of Cythera had a shrine of Aphrodite (Venus) that lovers eagerly visited in ancient days. In fact, Watteau's picture is considered to depict the debarkation from Cythera, because the lovers are on the island, ready to leave.
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