Sunken Cathedral Legend Parallels the Story of Atlantis

Sunken Cathedral Legend Parallels the Story of Atlantis Some stories and legends just refuse to go away. One is the story of the Sunken Cathedral. The other is the story of Atlantis. I find the following parallel you are about to read is quite remarkable: Fans of both the Sunken Cathedral and  Atlantis keep waiting for either or perhaps both  to rise from the depths of the Atlantic. The sunken cathedral inspired many composers and artists. Monet made the painting below of the Rouen Catherdral. It could well have inspired Claude Debussy to compose his prelude entitled  La Cathedrale engloutie.

FIRST, THE SUNKEN CATHEDRAL

 Sunken Cathedral image painted by Monet
Here is a strong parallel to the Atlantis story is the Sunken Cathedral

The cathedral of Ys rests on the mythical city-island of Ys, located by Brittany in France (also spelled Keris).  It daily rises from the ocean. Debussy’s music conveys the sounds that issue forth from the cathedral including bells chiming, priests chanting and its full-sized organ. The opening suggests church bells ringing in the distance and the clerics singing medieval chant. The middle section imitates the action of waves crashing on the cathedral. The story goes that the island was sunk by the Devil due to the rampant impiety on the island.  For this expression in music, Debussy includes a featured place for the interval of the augmented fourth. This interval was called by the church the diabolis in music (the devil in music).

Atlantis also Fell Out of Favor with the Dieties

Atlantis (Ancient GreekἈτλαντὶς νῆσος, “island of Atlas“) is a fictional island mentioned within an allegory on the hubris of nations in Plato‘s works Timaeus and Critias.  It represents the antagonist naval power that besieges “Ancient Athens”. Athens was the pseudo-historic embodiment of Plato’s ideal state (see The Republic). In the story, Athens repels the Atlantean attack unlike any other nation of the (western) known world,[1]  It gives testament to the superiority of Plato’s concept of a state.[2][3] The story concludes with Atlantis falling out of favor with the deities and submerging into the Atlantic Ocean.

Image result for Picture of Claude Monet
Painting of Claude Monet by Pierre Auguste Renoir, ‘Portrait of Claude Monet’, Musée d’Orsay, Paris
© RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Jean-Gilles Berizzi
The Sunken Catherdral Archives – DSO Works  (I discuss my upcoming recording of  one hour of the music of Claude Debussyon this internal link).

Finally come to the Gasparilla Inn and I will play the Debussy Prelude for you. I play there 6 nights weekly on the isle of Boca Grande.

 

 

Debussy’s La Cathedrale engloutie

Debussy’s La Cathedrale engloutie: How my Project Began

Debussy’s La Cathedrale engloutie. For over 20 years my wife, Sharon,  has been trying to get me to learn this esoteric work for the piano by Claude Debussy. Though it’s beautiful, haunting, and exotic; at times, I can be contrary and stubborn: I didn’t want to take the time required to master it. Then the following happened: (1) My oldest son insisted that I should record one hour of Claude Debussy to be available on our ( being Sharon and myself) website. He is building it. (2) My teacher, Mischa Kottler, said on his last visit to us, I should play a concert of French music, especially Debussy in order to “show people what I can do.” (3) My wife is still insisting that I learn Debussy’s La Cathedrale engloutie. And, I must admit, now that I am working on it, has been the thrill of my life

 

 

Related image
Debussy may have also been inspired by Monet’s paintings on the Rouen Cathedral. Monet painted a multitude of paintings of this cathedral at different times of the day.

 

THE STORY OF THE SUNKEN CATHEDRAL

The cathedral of Ys rests on the mythical city-island of Ys, located by Brittany in France (also spelled Keris).  It daily rises from the ocean. Debussy’s music conveys the sounds that issue forth from the cathedral including bells chiming, priests chanting and its full-sized organ. The opening suggests church bells ringing in the distance and the clerics singing medieval chant. The middle section imitates the action of waves crashing on the cathedral. The story goes that the island was sunk by the Devil due to the rampant impiety on the island.  For this expression in music, Debussy includes a featured place for the interval of the augmented fourth. This interval was called by the church the diabolis in music (the devil in music).

MY SCHEDULED RECORDING SESSION

Now, I hope you can see why I’m looking forward to recording one hour of Debussy’s music; and especially La Catherale engloutie. The recording  session is scheduled for November 11 at a performing arts center in Sarasota.  Of course, afterwards, there are still a number of necessary steps. I keep telling myself to be patient by reciting the motto: Rome wasn’t built in a day.