Colette Maze jouant Debussy au piano

Colette Maze


Mother of the director Fabrice Maze, Colette is the performer on the two CD audio series “Colette Maze plays Debussy” (books 1 and 2 of the Preludes) published by Seven Zik. She started playing piano at age 5, faithfully reproducing the refrains played on a piano by the children in the apartment above her home on her own keyboard. Born into a family from the Parisian haute bourgeoisie, her father was an industrialist and her mother devoted herself to her animals more than to her daughter’s education. “Only my grandmother, Claire Saulnier, played the piano. So I was raised by nannies and I had very bad piano teachers. Fortunately, at the age of 15 I went to the Ecole Normale and Alfred Cortot put me in Jeanne Blancard’s class. I was overwhelmed by the quality of these remarkable and prestigious educators: Nadia Boulanger for my music history teacher and Alfred Cortot for performance classes! He told us: “Music has to stoke the fire of the spirit and not just make sparks from the keyboard.”

  • Where does this passion from Debussy come from ?

As a child, I was enchanted by playing the Children's Corner. It matched up with my deepest feelings and I have played Debussy throughout my life. Debussy combines sensuality and spirituality and he transcends emotion towards meditation. He said: “Music is not an exact reproduction of nature but rather it is a mysterious agreement between nature and our imagination.” Cortot stressed that originality, and the search for the colour and timbre to give each voice. All this was unknown in the art of piano before Debussy. Debussy's Preludes, for example, cannot be likened to a classical form; they all have an improvisational character. Let me tell you a revealing story about that spirit. When Debussy had just died, Cortot had to perform the 24 preludes in concert. To reassure himself, he decided to play them to the composer's wife. After the performance, she fell weeping into the arms of the pianist, literally overcome, unable to find the words to express her emotion and gratitude. That's when Cortot, to get out of this situation which embarrassed him, turned to Chouchou, Debussy's daughter, who was still a child, and asked: “So your father played like that?” After a moment of reflection, Chouchou replied simply: “No. HE LISTENED more.” So now, let's say that I’ve learned to listen more over the years...

  • And a final last word ?

I really love this quote from Debussy: “Do not listen to advice from anyone, but rather to the wind which passes and tells us the story of the world.”


Her CD published by Seven Zik

Colette Maze plays Debussy

- Cahier 1 des préludes (12 titres)
Production : Seven Doc & Fabrice Maze

- Cahier 2 des préludes (12 titres)
Production : Seven Doc & Fabrice Maze


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