Although it was only published in 1905, Debussy made it clear that this was an early work by writing the date of composition “1890” on the proofs. He had sold the manuscript, now lost, to the publisher Choudens in 1890 without it actually being published. Yet the delayed publication date shows that Debussy was still very convinced of the value of the work. The composition has four movements and became popular in particular on account of the slow movement Clair de lune
, which seems to evoke the atmosphere of a moonlit night with its particular aura. Countless transcriptions for various groups of instruments demonstrate the unbroken popularity of the piece, but also of the complete suite.