Clair de lune, (French: Moonlight) the third segment of the Bergamo Suite, a four-movement composition for piano by the French composer Claude Debussy, begun in 1890 and revised and published in 1905. The gentle “Moonlight” creates an elegant contrast with the peppy second and fourth movements of the suite.
One of Debussy’s early compositions, the most recognizable part of his work. The name of the movement refers to the folk song that was a common accompaniment to scenes of Pierrot in love in French pantomime.
Based on the larger composition’s reference to Bergamo, Italy – a city traditionally considered the home of the Harlequin, the standard figure of the commedia dell’arte – the piece shows Debussy’s connection to the circus spirit prevalent in early 20th-century compositions.