Debussy#s Première Rhapsodie is one of two concertante works completed, premiered and published during his lifetime. He was commissioned to write it in 1909 for the final examination at the Paris Conservatoire in 1910. Debussy orchestrated it in the summer of 1911. While transferring the clarinet part from the already published version for clarinet and piano, he made a few subtle changes, particularly in m. 201, which has been a bone of contention among clarinettists for over a century.
The present scholarly-critical publication is the first Urtext edition of the orchestral version. It draws on every known source and takes into account a previously ignored source that sheds new light on the piece.