Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune)

This composition is a symphonic poem for orchestra, composed in 1894. It was also first performed in the same year in Paris on 22 December.

The composition was inspired by the poem L'après-midi d'un faune, written by Stéphane Mallarmé.

It is written for 3 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets in A and B♭, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 harps, 2 crotales, and strings.

In 1895, Debussy rewrote the piece for two pianos.

In 1912, it was made into a short ballet which was extremely controversial.

1958, another ballet version was made, and this one has been frequently performed by many companies.