During the last years of the 19th century, Debussy faced chilly critical reactions to several of his compositions. His orchestral set “Nocturnes,” including the movement “Clouds,” failed to melt the ice, and was treated unkindly by critics. Debussy then heeded the common wisdom, “If you can’t beat them, join them,” and became a music critic himself. He wrote under the name “Monsieur Croche,” or “Mr. Eighth Note.” Debussy had originally planned to write three nocturnes for violin and orchestra for violinist EUGENE YSAYE. He changed his mind and ended up composing them as purely orchestral pieces.