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French Music Criticism and Musicology at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: New Journals, New Networks

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 February 2017

Michel Duchesneau*
Université de Montréal Email:


This article examines the efforts of French musicologists to create a specialized journal at the turn of the twentieth century that would clearly associate music criticism and musicology. Using as case study a set of music journals, from La Revue d’histoire et de critique musicales to the Mercure musical and the Revue S.I.M. that followed, I establish the connections that brought together the nascent musicological milieu, the musical press and the artistic affinities among the principal actors in their attempt to create a new network of music critics guided by musicological exigencies. Jules Combarieu, Romain Rolland, Louis Laloy, Jean Marnold, Émile Vuillermoz and Jules Écorcheville are some of the musicologists engaged in this project between 1900 and 1914. But historical contingencies make this project a relative utopia, and requirements of the young musicology hardly meet that of a music criticism divided between disciplinary tradition and the necessity to support contemporary music. After the war, with the founding of a new Revue musicale, René Prunières, prudently, would not hire musicologists to develop a music criticism. Instead, he took up the characteristically Republican project of promoting musical culture, and thus responding to the interests of both the cultivated bourgeoisie and the musical, literary and artistic milieus through diffusion of music knowledge.

Research Article
© Cambridge University Press 2017 

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1 I have studied in detail the founding of La Revue musicale by Combarieu, it’s musicological objectives and how the founders of the Mercure musical and La Revue musicale S.I.M endorsed or shifted from the objectives of Combarieu, in my ‘French Musicology and the Musical Press (1900–14): The Case of La revue musicale, Le mercure musical and La revue musicale S.I.M.’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association 140/2 (2015): 243–72. However, I have not gone into detail, there, about the relationship between musicology and music critique nor indeed explored the issue of a network of reviewer-musicologists. In the present article, I focus on the second topic about those periodicals, music criticism, in connection with the objectives and methods of the then nascent French musicology and I intend to identify the network of musicologists involved. Cédric Segond-Genovesi has devoted a recent study to the sequential creation of several of the journals I am interested in, from Laloy’s Mercure musical to Henry Prunières’ Revue musicale. Though well informed, this study omits Combarieu’s La Revue musicale and falls short of analyzing music critique and Laloy’s and Rolland’s ideas. See Segond-Genovesi, Cédric, ‘Du Mercure à La Revue musicale: enjeux et étapes d’une filation (1905–1927)’, in Henry Prunières. Un musicologue engagé dans la vie musicale de l’entre-deux-guerres, ed. Myriam Chimènes, Florence Gétreau, and Catherine Massip (Paris: Société française de musicologie; Lyon: Symétrie, 2015): 357387 Google Scholar.

2 Reibel, Emmanuel, L’écriture de la critique musicale au temps de Berlioz (Paris: Librairie Honoré Champion, 2005): 91 Google Scholar.

3 Goubault, Christian, La critique musicale dans la presse française de 1870 à 1914 (Geneva and Paris: Éditions Slatkine, 1984): 46 Google Scholar.

4 Ellis, Katharine, Music Criticism in Nineteenth-Century France: La Revue et Gazette musicale de Paris, 1834–1880 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995): 34 Google Scholar. See also Peter Bloom, ‘François-Joseph Fétis and the Revue Musicale (1827–1835)’ (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1972).

5 Schlesinger sold his musical stock and the Revue et Gazette to the brothers Louis and Gemmy Brandus in 1846, but he kept 25 per cent of the shares, and the journal kept its editorial orientation (Ellis, Music Criticism in Nineteenth-Century France, 48).

6 Ellis, Music Criticism in Nineteenth-Century France, 48.

7 Campos, Rémy, François-Joseph Fétis musicographe (Geneva: Droz/Haute École de Musique de Genève, 2013): 401402 Google Scholar.

8 For example, Le Progrès musical: journal des familles (1853–1854), Le Journal des musiciens (1855), La Revue de musique ancienne et moderne (1856), La Presse orphéonique (1870).

9 For example, journals on vocal music: La Chanson (1878–1880), La Gazette lyrique (1880–1881); on piano music: L’Almanach du pianiste (1854) and Le Petit Piano (1895–1902) or on military music: L’Instrumental: journal de musique militaire (1864–1866).

10 Arthur Dandelot (1864–1943) was the director of an artistic agency and, later, in the mid-1890s, of a concert administration agency in Paris that played an important role in the organization of many special events. Dandelot actively supported the École Normale de Musique in Paris.

11 Christian Goubault has drawn up a very detailed list of these journals and of the music critics who wrote for them. See Goubault, La critique musicale, 50–65.

12 The pianist Camille Bellaigue (1858–1930) became the music critic of La Revue des deux mondes in 1885.

13 The music critics at the Mercure de France included Jean Marnold, Henri Gauthier-Villars, Émile Vuillermoz, and Louis Laloy, as well as the composers Pierre de Bréville and Ernest Chausson.

14 Le Courrier musical amalgamated with the Revue musicale S.I.M. in 1909.

15 The editors at La Revue musicale du Midi outlined their objectives as follows: ‘Develop the taste for beautiful and authentic music, teach the music history of the Midi as well as that of our local musicians, encourage decentralization in our departments, and contribute to the education of the public insofar as we can’. [The editors], ‘Prélude’, La Revue musicale du Midi 1/1 (1 March 1911): 2.

16 Frédéric Hellouin (1864–1924) published on eighteenth-century French music. He gave a series of talks at the École de hautes études sociales, some of which were then published in his Essai de critique de la critique musicale (Paris: A. Joanin, 1906).

17 Hellouin, Essai de critique de la critique musicale, 143.

18 Victorin Joncière (1839–1903) wrote regularly in La Liberté from 1870 to 1900 under the assumed name of Jennius. His critical writings occasionally stirred astonishment and even sometimes disapproval from contemporaries, in particular when he compared Berlioz to an ‘untrained cook’ (‘cuisinier inexpérimenté’) (La Liberté, 10 mars 1873).

19 Samuel-Alexandre Rousseau (1853–1904) studied the organ with César Franck at the Conservatoire de Paris. He attended the composition class of Paul Bazin and won a Premier Prix de Rome in 1878. He is known for his lyrical works, for instance his opera La Cloche du Rhin (1898). He wrote the musical chronicle section of L’Éclair from 1893 to his death.

20 Reibel compares Hellouin’s work to the taxonomic trees of animal and plant species that were developed in the natural sciences at the end of the nineteenth century, and he criticizes Hellouin’s arbitrary choice of using each person’s literary approach as an evaluation criterion (Reibel, L’écriture de la critique musicale, 92).

21 Hellouin, Essai de critique de la critique musicale, 142.

22 A former student of the École Normale Supérieure, Louis Laloy (1874–1944) held an Agrégation in the arts and wrote a doctoral dissertation on Aristoxène de Tarente et la musique de l’Antiquité in 1904. He studied music at the Schola Cantorum from 1899 to 1905. Very active in the music journalism circles and an ardent defender of Debussy and the new generation of composers around Ravel, he published numerous articles and books on quite diverse subjects: Rameau, Beethoven, opera, Debussy and Chinese music.

23 Charles Malherbe (1853–1911) studied with Jules Massenet and Adolphe Danhauser. As the archivist (1896) and then the librarian (1899) at the Paris Opéra, he published books, on Wagner and on the history of opéra-comique, as well as compositions (opéras-comiques, chamber music and orchestral music). His activities in musical journalism included writing for Le Ménestrel (he also worked as the editor for the journal for some time), but also for a host of other journals, including Le Guide musical, La Revue musicale and Le Mercure musical, to cite only a few.

24 After having defended a dissertation at the Sorbonne on Les rapports de la musique et de la poésie considérées au point de vue de l’expression (1893), Jules Combarieu (1859–1916) took courses from Spitta in Berlin (1888). Upon his return to France, he taught French at two lycées, Condorcet and Louis-le-Grand, and then became Chief of Staff in the Ministère de l’Instruction publique. In his efforts to support musical education, he produced a number of circulars on the promotion of music in schools and published textbooks on musical education. In 1904, he was appointed lecturer in music history at the Collège de France. He authored books on music history, aesthetics (La musique, ses lois, son évolution (Paris: Flammarion, 1907)), and on the relationship between music and society (La Musique et la magie. Étude sur les origines populaires de l’art musical et son influence et sa fonction dans les sociétés (Paris: Alphonse Picard et fils éditeurs, 1909)).

25 Hellouin, Essai de critique de la critique musicale, 160.

26 Saint-Saëns wrote the musical chronique in La Renaissance littéraire et artistique from 1872 to 1874, and in L’Estafette for one year in 1876. Soret, Marie-Gabrielle, ‘Présentation des textes et du contexte’ in Camille Saint-Saëns, Écrits sur la musique et les musiciens, presented and annotated by Marie-Gabrielle Soret (Paris: Vrin, 2012): 4345 Google Scholar.

27 Camille Saint-Saëns, ‘Musique’, Le Voltaire, 18 July 1879; reprinted in Camille Saint-Saëns, Écrits sur la musique et les musiciens, 199. The editor of Saint-Saëns’s writings has not been able to identify the author cited by Saint-Saëns (see p. 199, fn 2)

28 Soret, ‘Présentation des textes’, 43–4.

29 René de Récy published criticism in La Revue des deux mondes. He was appreciated by Saint-Saëns, who wrote of him: ‘it is the most independent spirit that exists … to a serious literary talent he joined the rare quality of deep knowing of music, and outstanding analytical skills peculiar to itself’. Camille Saint-Saëns, ‘Drame lyrique et drame musical’, L’Artiste, November 1889, reprinted in Camille Saint-Saëns, Écrits sur la musique et les musiciens, 417.

30 Soret, ‘Présentation des textes’, 40–41.

31 Albert Dayrolles, ‘Saint-Saëns littérateur. Saint-Saëns chez lui’, Le Figaro, 4 March 1883.

32 On Saint-Saëns, Rolland’s position is ambiguous. Rolland judged the music of Saint-Saëns harshly. For him, the composer was a ‘great musician but a mediocre artist’. Letter from Romain Rolland to Sofia Bertolini Guerriri-Gonzaga, 27 October 1901, in Romain Rolland, Cher Sofia, Cahiers Romain Rolland (Paris: Albin Michel, 1959): 36. But Rolland acknowledged his skills when it came to music history. In his memoirs, Rolland remembers the jury of the thesis of Jules Écorcheville which included Saint-Saëns. He wrote that the composer showed a ‘particular scholarship, lively and comical’. Rolland, Romain, Mémoires et fragments du Journal (Paris: Albin Michel, 1956): 165 Google Scholar. But as time passed, Rolland found Saint-Saëns musical works and writings less interesting and somewhat outdated. See Corbellari, Alain, Les mots sous les notes. Musicologie littéraire et poétique musicale dans l’œuvre de Romain Rolland (Geneva: Droz, 2010): 193195 Google Scholar.

33 Robert Brussel (1874–1940) worked as music critic for Le Figaro from 1900 to 1935. He was an active contributor to Musica, and lent his support to Gabriel Astruc’s project of opening the Théâtre des Champs Élysées.

34 Goubault, La critique musicale, 60.

35 The editors, ‘Au lecteur’, La Revue d’art dramatique, November 1896, 2–3.

36 Reibel, L’écriture de la critique musical, 40.

37 Rolland, Romain, ‘Réponse à l’enquête sur la critique d’art dramatique française’, La Revue d’art dramatique, February 1899, 161162 Google Scholar.

38 Rolland, ‘Réponse à l’enquête sur la critique d’art dramatique française’, 162.

39 Goubault, La critique musicale, 485.

40 Pierre Lafitte was the founder of Musica.

41 Jean Marnold (1859–1935) was the anagram of Jean Morland. A man of letters, he translated Nietzsche’s Die Geburt der Tragödie (L’Origine de la tragédie) with his brother in 1906. He worked as a music critic, first at the Courrier musical (1901–1903) and then at the Mercure de France (1902–1914).

42 René Chalupt wrote a review of Albert Roussel’s Marchand de sable, which used a text written by Georges-Jean Aubry (Revue musicale S.I.M. 7/3 (March 1911): 97). André Suarès published an article entitled ‘L’homme qui improvise’ in Revue musicale S.I.M. 8/11 (November 1912): 1–12.

43 Camille Bellaigue, ‘Étude artistique et littéraire sur Faust’, Le Correspondant, 25 November 1883, 834–66. Bellaigue (1858–1930) was a pianist (he won the first prize in 1878 at the Conservatoire, where he studied with Marmontel) and a music critic for La Revue des deux mondes from 1885 until his death. His musical training provided him with considerable authority and confidence in evaluating the music of his contemporaries.

44 A student of the École des chartes et de Polytechnique, Pierre Lalo (1866–1943), the son of the composer Édouard Lalo, led a brilliant career as a music critic, mainly at the newspaper Le Temps, where he was responsible for the feuilleton on music from 1898 to 1920. He published more than 500 columns. In the 1920s, he was appointed to the Conseil supérieur du Conservatoire and the Conseil supérieur des émissions de la radio. Regarding Lalo, see Gustave Samazeuilh’s foreword to Pierre Lalo’s collection, De Rameau à Ravel. Portraits et souvenirs (Paris: Albin Michel, 1947): 7–12.

45 Goubault, La critique musicale, 31.

46 Bruneau later worked as a critic for La Grande Revue (1903–1907) and for Le Matin (1909–1933).

47 His real name was Charles Réty (1824–1895), and he was the former director of the Théâtre Lyrique (1860–1862).

48 Supported by Director Fernand Rodays who upheld the cause of the Dreyfusards, Zola published his famous article ‘J’accuse’ in that newspaper in 1898.

49 Goubault, La critique musicale, 36.

50 Jean Chantavoine (1877–1952) studied music history with Max Friedlaender. He published on Beethoven, Liszt, and Mozart, among other topics. He worked as a critic for the Revue hebdomadaire (1903–1920) and L’Excelsior (1911–1921), and contributed occasionally to the Mercure musical.

51 See, for example, his article on Vincent d’Indy, written to mark the première of L’Étranger at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels on 7 January 1903 (Revue de Paris 10/2 (15 January 1903): 401–20).

52 Julien Tiersot (1857–1936) studied composition at the Conservatoire with Massenet, the organ with Franck, and history with Bourgault-Ducoudray. He worked as Assistant Librarian of the Conservatoire in 1883, and then became main Librarian in 1909. In addition to his regular columns in Le Ménestrel, he also published a number of studies on popular song and participated in activities at the Schola Cantorum devoted to the resurrection of French Renaissance music.

53 Letter from Julien Tiersot to Romain Rolland, 10 October 1899, Romain Rolland Collection, Dossier ‘Correspondance à des musiciens’, Manuscript’s department, Bibliothèque nationale de France (henceforth BnF).

54 Musicologist and philologist, Pierre Aubry (1874–1910) held the position of Archivist-Palaeographer at the École des chartes from 1898. He contributed largely to the development of research on French medieval music, particularly on the music of troubadours and trouvères.

55 Henry Expert (1863–1952) completed his studies at the École Niedermeyer where he took courses with Franck. Later, he taught at the École des hautes études sociales and became a Librarian at the Conservatoire, replacing Tiersot in 1920. His work focused mainly on French music of the Renaissance.

56 Maurice Emmanuel (1862–1938), composer and musicologist, specialized in ancient Greek music and modal music. He was also interested in the history of musical language and, in 1911, published a book entitled Histoire de la langue musicale, 2 volumes (Paris: Librairie Renouard H. Laurens).

57 ‘Comité du Congrès international de musique’, Congrès international d’histoire de la musique tenu à Paris à la Bibliothèque de l’Opéra du 23 au 29 juillet 1900 (VIIIe section du Congrès d’histoire comparée) Documents, mémoires et vœux, published by Jules Combarieu (Solesmes: Imprimerie Saint-Pierre, 1901), [iii]. It is worth underlining that the proceedings of the congress were published by the monks of Solesmes, who were in charge of the series Paléographie musicale, the first volume of which had appeared in 1889. John Haines points out that this is a work ‘that marks the beginning of modern French science of early music’ (‘qui marque le début d’une science française moderne de la musique ancienne’). Haines, John, ‘Généalogies musicologiques aux origines d’une science de la musique vers 1900’, Acta Musicologica 73/1 (2001): 2425 Google Scholar.

58 Haines, ‘Généalogies musicologiques’, 21.

59 The subtitle appears for the first time on the front of volume 14, issue 1 (January 1908).

60 Landormy, Paul, d’organiser, ‘Des moyens, en France, une ligue pour la protection et le développement de l’art musical’, Congrès international d’histoire de la musique, 249 Google Scholar.

61 Jules Combarieu, Memorandum, 1 December 1900, Romain Rolland Collection, Manuscript’s Department, BnF.

62 Establishing a balance between musicological studies and critical reviews quickly became a point of contention between Rolland and Combarieu. Rolland felt, as did Laloy, that the journal contents and more specifically the criticism could not withstand the slightest musicological error. A letter of Combarieu to Rolland indicates that Rolland had sent him a note wherein he reproached him with errors in the critical notice of the February 1901 issue (pp. 71–75) on Xavier Leroux’ opera Astarté (Letter from Jules Combarieu to Romain Rolland, 15 March 1901, Romain Rolland Collection, Manuscript’s Department, BnF). Even so, Laloy noted that Combarieu made regular blunders: ‘Son intempérance de langage lui faisait des ennemis, prêts à relever aigrement les bévues qu’il lui arrivait de commettre’. Laloy, Louis, La musique retrouvée 1902–1927 (Paris, Librairie Plon, 1928): 53 Google Scholar.

63 Combarieu certainly refers to tonal language, the boundaries of which were constantly being pushed by the syntactic innovations of the younger generation of composers. At the turn of the century and up to 1914 these innovations gave rise to struggles between avant-garde and conservative musicians. One of the most famous of these struggles was between Ravel and his friends – who created the Société musicale indépendante – on the one hand, and d’Indy and his pupils – who supported a more conservative approach within the Société Nationale de musique – on the other hand. See Michel Duchesneau, L’avant-garde musicale et ses sociétés à Paris 1870–1939 (Sprimont: Mardaga, 1997). In fact, the journal connected to the milieu of the Schola never really defended the music of the newer generations. This is certainly one of the reasons why Marnold, Laloy and Rolland conceived of the Mercure musical, which would be considered a more engaged review. See Marie-Pier Leduc, ‘Artisans, génies et vedettes. Le statut des compositeurs dans la presse musicale française au début du XXe siècle’ (Master’s Thesis, Université de Montréal, 2015), especially chapter 1.

64 The editor, ‘Notre programme’, La Revue musicale 1/1 (January 1901): 3.

65 See Reibel, L’écriture de la critique musical, 268–72.

66 Reibel, L’écriture de la critique musical, 272.

67 Although we have found no archival traces of the financial means of the revue, it nevertheless to be noted notes that its financial independence was certainly strengthened in June 1901 by a grant from the government (‘Souscription du Ministère de l’Instruction publique’). La Revue musicale 1/6 (June 1901): 225.

68 ‘I accept the criticism, but I would like her to give reasons and rely on evidence’ (‘J’admets la critique, mais je voudrais qu’elle donnât des raisons et s’appuyât sur des preuves’). Jules Combarieu, ‘Musique contemporaine. Au Conservatoire’, La Revue musicale 1/1 (January 1901): 25.

69 Julien Tiersot wrote an article with musical examples on the choruses and intermezzi of Jean-Baptiste Moreau (1656–1733) that accompanied Racine’s tragedy, Esther; Charles Bordes, under the aegis of the Schola Cantorum, edited the work and presented it at the Théâtre de l’Odéon on 18 December 1902 (‘Les chœurs d’Esther de Moreau’, La Revue musicale 3/1 (January 1903): 35–40). In the same issue, Louis Laloy wrote a critical piece, also accompanied by music examples, on Debussy’s La Damoiselle Élue (33–35). In 1904, Laloy wrote another critical piece on d’Indy’s La Symphonie sur un chant montagnard that included seven musical examples: ‘Les Concerts. Concerts Chevillard – 28 février’, La Revue musicale 4/6 (March 1904): 166–8.

70 Letter from Romain Rolland to Paul Dukas, 15 February 1902, sales catalogue of autograph letters from Rolland, summary and commentary by Bernard Duchatelet, Association Romain Rolland, 2012, 39.

71 Goubault, La critique musicale, 97 and passim.

72 Letter from Romain Rolland to Julien Tiersot, 8 May 1902, Romain Rolland Collection, Manuscripts Department, BnF.

73 Tiersot’s first article published in the journal focused on popular music: ‘Une danse populaire des Alpes françaises: le Bacchu-Ber’, Revue musicale 1/11 (November 1901), 385–90.

74 The section reserved for concert reviews changed titles several times: Musique contemporaine (Contemporary music), Les concerts (Concerts), Les théâtres et les concerts (Theatres and concerts). Romain Rolland regularly wrote reviews until the end of 1904.

75 Letter from Romain Rolland to Esther Marchand, 12 June 1907, Correspondance. Romain Rolland, Esther Marchand, Charles Koechlin, ed. Germain Louis Viala, Marc Lerique-Koechlin (Mérignac, France: published by the author, 2006): 42.

76 In a letter to Sofia Bertolini Guerrieri-Gonzaga about his review of Saint-Saëns’s Barbares Rolland wrote: ‘I sent my article to La Revue de Paris. Ganderax came to tell me that I was free to write what I wanted, as long as I did not touch the musician (who is a friend of the Revue), or the librettist (Sardou – who is his personal friend), or the stage director …, etc. I was on the verge of dropping the whole thing, but I said nothing, and I managed to sneak in a good dose of truth, which Sardou will not like very much. Please always take care to remember, when you read something of mine in La Revue de Paris, that I cannot freely express myself (especially when it comes to judging my contemporaries)’. Letter from Romain Rolland to Sofia Bertolini Guerrieri-Gonzaga, 27 October 1901, in Romain Rolland, Chère Sofia, letters selected and edited by Marie Romain Rolland, Cahiers Romain Rolland no 10 (Paris: Albin Michel, 1959): 36. Romain Rolland’s article, ‘Saint-Saëns et les Barbares’, appeared in La Revue de Paris 8/6 (November 1901): 210–25.

77 The hostility between the two gained strength after Combarieu was appointed in 1904 to a chair at the Collège de France, which Rolland also coveted. See Duchesneau, ‘French Musicology and the Musical Press’.

78 About this Corbellari writes that Rolland left La Revue musicale ‘s’étant à de multiples reprises disputé avec Combarieu, qui ne semblait pas avoir partagé l’intransigeance abrupte et hautaine de Rolland’. Corbellari, Les mots sous les notes, 30.

79 In his memoirs, Laloy stated that Combarieu recruited him as editor-in-chief for the journal following a highly acclaimed talk he gave on the ‘Genre enharmonique des Grecs’ at the conference on music history in 1900 (Laloy, La musique retrouvée, 55–56).

80 Laloy, Louis, ‘Musique moderne I’, La Revue musicale 2/11 (November 1902): 452458 Google Scholar.

81 See Duchesneau, ‘French Musicology and the Musical Press’.

82 Rolland, Romain, Musiciens d’aujourd’hui (Paris: Hachette, 1908): 260 Google Scholar.

83 Laloy, La musique retrouvée, 138. For information on the Mercure musical, see Segond-Genovesi, ‘Du Mercure à La Revue musicale’.

84 Laloy, La musique retrouvée, 56.

85 Letter from Romain Rolland to Jean Marnold, 31 July 1904, Romain Rolland Collection, Manuscripts Department, BnF.

86 Letter from Jean Marnold to Romain Rolland, 19 August 1904, Romain Rolland Collection, Manuscripts Department, BnF.

87 In 1909, Rolland again told Marnold how much he admired his ‘scholarship and his loyalty’. He added: ‘Your reviews are true. So are mine, I believe. I am convinced that it is necessary that we exist, both of us – not only for ourselves – (I feel very strongly about this, for my part) – but also for our cherished music, which needs men like you and me who complement and balance each other’. Letter from Romain Rolland to Marnold, 10 November 1909, Romain Rolland Collection, Manuscript’s Depatment, BnF.

88 Letter from Romain Rolland to Jean Marnold, 22 January 1905, Romain Rolland Collection, Manuscript’s Department, BnF.

89 See Segond-Genovesi, ‘Du Mercure à La Revue musicale’.

90 See Corbellari, Les mots sous les notes, 35.

91 See Goubault, La critique musicale, 116.

92 In a letter to a certain M. Isaac, who asked for his help in publishing an article written by Esther Marchand on Bach and Beethoven, Rolland wrote, ‘I would be very happy to help Mme Marchand; however, I have completely separated myself from the Revue musicale where only Combarieu remains from the former management. All I can do is put Mme Marchand in contact with the new music journal recently founded by Louis Laloy: Le Mercure musical. It is a widely-read, but quite progressive journal, and a little combative’. Letter from Romain Rolland to M. Isaac, 7 January 1906, Correspondance Romain Rolland, Esther Marchand, Charles Koechlin, 27.

93 See Yeoland, Rosemary and Hafez-Ergaut, Agnès, ‘Camille Mauclair: critique et compétences’, International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 37/2 (December 2006): 213224 Google Scholar.

94 Letter from Romain Rolland to Jean Marnold, 29 April 1905, Romain Rolland Collection, Manuscripts Department, BnF.

95 Raymond Bouyer (1862–1935), writer, art and music critic, later worked as sub-editor for La Revue d’art and music critic for La Revue bleue in 1909. He published a series of articles on music criticism entitled ‘Critiques musicaux de jadis ou de naguère’, in Le Ménestrel, published between 21 August 1909 and 2 April 1910.

96 Jules Écorcheville (1872–1915) was a student of César Franck between 1887 and 1890. After studying literature, he spent a year with Hugo Riemann in Leipzig (1904–1905) and defended two doctoral theses at the Sorbonne in 1906. A specialist of French music of the seventeenth century, he undertook the Catalogue du fonds de musique ancienne de la Bibliothèque Nationale (8 vol. 1910–1914). In 1912, he became president of the S.I.M. On the founding of the Bulletin de la S.I.M., see Segond-Genovesi, ‘Du Mercure à La Revue musicale’.

97 The president was Lionel Dauriac and the secretary Jacques-Gabriel Prod’homme.

98 He published a satirical text about popular opera, entitled ‘Dialogues d’été’, in the October 1905 issue (pp. 377–82), and a review of concerts at the École des hautes études sociales in the issue of April 1906.

99 Laurencie, Lionel de la, ‘Musique du XVIIe et du XVIIIe siècle. Jules Écorcheville: Vingt Suites d’orchestre du XVIIe siècle (1640–1670) In-4o raisin de iv-145 pages. De Lulli à Rameau (1690–1730). L’esthétique musicale In-4o couronne de ix-172 pages. Paris, Marcel Fortin, éditeur 6, Chaussée d’Antin, 1906’, Le Mercure musical 2/14 (15 July1906): 7577 Google Scholar.

100 In an effort to make up for the backlog in French musicology in cataloguing archival collections, Écorcheville published several bibliographic inventories in the journal ( Écorcheville, Jules, ‘Les textes de musique ancienne et leurs rééditions modernes’, Mercure musical et Bulletin français de la S.I.M. 3/6 (15 June 1907): 627 Google Scholar).

101 Segond-Genovesi, ‘Du Mercure à La Revue musicale’.

102 Laloy stated: ‘Our society [Le Mercure musical] comprised six sponsors who each put forward five hundred francs. I took responsibility of the remaining deficit. I was very happy when I was able to join forces with Jules Écorcheville at the end of the following year and amalgamate the Mercure in question with the journal S.I.M., the French news medium for the Société internationale de musique’. Laloy, La musique retrouvée, 138.

103 Prunières wrote his first critical pieces under the pseudonym Henry de Busne or Debusne. He began using his real name in 1908.

104 Prunières (1886–1942) was working on his dissertation on L’Opéra italien en France avant Lully, which was published in 1913 (Paris: Honoré Champion, 1913). Lionel de La Laurencie (1861–1933) published several studies on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French music between 1904 and 1914, including a book on Rameau (Paris: H. Laurens, 1908).

105 La Laurencie wrote a critical review of the Lejeune concert in March 1908. He ended the article in these terms: ‘And this Ditters, since completely forgotten in France where he first made a name for himself in 1768 with a cosmopolitan symphony, a true proscenium arch “in the taste of the 5 nations”, appeared like a playful, whimsical musician, with a fondness for the witty phrases and sprightliness of fiddle tunes. One finds in his music those qualities that incited all of Vienna to attend his opéra-comiques around 1786: the theme of the presto finale in his quartet, with those four bouncy, repeated notes, with that persistent rhythm, that lightness and airiness that foreshadows Mendelssohn’s scherzi. … There was also an amusing accordion effect; just as the first violin, slightly shrill and acidic, plays a popular motive over the pedal sustained by the three other instruments, and, in the opening allegro, the entry of the second theme played by the cello and the viola, which lends an endearing sense of mystery to their timbre and [the use of] a distant key from the tonic. In the meantime, M. Doucet also played, with very good style, a cello sonata by Handel, and was accompanied remarkably well at the piano by Mlle Bartzi, whose secure rhythm and precocious authority were most impressive’. Laurencie, Lionel de La, ‘Concert Lejeune’, Mercure musical et bulletin français de la S.I.M. 3/2 (15 March 1908): 324 Google Scholar.

106 Laloy, La musique retrouvée, 138.

107 After first studying literature and law, Émile Vuillermoz (1878–1960) began attending classes, specifically those given by Fauré, at the Conservatoire. Although he also composed, he was best known for his music and film criticism. Vuillermoz held close ties with the new generation of composers around Ravel, and participated actively in the creation of the Société musicale indépendante in 1910.

108 This new title would be in use from 1910 to the end of 1911. In 1912, the elements of the title were reversed to give Revue musicale S.I.M.

109 Émile Heintz-Arnault’s collaboration as ‘rédacteur pour l’Allemagne’ to La Revue S.I.M. did not last for long. His name is listed among the collaborators from November 1912 to May 1913. He wrote only two chronicles. The first was published before his being listed among the collaborators, in the section ‘Le mois’ of the issue of 15 June 1912 (‘Lettre de Berlin’, 71–2). The second was published in the issue of 15 April 1913. It was a review of six concerts of French music organized in Berlin under the aegis of La Revue musicale S.I.M. (‘S.I.M. à Berlin’, 61–3). That Heintz-Arnault had been asked to collaborate to the journal in Spring 1912, seems to correspond in time with Écorcheville’s move toward German musicological milieus. He was elected president of the S.I.M, on 1 October 1912, after a two-month international election.

110 The journal published this supplement sporadically: the first time between December 1909 and November 1910, and again between December 1913 and May 1914 (with a new title, Supplément de la quinzaine).

111 Prunières, Henry, ‘Lully à l’Odéon’, S.I.M. Revue musicale 7/12 (15 December 1911): 7072 Google Scholar.

112 There were articles occasionally written by amateurs, such as Félix Guérillot, a lawyer and an active member of the Société internationale de musique, and Albert Trotrot-Dériot, a sales representative who, beginning in 1910, took up the management of La Petite Maîtrise, a journal of religious music published by the Schola Cantorum.

113 Vuillermoz recalls this golden period for the journal: ‘The fame of this art home [La Revue musicale S.I.M.] exceeded professional spheres: He had to be organized, to meet the interest demonstrated by the innocently enough Tout-Paris and boulevards, demonstrations of fraternal sympathy. Dinners and parties where the Revue bring together, in a palace in fashion, the notables of the brightest Parisian circles and the most famous personalities of the world of letters, theatre and arts, allowed to Ecorcheville to realize the exceptional place held by the SIM in the artistic life and in intellectual luxury of the capital’. Vuillermoz, Émile, ‘ La Revue S.I.M. ’, in Le Tombeau de Jules Écorcheville suivi de lettres inédites, ed. Louis Laloy, Lionel de La Laurencie, and Emile Vuillermoz (Paris: Dorbon, 1916): 34 Google Scholar.

114 Laloy, La musique retrouvée, 56.

115 Rolland, Musiciens d’aujourd’hui, 260.

116 In 1905, Laloy published an article ‘Le drame musical moderne. II, les véristes Zola-Bruneau’, Mercure musical, 1/1 (1 June 1905): 169–76, in which he criticized ‘the bitter work of Alfred Bruneau and insipid drama of Gustave Charpentier’ (p. 169). Soon after, Mauclair published an article entitled ‘Le snobisme musical’, in which he challenged the ‘critique documentée’ and compared musicological writing to a ‘science [that would be] a sarcophagus covered with hieroglyphics’ (Le Courrier musical, 8/12 (15 June 1905): 368. The communication between the two critics was acrimonious. Laloy spoke of the universal incompetence of Mauclair. Jean Marnold entered the battlefield and the quarrel degenerated to the point of provoking Arthur Mangeot’s intervention in the Monde musical. See Yeoland and Hafez-Ergaut, ‘Camille Mauclair: critique et compétences’.

117 Vuillermoz confirms that on the eve of the World War One, La Revue musicale S.I.M. was experiencing an increase in its readership: ‘The number of readers grew abroad as well as in France, projects were piled up, grandiose yet feasible’. Vuillermoz, ‘La Revue S.I.M.’, 34.

118 Bouyer, Raymond, ‘Critiques musicaux de jadis ou de naguère. Essai sur la critique musicale en guise de préface’, Le Ménestrel 75/34 (21 August 1909): 266 Google Scholar.

119 An excerpt from an interview with Henry Prunières produced by Frédéric Lefèvre for Nouvelles Littéraires, and cited in La Revue musicale 10/98 (November 1929): 91.