Sur le chemin d'"Euphonia": la "promotion" de la musique ancienne par Berlioz

Translated title of the contribution: The path to "Euphonia": Berlioz's promotion of "early music"

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


By tradition, Berlioz has been thought to have held the burgeoning taste for "early music" in Paris rather in contempt. The facts prove otherwise. Publication of the complete texts of Berlioz's music reviews and essays (still in progress) allow detailed searching of his developing attitudes to music by, say, Palestrina, Handel, Lully, Gluck and Grétry, which link closely with youthful impressions revealed in his letters but which find no place in the composer's later Mémoires. Using the method of correlating Berlioz's reviews and essays with research on the contents of concerts which he arranged and conducted, it can be shown that Berlioz regularly proceeded by way of discussions of selected pieces of "early music" in the press, towards his own performance of such pieces in his concerts. His motives were probably twofold: first, he wished to promote music of the past that he believed should be preserved and valued for its own sake; second, he wished to have his own music heard in situations where it could be compared with music of the past. The 1844 culmination of these procedures were the near-simultaneous issue of the last instalment of Berlioz's short futuristic story "Euphonia" (which is about the value that one age accords to the music of its own past) and Berlioz's large-scale concert of 1 August that year, which reflected his vision of an industrialised future through taking place in an exhibition hall very recently having displayed actual industrial exhibits.
Translated title of the contributionThe path to "Euphonia": Berlioz's promotion of "early music"
Original languageFrench
Title of host publicationBerlioz: textes et contextes
EditorsJoël-Marie Fauquet, Catherine Massip, Cécile Reynaud
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherSociété française de musicologie
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)978-2-85357-022-0
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NamePublications de la Société française de musicologie, Troisième série
PublisherSociété française de musicologie


  • Berlioz, early music, Choron, Handel, concert programming, 'Euphonia'

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