For example, puzzling works such as Le Martyre are shown to be quite decipherable when related to other works of the same genre, as its danced sections are 1 This figure is based upon Alfred Loewenberg, Annals of Opera , 3rd ed. Totowa, N. This study is concerned with incidental music in this latter sense of any form of music which intercedes in a comedy, tragedy, drama or other spoken play.
As we will see, such incidental music took on a wide variety of forms. Under the Restoration of the Bourbon Monarchy , the restrictions on theaters were relaxed but not abolished, such that new theaters opened with some frequency over the next fifty years. Over the intervening years, some thirty additional theaters had been opened as exceptions to the legislation, and in there were thirty-five theaters operating in Paris. The renewed freedom given theaters had two effects.
The first was an explosion in the number of theaters in Paris as a result of entrepreneurial initiative. By , at least forty-nine theaters offered various forms of theatrical production. As a result, the regimented separation of theatrical genres was gradually blurred as entrepreneurial theaters became more experimental in combining music, dance and dramatic productions.
The start of World War I led to widespread closure of theaters across France, many for as much as nine months continuously. The theater did not reopen until 6 December, after the military governor of Paris approved the reopening of the theaters.
Tips and Tours: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Lyon
The dates which frame this study have been chosen for their relevance to the theatrical life of Paris in particular, and France more broadly, given the impact of the legislation on the one hand and the advent of the First World War one other. Both events altered the landscape of theatrical production in Paris and beyond in such significant ways, that the fifty-year period explored in the present dissertation stands out not only in terms of its theatrical production but also with respect to the political, social and aesthetic aspects characterizing theatrical production in France.
Such biases force the musicologist to integrate a wide variety of sources in order to create a catalogue of the incidental music performed or revived during this era. Contemporary studies of the French theater continue to give short shrift to incidental music, when it is mentioned at all.
This is in complete contrast to the role of many of the scores by French composers in the later nineteenth century, however. The study closes with a helpful list of works for both stage and concert hall, including information on manuscripts and published scores. Paris: Bordas, , This study is particularly indebted to the approaches to opera in recent scholarship.
I have also followed closely on the methodology of Katharine Ellis, Jann Pasler, and Annegret Fauser whose work with critical reception influenced my work in drawing upon music and theater critics for an understanding of the roles of incidental music broadly, and certain works specifically, within the context of the theatrical and musical life of Paris. Hemmings and Jacques Robichez affected my approach to the theatrical side of the productions.
Allanbrook and Kofi Agawu. Ratner, Classic Music: 10 Difficulties in Researching Productions of Incidental Music The first of my two approaches to the study of incidental music in France is documentary in character. In order to discuss the aesthetic presence and music impact of the genre, I had to first establish reliable data on its presence, chronology, and geographic distribution.
The challenge in this aspect of my work lay in the nature of the archival and documentary resources. Thus the name of a theater may or may not overlap with the name of the troupe of actors who produce the performance at that venue. Where the name of the theater differed from that of the troupe, I have indicated such a disparity whenever possible. This documentary research resulted first and foremost in the catalog of incidental music presented in the appendix to this dissertation.
Other incidental compositions consisted of a single diegetic song, frequently with orchestral accompaniment, often as a love serenade or work song. A third common form of incidental music laid in the use of music for dance, whether ballet, folk dances or pantomimic movement. Both mix significant degrees of ballet incorporated into celebratory scenes onstage with pantomimic passages at crucial moments in the drama. Both make extensive use of pantomime in the lead role held in each case by Rubinstein.
The last and most integrated relationship between a play and music can be found in the combination of many of the above-mentioned functions in combination with extensive use of musical melodrama. Such works were sometimes referred to as drames lyriques, in reference to their near-operatic status; while few featured solo singing, many did incorporate choruses. Paris: C. Delagrave, —31 , Such near-operatic works serve to remind us that the mixture of music and drama exists on a continuum rather than in a binary relationship.
But towards the close of the nineteenth century in France, composers blurred this line increasingly. This work featured six singing roles and three entirely spoken roles, combining 15 song and melodrama in a fashion which rendered the difference between incidental music and opera most indistinct. The subjects of the following chapters have been selected to provide points of entry into issues central to incidental music during this era, as well as to introduce some major figures and important scores which have been overlooked or forgotten since their time.
My chapter follows these musical productions and explores how music was produced and valued in this context. Instead it fits squarely into the parameters of incidental music as a wide-spread genre popular before World War I. My study concludes with several appendices. The latter is offered in the hope that it may prove to be a valuable resource to further research on French incidental music of the period. Those who received twelve shares were considered fully vested. My God! Mon Dieu! While plays continued to be performed with music in the first part of the nineteenth century, there were few commissions, and many of the surviving scores from that era are anonymous.
Vogel, Weber, 23 of December were not known for the quality of the orchestra under their leadership. Offenbach was paid 15, annually, from which he was to deduct the salaries of the twenty musicians which his contract obliged Rossini, Donizetti, Berlioz, Davis, Flotow, Paer, Auber, L. Clapisson, F. Bazin, H, Potier, A. During this period Offenbach wrote eleven incidental scores, co-wrote the music for Murillo, ou La Corde du pendu with Meyerbeer, and co-arranged music for performances of Le Malade imaginaire with Roques. See Table 1. Roques was succeeded by J.
Ancessy in the spring of Geneva: Minkoff, Arthur Pougin Paris: Firmin-Didot, , What is truly noteworthy about this is that he never contributed incidental music to any other theater, and that he started his contributions at such a late period of his career. Table 1. While most composers wrote incidental music on commission motivated by pay or the opportunity to enlarge their reputations, the letters by Delibes to Perrin tell a different story.
And at times, the veil of formality is lifted between the two men, as in the letter dated 17 September If so, was the effect good, bad, or simply nothing? And the performance? The singer? The small accompanying orchestra? For me, this is one more occasion to show you my affectionate and very strong gratitude. But I put myself in your hands to bring to light, to the extent possible, the incidental music of Act I. That 52 In a post-script to Appendix I, Letter 6. The two letters concerning the music for Garin drame en 5 actes en vers by Paul Delair, 8 July are indicative of the speed with which music was frequently composed and rehearsed for incidental productions.
Such rapid working schedules were common for 54 See Appendix I, Letter 5. Delibes wished to prepare the instrumentalists himself, writing I believe it would be preferable that I come over on my own at the theater during the day. I will sort out the thing with you at the piano. But for my two gents, the harpist and the mandoline I demand a closed door! Delibes noted that other sung passages would be performed by students of the Paris Conservatoire, a practice which Boucheron described as standard.
Certainly not all cases where a composer contributed incidental music involved such deeply personal interaction as these examples between Perrin and Delibes. But these letters do give us insight into the degree of artistic control and involvement in the music which many directors enjoyed as those who had commissioned the scores. Conversely, Henri de Bornier of the highly regarded La Nouvelle revue only noted that the chanson took place in the first act, omitting mention of its composer.
Misses Reichemberg and Bartet, who spoke in alternating verses, formed a very charming group, while Talazac sung with exquisite taste the romance of the poet from under the balcony, set to music by a composer unknown to me. Fortunately for Offenbach, the theater did remunerate pianists and singers directly. He was to compose or arrange music for the theater, and keep the music relevant to the latest styles.
He was to be available to perform on the cello at least once per month, at the discretion of the administrateur. And, of course, his responsibilities included rehearsing the musicians, conducting performances and coordinating the musical cues with the stage manager. Boucheron suggests that Offenbach frequently left his brother to conduct the orchestra while the composer used the spare time to write music while huddled under the footlights before the stage. Houssaye, and this caused problems, complaints, and arguing to recommence without end.
Any profits were divided amongst the troupe according to investiture at the end of each year. With some exceptions, actors frequently felt that music was a non-essential element which reduced the profitability of the theater, and therefore reduced their annual bonus. Despite the pressures and frustrations Offenbach endured, he chose on 8 June to renew his initial three-year contract signed 30 September for an additional three years. He did not finish out the contract, however. On 26 September he resigned his post, opting instead to focus his energies on his new directorship at the Bouffes-Parisiens.
No later contracts for Roques remain in his dossier in the archives of the theater, though he remained there until This and all 43 orchestral budget, personal attacks on Roques during budget meetings, and difficulty finding suitable orchestral players within the budget constraints. We find that three years later, little had changed for Roques. Jules Lacroix 44 music at the theater, his resources were certainly substandard, and he had little control over the pay rates for his musicians. As long as the number of players and the total musical budget were both fixed by his contract, he could not even lay off any players in order to better pay the most needed parts.
Even his complaints made some thirty months earlier to Guillard had fallen on deaf ears. The last letter from Roques to Thierry, dated 6 September , finds Roques at his most pointed and audacious language. I know that one of these days it will drag us whether we like it or not, and that having had enough, and after several unresolved ordeals, it must come to a new state of things. At all times I have done all that was humanly possible to stand up to the storm which rumbles ceaselessly and if I do not succeed, to believe that it will not have been my fault. By 28 December , Ancessy was already writing to Thierry — having attempted unsuccessfully to meet with the director in person — requesting that his budget be raised from 15, to 19, in order to add five musicians and to pay the musicians better.
Either improvements were made, or the honor of being promoted at the end of his career to serving the foremost theater for spoken drama in France was worth whatever difficulties Ancessy encountered there. He even had to quit a second job in order to devote himself exclusively to the theater, which might request his services at any hour. After closing his letter with a very polite and elegant paragraph in which he promised to remain a 93 See Appendix II, Letter Much of the letter sadly repeats the concerns he presented to Febvre six years earlier. Such duties prevented him from taking on outside work.
For the same reason, he had not published any of his music, resulting in the double loss of royalities of production and of publication. Moreover, he had received no fees from the theater for any of the nearly forty compositions, reconstitutions of older scores, and musical adaptations adaptations musicales. The low pay given to the directors of music would have been more tolerable if the theater had been in dire straits financially. Yet the minutes of the administrative committee meeting of 26 December show that the period from January through May set a record income for the theater of 1,, Delagrave, —31 : Known more for the quality of its actors and stage productions than for its music, it nevertheless maintained a high quality of musical performance despite the relatively meager resources allocated to music by its administration.
Because of its unique status as the preeminent spoken theater of France, and because of the unmatched subvention it received from the French government, it did not serve as a model for the stage music of other theaters, just as the depth of its repertory was unique among French theaters. See Albert Soubies, Almanach des spectacles, T. The Parisian daily newspaper La Presse shows performances of these plays on the dates that I provide above.
Jules Lacroix Jean Racine? It was not performed again until this production. Paris: A. Lemerre, Porel began his career as an actor, having studied at the Conservatoire alongside Sarah Bernhardt. In he won the top prize awarded that year for a male comedic actor in the annual Concours du Conservatoire. Nor were any prizes awarded to tragedians, whose top rank awarded was first runner-up 1er accessit. Their working relationship was quickly seen by the press as an apprenticeship for Porel, under a very capable administrator with a reputation for both sound fiscal policy and strong artistic direction.
Porel continued on with occasional acting roles in addition to his directorial duties. Charpentier et Cie, , Since closing for summer on 3 June , renovations were made on the performance hall of the theater. A new curtain was installed and painted, the interior redecorated, the tapestries replaced, and additional lighting installed. This was especially striking since the entire building had undergone extensive renovations during the summer Table 2. During this interim period, Annales , , which recounts details of the cahier of de La Rounat and Porel in comparison with that given to their successors Emile Marck and Emile Desbeaux in By drawing from his house composer, Porel had been able to avoid paying a commission to the composer of the work.
He soon realized that he could avoid paying a commission by utilizing a preexisting score by a dead musician, which would allow him to choose an already wellreceived score rather than taking a chance on a new work. Porel announced a series of six performances combining his actors with the musicians of the 18 The Concerts du Conservatoire reprised the incidental music for Athalie on 3 February For information on the Concerts du Conservatoire, see D.
But when the receipts from the first performance reached the unusually high figure of 7, He initially extended the production to reach ten performances on 14 January, and again added seven more performances through 6 April. The audience responded with a full house and nightly curtain calls, and receipts averaged 4, But as with Macbeth at the Porte-Saint-Martin, Sarah Bernhardt was particularly lauded for her alluring creation of the title role as the courtesan-turned-queen.
London: Ernst Eulenberg Ltd. He had even managed to extend the run of Athalie twice, in coordination with Colonne and his musicians. Accounts of the production note the unusual meticulousness employed in every aspect. The work was so successful that the twenty-fourth performance was reached five days before the intended end of the season. Yet the theater remained open until 13 June, almost two weeks past the previously announced closure date.
Perhaps more complimentary tickets were issued. Nevertheless, receipts grew with each passing performance, reaching 6, Over the course of the original twenty-four scheduled performances, receipts averaged 5, Little by little they were amazed; next they were fascinated with the work, the artists, the staging. Jacques Hermann asserted that the score had been quite brief, and that after the production flopped, Bizet had expanded it to its form as a labor of love, without hope of seeing it performed. While many theater administrators also wrote dramatic criticism, it was most often done after their administrative terms were over.
Writing some eight years later, Albert Soubies summed up the trend in French drama since One may ask oneself if the impression would be the same today for some new Rip or some Epimenides who, having fallen asleep on the eve of the war of , was awakened on the threshold of One thing would strike him immediately: the constant appearance on posters of old plays; or at least before , frequent reprises of works which are not shown regularly, and more significantly still, the large public which they attract and the sums which they collect.
Or does he really seek to convince us that our taste is purified, and that in we are so much more capable of judging artistic works for their true value? Whatever the case, Porel has found in these two reprises a success which he had not been able to find with new plays, which he had tried previously. Instead, it played for a mere ten performances, a figure indicative of its massive critical and popular failure. But many critics assailed the text of the play for its lack of dramatic qualities.
They find in it as we have always acknowledged, even from the beginning two or three delicious scenes, written by an exquisite pen. In my opinion, the play is a deadly bore.
Éditions de la Bibliothèque nationale de France
The status quo is the opposite of theater, which lives on movement. Mais pas du tout. All the rest follows from it. Amongst such reviewers, however, only the play fell in disfavor. The two seventy-year olds have not seen each other for fifty years, at which time the lovers had been separated when Renaude was compelled to marry another. When Balthazar recognizes Renaude, he blushes and apologizes for breaking their oath to never see each other again, offering that he would have avoided her if he had known of her itinerary. She informs him that there is no longer any reason to keep the oath, and kisses him — reunited with her youthful love after so many patient years apart.
Desbeaux reported that the great scene between Mme Crosnier [Renaude] and Paul Mounet [Balthazar] made the entire hall cry. The two perfect artists play this scene with such artistry, such sentiment, such truth, that at rehearsals we saw this stunning fact with our own eyes the artists Tessandier, Cornaglia, Yahne, and even the stage manager, were unable to hold back tears. It is the touchstone of success.
Louis Ganderax, in La Revue des deux mondes, took a decidedly different stance. His eleven-page review systematically examined the play for its dramatic qualities, and demonstrated the dramatic impetus in each tableau. For the scene with Balthazar and Renaude — seen as extraneous by Sarcey — he showed its integral place in the drama: Who therefore claims that this fragment is a trifle? Parce que M. He felt strongly enough about this to state it in both his reviews of the work, on 11 May and 18 May It takes at least ten years for a masterpiece of music to be declared a masterpiece. There were, at each instant, murmurs of admiration; one was so compelled to clap that one did not wait for the musical phrase to end.
Three pieces were encored, and they had to be replayed from the beginning. One recognizes the skilled hand of a master in the craftsmanship, in the harmonic inspiration, in the ingenuity of combinations of the processes he employs to render his thought. I am far from sharing this opinion, and I protest. The alternately charming and tragic play of the poet suffices to explain the more abundant interest than at the first gathering.
It is also due to the rare merit of the actors In days of old one made fun of melodramas and muted tremolos, without considering that in the hands of a master, the orchestra could 66 Quisait [pseud. If Daudet wanted to render a great service to himself and to the public, he would write a mediocre little piece of an idyll, with three characters, to connect the orchestral suites of Bizet. One would play it all over Europe. While the production attracted an immense amount of critical attention, it also appealed to the elite of the Parisian literary and political scenes.
One feels this and scarcely analyses it. And moreover, goodness! Et puis, dame! By the current craze for music, this endeavor is well-timed; and the likable director will have nothing to regret. Athalie, dressed up by Mendelssohn, gave excellent results from a financial standpoint. Aussi M. The drama presented the conflict through the eyes of a Jacobite and his family. The narrative was particularly relevant to French history as the pretender to the throne fled to Brittany after his decisive loss at Culloden. The effect of these two plays with incidental music was felt in two ways.
From the opening of Macbeth on 8 September through the closing of Les Jacobites on 7 February days , there were performances of plays accompanied by significant incidental music scores. Excluding the final performance of Les Jacobites which occurred one week after the penultimate performance , the statistics are even more impressive, as the total number of performances through 31 January reached within days.
No other Parisian stage which produced comedies, tragedies and dramas even attempted to maintain such a busy schedule of musical performances. The lack of government subvention Table 2. Lacroix Shakespeare, adapt. Louis Legendre Jean Racine — 89 Dostoyevski, adapt. As was common even for productions with major scores, the Livres du Bord do not note the presence or absence of music after the first performance of this run.
Edmond de Haraucourt Goethe, tr. Adolphe Aderer Shakespeare, trans. Auguste Dorchain — 92 Shakespeare, trans. Georges Clerc Euripedes, adapt. Alfred Gassier Sophocles, adapt. It is likely that the music consisted of the diegetic use of popular songs, played at a piano, to evoke the cabaret. A typical season at the Porte-Saint-Martin see Table 2.
From the start of the Table 2. Jules Lacroix Shakespeare, adapt. Three of the authors whose plays Porel produced with music were senior writers whose reputations were assured. Perhaps the only risk Porel took in applying music to a play was with Le Fils de Jahel by Simone Arnaud — , a relative unknown who would go on to supply librettos to Coquard and Bourgault-Ducoudray.
And he also rejected Porel whose career trajectory made him a strong candidate to head the premier opera house of France. By , the twenty-five year-old Bertrand had moved into theater administration, first in the United States, next in Brussels and Lille. Sarcey, etc. Nearly all reproach him for walking too directly towards the goals at which he aims and for being scarcely embarrassed by what would disturb others. Reviews were mixed, and it was performed merely fifteen times; the score consisted only of two short excerpts, including a fanfare.
It was first performed on 10 February Despite some critical acclaim for both the play and the music, it also closed after only fifteen performances. That score was comprised of an aubade and a serenade. Since the work received some critical acclaim, it would be unheard of for it to close after only nine performances, while 20 would be a very short though quite possible run for a critically-acclaimed play which did not connect with the audience.
Merowig was later produced in Nancy on 12 January This could only have been financially disastrous for such a new enterprise. Praised by critics for its sets, costumes, and its substantial score 87 pages in its piano-vocal incarnation , it played 76 times. After only twenty performances, it closed. When the theater reopened on 2 April , it was under the joint interim directorship of Victor de Cottens and E. Danancier, although Porel remained in the wings at least through 25 November Although Porel did not enjoy such success on the musical front again, his reputation for daring yet solid artistic direction and for sound business sense did follow him.
It had been planned for public performance in , but was suppressed by the censors. In its revised form, it was also his most substantial score — comprised of some 75 minutes of music, filling pages in its piano-vocal score. The drama is organized not in acts, but in two parts which correspond to the first two tragedies of the Oresteia.
Stanley Sadie, 90, 2nd ed. New York: Grove Publications, Dumanoir and J. Scarcely a success, it played thirteen times before closing. Massenet, partition pour chant et piano Paris: G. Hartmann, Foucher A. The early closure of the narrative renders a much more pessimistic interpretation of the myth. Also contrary to ancient practice, Leconte de Lisle does not provide a collective voice in the drama. Instead, the choruses cede their speech to two representative members. This technique of rendering a more personal aspect to the function of the chorus was praised by literary critic Jules Girard as a satisfactory compromise between ancient practice and modern dramatic tastes.
Few sources offer such albeit self-serving richness of information about the background of both practical and artistic decision-making in Parisian theaters. Duquesnel neglected to cite the title itself, for the version more familiar to the French resonates with English speakers as well: Les Furies. Paris: Librarie nouvelle, His response is understandable, as ordinarily a playwright would submit his play to a committee of readers appointed by the theater, or to the director himself, for consideration. Charles-Edmond suggested a proven composer, such as Gounod.
For Duquesnel this would mean lower costs, as a new composer could not command the same rate as a major name like Gounod could. Duquesnel inquired about young composers with Vaucorbeil, the commissioner and sometime composer who oversaw the government-subsidized theaters. The conflicting recollections may be compatible, as Vaucorbeil may have contacted Hartmann in his search for a young composer, and both men may have been present at the introduction of Massenet to Duquesnel.
Unfortunately for Massenet, the next day after he had improvised the music for this insertion at the piano, Leconte de Lisle reappeared and relegated this also to the pile of purged sections. In addition to the music, a significant draw for the audiences was found in the principal actors, as I will discuss below. Reception as seen in the theatrical and musical press was mixed.
Many took Leconte de Lisle to task over the form of his adaptation. Francisque Sarcey, the venerated theater critic for Le Temps, noted that each of the previous French adaptors of Greek plays had made concessions to the taste of their audience. Not so with Leconte de Lisle, and the literalness of his translation — in both cultural and linguistic terms — created a tremendous friction in the reception of the play.
What did I say? A return? Authors have worked hard lately to soften a fair amount of violence in the old tragedies. The translators themselves, when they have transported these ancient works to the stage, have not judged it appropriate in some environments to give a literal version. On the contrary, Leconte de Lisle has gone further than the horror of his model. He then meets his doom at the hands of the Furies themselves.
Que dis-je? Leconte de Lisle en a remis et beaucoup. The vase teeters precariously while the figures painted upon it come to life, only to eviscerate each other mercilessly. Red, yellow and blue ink superimposed briskly over the black and white page make the illustration much more vivid and intensify the violence. In addition to the complaints about the restored violence and strangely Hellenized names, Sarcey and others seized upon the far-too-literal translations of Greek idioms into nearly incomprehensible phrases, where equivalent French idioms existed.
In his view, Leconte de Lisle assumed that his audience had a greater knowledge of Greek history than even Aeschylus did.
Shows for kids Paris - Paris Tourist Office
For example, at the start of Part I, Scene ii, the night watchman gives no direct reference to his identity or function in society. Droz, : Perhaps Leconte de Lisle had been right to defend the audibility of his text so forcefully, as the sonority and poetry would have been lost if the words were muffled. Not even the complications and difficulties of the text proved to be an obstacle for the principal actors, whose excellent performance rendered the bitter violence even more striking.
Marie Laurent was singled out for her particularly stunning depiction of Klytaimnestra. She sits surrounded by darkness and flanked by Elektra and Kassandra. Never has there been a victim of destiny more congested. This was no longer hoarseness; it was nearly the extinction of a voice. From the beginning it was difficult to hear him; he had a calf on his tongue. In the end, by sheer force of will, he made himself heard. In his review published two days later, Sarcey used the same quip about the calf on the tongue. I hope very much that my collaborator, M. Benedict, will have the occasion to hear it and to tell his feelings on it.
Furthermore, the title of No 2 refers specifically to the actress who had played Klytaimnestra, Mme Laurent. It is thus safe to assume that this score 32 Cited by Demar Irvine in Massenet, 2nd ed. Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press, , It consists of 21 folios — 40 pages of music — and is bound in blue cloth. Conductors markings are found throughout. The score is comprised of a prelude and eight numbered movements see Table 3. Several sections are crossed out or abridged in pencil by a hand which Table 3. The prelude is in a sectional ternary form, comprised of music drawn from later sections of the drama.
In a stately G minor in common time, the texture is essentially homophonic and the phrase procedure is almost exclusively comprised of four-measure units. Comprised of 58 measures in D minor and in 68 time, its shrieking fortissimos contrast strongly with the piano and mezzoforte dynamics of the processional. Also striking is the frequent occurrence of a five-measure phrase structure in which the held notes beginning each phrase provide abrupt contrast with the fleeting sixteenth notes of the remainder of the phrase.
Its piano dynamic and serene lyricism provide the audience with a moment of relief from the violence inherent in the tragedy, and display the gift for melodic construction for which Massenet became so famous see Figure 3. This example recalls the boulevard melodrama convention of using short musical snippets to accompany the entrances and exits of characters. Those examples which were quite brief and of a background rather than foreground nature might not have been memorable enough for critics to take notice of them, including numbers 3 and 7 discussed above , number 2 comprised of two sections of 16 measures and 18 measures and number 8 comprised of 20 measures.
We will return to this combination of elements in the discussion of the second version of the score below. Figure 3. The pianissimo dynamic and the transparency of texture serve to allow the text to remain audible despite the power of the melody to attract attention away from the speaker see Figure 3.
15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Lyon
Although the play did not stay in the theater for as long as Duquesnel wished, the impact of both the play and its accompanying music can be seen in other ways. And the play lingered in the public consciousness after its closure as well. Yet this version utilized only five of his twelve composed movements if we count each part of the substantial divertissement as its own movement.
As we have seen, he likely used the last of the three sections of the ballet movement in the suite performed by Pasdeloup. Ever an economical composer, Massenet remained unwilling to let the other six movements remain unperformed before the public. Before the name of the theater could be finalized, it was necessary for the Prefect of the Seine to issue a decision.
We may be excused for finding the decisions of Vizentini, the Minister of Public Instruction and the Prefect of the Seine somewhat confusing, and amusing. And it is clear from the press of the time that the critics found the affair amusing as well. But the theater needed more than one work to maintain its income. The expansion of a popular score into a major spectacle broadened its already significant appeal. Many called it a drame antique, the term by which Leconte de Lisle and Massenet had designated it, which gave no indication as to the increased importance of the music for a play whose initial score was already substantial.
And in doing so they created a niche for the incidental form of the drame lyrique which was based on both domestic and foreign scores well-known to the Parisian public, providing a strong sense of historical precedent for the scores appearing from onwards. Elinor Olin has established at length how this generic label was utilized by nationalistic French critics who sought to supplant Wagnerian influence on their musical traditions. While Duquesnel implied that the score which Massenet wrote in contained all the movements which would be performed in the revival, manuscript evidence suggests otherwise.
An examination of BnF Ms shows that significant portions of it do match the score closely, as demonstrated in Table 3. Paul Prevost, Metz: Serpenoise, Hartmann, No 1. Choeur No 4. Choeur du retour B. Divertissement I. Danse grecque II. La Troyenne regrettant la patrie perdue III. Final C. The divertissement was likely sketched in , but cut before rehearsals — hence its absence from Ms ] No 2.
Entr'acte No 7. On the other hand, the ostensibly unperformed portions of the score underwent significant change, as only fragments a few measures at most of numbers 7 and 8 from appear in the score, and number 3 from was altered by the addition of the chorus of Vieillards over the five-measure orchestral postlude to Part I. And at times, someone perhaps Massenet himself? The new passages are often more musically sophisticated, providing some motive or topos which gives the listener information regarding the setting of the scene or its dramatic import. And within the version, the recurrence of certain musical passages provides greater cohesion across the score than in the version as reflected in Table 3.
This music had reflected the patient and somber watch for the King and his returning army kept by the men too old to fight. Here, even as the march is recalled, Table 3. Choeur du retour No 5. In this way the music employs a sort of leitmotivic construction, which — though less sophisticated and developed than the melodramas he wrote for Manon — serves to comment on the action in meaningful ways.
Paul Prevost, Metz: Editions Serpenoise, Menneret, , Regardless, the introduction of such techniques represented an advance in the integration of musical melodrama with classical drama, as begun by Bizet and Gounod some months earlier. The Revival While the revival had been a critical success, its short run had left less of an impact on the Parisian audiences than Massenet might have hoped. Significant as this placement on a special series might have been, it became swallowed up by another event at the end of that season — an event which triggered a more momentous revival of the play with the score.
This time it was neither the verses nor the music which prompted the renewed interest, though each did benefit from the revival. Clearly Porel placed a high value on the combination of a major score, a major poet and the retirement of a highly lauded actress to pull in audiences for this play which had not yet known an unmitigated success. And Porel was right in his judgment. In addition to praising the verses, he commended the overall impression of the work as still overwhelming. Conversely, Emile Morlot of La Revue d' art dramatique had nothing but praise for the actors.
There are no more praises to give it. Massenet achevaient de justifier. And so you lose nothing. And again, the aesthetic divorce between the score and the play was called to attention by a theater critic as an asset of the production. The success of the revival led to more frequent productions of the work see Table 3.
Heureusement M. Et ainsi vous ne perdrez rien. Of immense proportions, the stage is one-hundred eighty feet across, and the amphitheater seats over twelve thousand spectators. By this date, the festival had achieved such an importance in French culture as to warrant the attendance of the President of the Republic. One of the pieces which makes it up had so captured the audience that the entire amphitheater, in one voice — despite the late hour, despite fatigue — cried encore, and the Colonne orchestra had to play it The acclamation was immense, and Massenet won one of the greatest successes in which he may take pride.
This was not a public of dilettantes which he had charmed; it was the masses, who judge only by sentiment, and the common way of appreciating works of art is that they are pleasing. Fasquelle, : , citation The decision to commission a new opera on the subject of Prometheus for Orange, announced early in the year, was confirmed by the substantial receipts from the festival, which amounted to 75, from two days. But art has nothing to gain in these attempts at pseudo-archeology. The conflict between these two opinions would only deepen as further revivals were mounted, thus providing fascinating insight into changing notions of musical representations of antiquity.
Meanwhile, Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray published three books on antique music. The discourse on musical antiquity did not remain in the academy alone, but also began to affect the composition and performance of music. One of the most striking examples of the intersection between academic discourse on musical antiquity and performance was seen at the Palais Garnier in Performed on 26 January , the receipts totaled to a stunning , In , Charles Bannelier had been the sole critic to voice such a desire.
Ollendorff, : While at pains not to deny the value of the score, Blum offered performing the text and music independently as a solution, the former on the stage and the latter in the concert hall. Nevertheless, the music was not entirely devoid of antique touches. The initial orchestration, emphasizing strings and percussion, could well be read as a modern approximation of the instrumentation then believed to be used to accompany Greek tragedies.
In the score, the orchestration of the Danse grecque presents a reflection of ancient music, as its melody featured two flutes playing over a string accompanyment which is frequently pizzicato, to similate the plucked cithara. Massenet was not alone in his use of this technique; indeed, in his sketches for Les Troyens, Berlioz experimented with a similar pattern of reharmonized, chanted pitches. Yet the critiques presented by Blum, Dumas and others are symptomatic of the growing awareness on the part of the critics and by extension, the public who read their reviews of the qualities which comprised the music of Greek antiquity, and their consequent desire for ever more sophisticated musical evocations of that distant era.
It is strange that such a play which was never truly a popular success nor an undisputed critical success should remain a part of the repertoire for some seventy years. Much of that is due to the music, which was able to be performed separately much better than could the verse adaptation by Leconte de Lisle, as witnessed by the vibrant concert life of the score. With these scores by Bizet and Massenet, it became unthinkable that the play should be staged without the musical accompanyment which was such a key to their successes.
Prominent figures including Guillaume Apollinaire and Jean Cocteau claimed the influence of Ubu roi on their own work. Many — at least when his humorous music had acquired some fame — considered that it had saved the play; at the same time, they found it mostly noise. In any case, Terrasse fully entered the game, became one of the best friends of Jarry, and never ceased to collaborate with him, like Bonnard and Ranson.
First, the music of Ubu roi serves as an example of a collaboration where the conception of the music corresponded quite strongly to the aesthetic influences on the play. Second, the interaction between music and avant-garde drama did not have to be exotic; it could also be outwardly conventional or even lowbrow. This approach was fairly uncommon in the musical circles of the avant-garde.
In writing such a score, Terrasse showed his willingness to be influenced by the literary side of the avant-garde rather than by the composers associated with the avant-garde, such as Satie, Debussy, Ravel, Vidal or Chausson. The tale of the creation of Ubu roi begins in in Rennes, the capital city of Bretagne. Paris: H. Floury, , was carefully timed as it appeared just months after the release of a new edition of Ubu roi by the Parisian publisher Fasquelle, the first since Classroom jests evolved into a series of comic sketches and short plays, the most significant of which was titled Les Polonais and produced in the Morin attic using homemade marionettes.
He continued to develop the narrative until it assumed mythical proportions: Ubu became an malevolent version of the Elizabethan Everyman, an incarnation of evil itself. Bathlot, II: Acrobaties Paris: Gallimard, : Although Ubu roi has been viewed by some commentators as a Symbolist work, it clearly stood at the periphery of Symbolism. Constable, : As the decor did not change, it became a question to evoke, instead of directly represent, the various places where the action took place.
But I am writing to you beforehand to ask you to give some thought to a project which I would like to submit to you and which I hope may interest you. Since Ubu roi, which you liked, is a complete story in itself, I could, if you liked, simplify it somewhat, and then we would have something which could not fail to be funny: you yourself found it funny when you read it without bias one way or the other.
It would be interesting, I think, to produce this at no cost, incidentally in the following manner: 1 Mask for the principal character, Ubu; I could get this for you, if necessary.
And, in any case, I believe that you yourself have been studying the whole question of masks in the theater. A formally dressed individual would walk on stage, just as he does in puppet shows, and hang up a placard indicating where the next scene takes place. There are only three important characters who do much talking, Ubu, Ma Ubu and Bordure. Anyway, the other thing I am working on will soon be ready, and you will see how much better it is. But if the project I have just outlined does not seem completely absurd to you, then I would appreciate your letting me know, so that I will not be working unnecessarily on the second scheme.
With best wishes for all your good work, which gave me the chance of enjoying yet another highly interesting evening yesterday. The actors would use their bodies to communicate based on simple, universal gestures rather than the idiosyncratic language of semiotically-laden pantomime gestures, which he found impenetrable for the uninitiated by virtue of its idiomatic nature. It served to counter the creation and reception of drama as light entertainment devoid of intellectual stimulation, which Jarry frowned upon as bourgeois.
Moreover, the depersonalization of actors through masks, contrived voices and puppet-like motions seems to have been a response to the fame of such actors as Sarah Bernhardt and Mounet-Sully, whose celebrity created more of a spectacle than did the dramas in which they played. By removing the focus from the actors and the visual artistry, emphasis might be returned to the drama and to its meanings, hidden or otherwise.
- The Declarable Future (Wisconsin Poetry Series);
- Theatres of surgery: The cultural pre-history of the face transplant?
- Na estrada (Portuguese Edition).
As to the financial aspect, Jarry certainly could not have afforded a more experienced composer. I wanted the chords, for example to seem funny, like puns in language. Ubu roi proved to be the first of many collaborations, including several which were left incomplete. Acrobaties, Marguerite Eymery , a novelist and playwright who was married to Alfred Vallette.
Her reply was crucial to the production as it convinced him not to cancel the play. By doing so he shrewdly suggested to the audience that to condemn his play would be to show themselves less insightful into the meaning of Ubu roi than the assemblage of prominent avant-garde reviewers who had praised it at its literary release.
He was probably quite sincere, nevertheless, in that he made several crucial points about the performance in this address. First, Jarry claimed that part of his motivation for addressing the audience was that the sympathetic critics had seen more symbolism in the play than Jarry might have intended. Thus the reference to Swedenborgian philosophy, which asserted that simple forms are more perfect than more developed ones. See Alfred Jarry, Ubu, ed. For fifteen to twenty minutes, chaos reigned. This is the limit! Few theater critics who wrote about the performances found space to discuss the score.
But it also includes literary melodrama and literary marionette traditions. From the above we see that the puppetry influences on Ubu roi ranged from a popular, fairground style to an avant-garde, literary mode. Pierre Larousse, vol. The production of Ubu featured a host of famous visual artists, known collectively as the Nabis, who worked on the unorthodox stage design. And Jarry had called upon Claude Terrasse to provide a musical score for his creation, which was rather substantial in length, even if mostly comprised of short snippets.
First, the composition of the intended orchestra is given on page 12 of the play, immediately following the dedications see Figure 4. The other three are more fanciful. The grand basson large bassoon and triple basson triple bassoon invoke a tendency towards the musically grandiose reminiscent of both Wagner and Berlioz.
Quantin, : The instruments listed in Ubu roi are drawn from the wind including brass and percussion families. The list of ancient instruments also serves as a nod to the burgeoning interest in performance practice in Paris during this time. While the score does utilize these motives, it does not rely on them overmuch, nor does the texture of the scoring resemble anything like that of Wagner or his French adherents.
Similarly, the key signatures employed are rather simple, ranging from four flats to an occasional five sharps, while more frequently employing two or fewer accidentals in the key signatures. The chromaticism which the score employs is most often of the passing tone variety, though the frequency and variety of chromatic usage increases as the score continues.
Where modulations do occur they are often of a sectional nature rather than meticulously prepared. Among the more common goals of the chromatic modulations is the flatted submediant, rather old-fashioned by And most significant among its non-Wagnerian characteristics was the lack of any vocal music in this edition.
Unlike those scores, however, the interaction of music and speech in Ubu roi was far more subtle and flexible, as the instrumental interludes and the melodrama were much more frequent and of a wider range of durations. On the one hand, we find many parallels with other incidental scores of the avant-garde; on the other, there are parallels with less elevated genres such as melodramas and fairground music.
Of all the incidental scores produced during this era in France, it is fitting that the most direct comparisons can be made between the music for Ubu roi and the music for Symbolist marionette dramas. The scores by Vidal and Chausson, on the other hand, were more clearly incidental music but differed from Ubu roi in that they were often comprised of fifteen to twenty movements which were each longer than those for Ubu roi, and usually incorporated choruses and vocal soloists.
Its influence is more striking than that of the contemporary incidental works on Ubu roi. Similar music still accompanies the puppet shows in the public gardens in Paris today. Constable and Co. TH This relation by precedent holds true not only for the plots but also for the music of these plays, as the two scores bear some striking outward resemblances.
Both scores are written for 5-act plays incorporating slapstick comedy and social satire. Both are comprised of numerous short movements during the drama; Robert Macaire possesses 64 movements besides its overture, while Ubu roi contains In each score, these range from 2 or 3 measures up to fifty-eight measures, though most are under twenty measures. Repeat signs occur with some frequency, providing the conductor with a flexibility of movement length to suit the dramatic needs.
And just as with Ubu roi, the musical materials of Robert Macaire are of a simplistic nature: the surviving orchestral parts show a simple melody-accompanyment texture as the rule, with basic partwriting that did not require virtuosi, and simple key signatures from three sharps to four flats. Cues from the spoken text are sprinkled throughout the parts, indicating where tremolo passages should begin to underline dialogue in the simplest form of musical melodrama. Similarly, many of the shorter musical snippets in Ubu roi are carefully positioned within the spoken text and labeled to indicate their role as atmospheric sonority.
While it is unlikely that Terrasse knew this particular score for Robert Macaire — which was written in and revived in and , nearly fifty years before Ubu roi — it stands nevertheless as an examplar of musical accompanyment to a boulevard melodrama which was among the most famous in nineteenth-century France, and the most relevant to Ubu roi. Table 4. To be sure, his use of leitmotifs is shorter-breathed than a truly Wagnerian usage.
But he does manage to utilize the motives in augmentation, diminution, complex rhythmic alterations, transformational processes, and in combinations which are consistently fresh and artful. In the spirit of eclectism, these usages of the motives are most often presented with a clarity and tunefulness which was a hallmark of the most self-conscious French styles of the era.
An example of a combination of two motives which incorporates a transformation of a motive is found in the postlude to Act I, scene ii see Figure 4. Figure 4. After a series of falling ninths, the pantomimic music which accompanies their death begins rather like a Bach invention. What started as a two-part imitation in the right-hand part is transformed in the last two systems of the score to sonically resemble the Dies Irae theme so frequently used to signify death in dramatic and programmatic music. The harmonic ambiguity of this passage lies in stark contrast to the harmonic simplicity of the Ouverture, even if the textures of the two are similar.
For those who might expect the score for Ubu roi to match the strident avant-garde nature of the text, the music can seem rather off-putting in its surface simplicity and in its lack of outwardly avantgarde moments. Its texture is almost exclusively melody-accompaniment, and it would seem very much at home in the world of operetta, to which Terrasse would later turn with a success not seen since Offenbach himself.
In this light, Terrasse supplied clues to the audience which might provide context in which they could form interpretations of this unusual work. This was especially useful in light of the polysemy of signifiers in the text of the play. The list is short — only two works — and they are both operas.
Few works are likely to stand up to such comparisons; the additional problem for Le Martyre is that it was never an opera in the first place. Despite the telegrams and messages sent all over Paris to notify ticketholders of the cancellation, an angry crowd eventually forced their way into the dress rehearsal and joined the press in the audience, after arguing vehemently with the theater staff. The difficulties surrounding Le Martyre did not end here.
The most problematic aspect of the work was its massive text, whose 3, verses made it extend to four and a half hours in performance. It would seem that even those responsible for the work agreed with these criticisms, as it is reported that the second act was significantly reduced after the May 22 open dress rehearsal. La Revue musicale June : Thus, in few critics were confused as to the genre of the work, and especially the nature of the music. Claude Debussy pour le drame de M. To the extent that it does refer to anything in the score, it would most likely allude to the imitation of Palestrinian counterpoint in the choral parts, especially in the fifth Mansion.
In any event, the genre of the work would seem much more confusing to one whose vantage point was onstage while leading a portion of the choristers and extras, than to an audience member who might form a more comprehensive view of the work. The first revision led to the concert suite of the work, containing orchestral excerpts from the first, third and fourth mansions as the acts of the play were called.
The same year also saw Inghelbrecht conduct a concert version of the work, with nine soloists, choristers and orchestral players, and all five Table 5. Notably absent from this version were all the spoken roles, suggesting that this version amounted to a straight performance of the score without any spoken dialogue. Perhaps the most obvious and relevant works to compare with Le Martyre are those which also drew their plots and themes from Christian history and legend. The list of plays with proto-Christian themes and incorporating incidental music includes at least five works.
These employ a different set of musical signifiers, including an instrumentation comprised exclusively of chorus and organ. In Table 5. Musical Signifiers: thematic use Nero, 64 A. Table 5. One might consider that Table 5. Canticum Geminorum Marc and Marcellien , vv. Chorus Virginum 9 Virgins , vv. Chorus Juvenum 9 Youths , vv. Erigoneium Melos, vv. Chorus Syriacus , vv. Items in bold are not set to music, despite the marginal notes in the text of the play.
La Cour des Lys No. La Chambre magique No. Le Concile des faux dieux No. Venge nos temples! Sombre et lent No. Le Paradis No. Similarly, he might have written only eight movements if he desired to focus his energy on perfecting them. Instead, he wrote eighteen movements, which suggests that Debussy did find something in the play about which to feel passionately, and that his work on this score — though taxing — also was rewarding in some way besides the 19 Page and verse numbers refer to the text of the play published in June Movements in bold are not called for in the marginal notes in the text of the play.
The mystical subject suited his very introverted aesthetic. He had, moreover, personal ideas which he described to me about The Passion which was mimed by Saint Sebastian in the mystery in question, ideas of profound originality. And Debussy himself simply wept. A Contextualization of The Role of Dance in Le Martyre Besides subject and setting, another comparison between Le Martyre and its contemporaneous French incidental scores lies in the creation of spectacle through the presence of dance. If one were to count these as a single movement, Debussy composed fifteen movements. Simply because the Neichthauser family, who managed the Guignol Mourguet theatre from to had settled in Brindas towards the beginning of the XXth century, first on holiday time, then with more assiduity, since Pierre Neichthauser, who animated for a very long time the puppet of Gnafron while his younger brother Ernest played Guignol , even became the mayor of the commune from to So Gnafron was the mayor of Brindas Today, Jean-Guy Mourguet photo on the left , the last puppeteer descendant of the family, who founded his own company in , would like to see the creation of a Guignol foundation in Brindas, the village to which he bequeath his important collection of puppets.
The Museum - Presentation of the family collection Mourguet, creator of Guignol - The complete story of the years of the Guignol de Lyon - Documentation with the archives and testimonys of five generations of "guignolists". All the information at MTG. A page on the museum-theater on the website of the CCVL the community of communes which is now responsible for the project : www. See at Les amisdeguignol. A video presentation of Guignol, by www. The Guignol du Jardin d'Acclimatation created is the most famous of the parisian Guignols.
Other or same books, but by Amazon.