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Interpreting the Musical PastEarly Music in Nineteenth Century France$
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Katharine Ellis

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195365856

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195365856.001.0001

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(p.3) 1 1800–1846
Interpreting the Musical Past

Katharine Ellis

Oxford University Press

The chapter begins with a discussion of the French museum concept, moving to an explanation of why the musical survivors from the ancien régime were all Italian or Italianate (mostly Pergolesi and Jommelli, but also Rousseau). Discussion of the work of Alexandre-Étienne Choron, the first wave of concerts historiques under François-Joseph Fétis, and the concert series of the Société de Musique Vocale Religieuse et Classique, illustrates how and why some categories of French music of the recent and more distant past were expunged from French collective memory, replaced by a (sometimes fake) Italian musical heritage that was promoted as superior, while other categories were marked out for nationalist celebration. The chapter discusses the rise of ultramontanism, and traditions in publishing and education, in relation to patterns in early-music revivalism, and ends with discussion of regional practices, especially at Carpentras (with its long-standing Cathedral tradition of performing the unfashionable Lalande) and Rouen (the pianist Amédée Méreaux's revivals of the Fétisian concert historique).

Keywords:   Choron, Fétis, Amédée Méreaux, La Moskova, ultramontanism, Clavecin, nationalism, music education, Janequin, Pergolesi

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