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Camille Saint-SaënsOn Music and Musicians$
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Roger Nichols

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195320169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320169.001.0001

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Musical Eccentricities

Musical Eccentricities

(“Divagations musicales”, Au courant de la vie, Dorbon-Ainé, 1914, 45–51)

(p.33) 5 Musical Eccentricities
Camille Saint-Saëns

Roger Nichols

Oxford University Press

Throughout history, opinions about art, and especially about the art of music, have been subject to strange aberrations, to wild eccentricities. Fifty years ago, one did not dare express a doubt as to the quality of famous operas which nowadays are regarded as deficient in melody, harmony, and instrumentation. Victims of these include Mendelssohn and Meyerbeer. This chapter concludes with the words: “Essentially, art does not change. It is men who change their opinions over its means and limits. Once they have finally come to the conclusion that these limits are entirely arbitrary and that everything has a right to life in the city of the beautiful, then they will more easily grasp the fecundity of art, which is inexhaustible”.

Keywords:   music, eccentricities, Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer

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