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Berlioz on MusicSelected Criticism 1824-1837$
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Katherine Kolb

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391950.001.0001

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Critical Review

Critical Review

“Le Moine,” Text by Émilien Pacini, Music by G. Meyerbeer

Chapter:
(p.125) 22 Critical Review
Source:
Berlioz on Music
Author(s):

Katherine Kolb

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391950.003.0023

This brief laudatory review of Meyerbeer’s dramatic song for solo voice and piano invites comparison with Berlioz’s recent review of Schubert’s lyric scene “The Nun” (#21), on a similar theme: the struggle between religious vows and sensual longing. Both reviews underline the popularity of religious subjects outside the church for the generation of Meyerbeer, whose operas Robert le diable and Les Huguenots draw on such themes. In praising Meyerbeer, Berlioz takes the opportunity to disparage the fluff of so much Parisian song composition, designed for middle class salon entertainment. Yet Meyerbeeer’s piece was composed for an album of romances aimed at just such a public. A good sign, Berlioz suggests: a few such strong compositions could produce lasting progress. His own great Nuits d’été, at the end of the decade, will do their part.

Keywords:   Meyerbeer The Monk, Schubert The Nun, religious themes, secular music, dramatic song, salon entertainment, Eustache Lesueur

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