Romain Rolland's Essays on Music

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Read Books, 2008 - Music - 388 pages
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ROMAIJV HOLLANDS ESSAYS ON MUSIC IOW fc. ROMAIN ROLLAWS ESSAYS ON MUSIC ALLEN, TOWNE HEATH, JVC. NEW YORK THE ESSAYS, The Place of Music in General History Lulty Gretry Gluck and Alceste, and Mozart According to His Let ters are from Some Musicians of Former Days Henry Holt ir Co., 1915 The Origins of Eighteenth-Century Classic Style, A Musi cal Tour to Eighteenth-Century Italy A Musical Tour to Eight eenth-Century Germany Telemann A Forgotten Master Metas tasioi The Forerunner of Gluck and the - first part of the essay on Handel, The Man from A Musical Tour Through the Land of the Past Henry Holt 6-Co., 1922 the second part of the essay on Han del, The Musician pom Handel Henry Holt 6-Co., 1916 Ber lioz Wagner A Note on Siegfried and Tristan, Hugo Wolf and Camille Saint-Saens from Musicians of Today Henry Holt Co., 1915 Portrait of Beethoven in his Thirtieth Year from Beethoven the Creator Harper 6-Eros., 1929. Table of Contents Publisher s Note 1. The Place of Music in General History S 2. Lully 19 The Man The Musician The Grandeur and Popularity of Lully s Art 3. The Origins of Eighteenth-Century Classic Style 50 4. A Musical Tour to Eighteenth-Century Italy 69 5. A Musical Tour to Eighteenth-Century Germany 95 6. Telemann A Forgotten Master 121 7. Gretry 145 8. Metastasio The Forerunner of Gluck 166 9. Gluck and Alceste 179 10. Handel 213 The Man The Musician 11. Mozart According to His Letters 245 12. Portrait of Beethoven in his Thirtieth Year 262 13. Berlioz 284 14. Wagner 320 A Note on Siegfried and Tristan 15. Hugo Wolf 341 16. Camille Saint-Saens 362 Publishers Note THIS VOLUME is a distillation of five different books on music by Romain Rolland, all of them now out of printand three of them out of circulation for about three decades. It embraces some of the finest writing on music by Holland and y perhaps as an inevitable corollary, it represents some of the best musical writing of our generation. Few writers on music anywhere and in any period brought to their task Hollands seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of culture, Ms im mense musical scholarship., his sensitive understanding of the psychology of genius, his enviable, possibly unique, gift for making past epochs and musical personalities long dead live palpitantly and vividly for us. That such treasurable writing on music should be out of the reach of the average music lover that, indeed, so many music lovers of our day should be un aware of its very existence seemed an insufferable situation crying for remedy. The preparation of this volume for publication brought back to mind the all-too-few occasions upon which I had the oppor tunity to meet and speak to Rolland. The first time was in 1932. Though he was sixty-six years old and in poor health, he seemed to have retained a healthy balance and an almost youthful tolerance. His musical tastes were still expansive. If he had violent prejudices of any kind, he did not reveal them. It seemed that he preferred to speak only of his enthusiasms and his enthusiasms for music were still many and varied. He stitt had an extraordinary attachment for the music of the seven teenth and eighteenth centuries, about which he had written so many brilliant essays. Jet his passion for the very old did ix x Romain Rolands Essays on Music not obfuscate his enthusiasm for the very new. If he was now too tired and too sick to hear new scores or to study them, he hadcertainly lost none of his curiosity about them. At the time I first met him he was preoccupied with the subject of Beethoven, about whom he had completed two vol umes of what he hoped would be a definitive study. It was his lifes ambition to see this monument to Beethoven completed, and he jealously conserved his time and energy for that task. In his old age he found solace and comfort and happiness in the company of Beethovens music...

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About the author (2008)

Romain Rolland was born in Clemency, France. The family moved to Paris in 1880 in order to obtain a better schooling for their son. In 1886 Rolland entered the École Normale Supérieure. He passed his agrégation examination in 1889 and continued his studies in Rome, where he formed a lasting friendship with Malwida von Meysenbug. She knew Wagner, Liszt, Nietzsche, and Ibsen, and encouraged his first attempt to write. He received his doctorate in art in 1895, with the first dissertation on music ever presented at the Sorbonne. Rolland became professor of art history at the École Normale in Paris. In 1904 he became a professor of the history of music at the Sorbonne. In his mid-30s he wrote successful dramas about the French Revolution. After his best-known work, Jean-Christophe, was finished, Rolland devoted himself entirely to writing. The ten-volume novel was an epic story of a German musical genius. Rolland had already published a biography on Beethoven in 1903. On completion of Jean-Christophe, Rolland was awarded the Grand Prize in Literature by the French Academy in 1913 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915. With a collection of antiwar writings published in Swiss newspapers, Above the Battle, Rolland became a prominent figure in the pacifist movement during World War I. The book caused protests in France, but Rolland condemned the war and tried to show the oneness of western culture. Due to these opinions he was called traitor. In 1913 he wrote the novel Colas Breugnon, which was published in 1919. In the 1920s Rolland became interested in Indian philosophy and wrote a biography of Mahatma Gandhi. In 1923 Rolland founded the international magazine Europe, which opposed nationalism. Gradually he started to reject Stalinism, and support non-violent social change. From 1914 to 1937 Rolland lived in Switzerland. There he completed the second novel cycle, The Enchanted Soul. Rolland became a mouthpiece of the opposition to Fascism and the Nazis. During the last years of his life, Rolland lived in Vézelay and worked on the biography of Charles Péguy. On December 30, 1944 he succumbed to tuberculosis, an illness that had afflicted him since his childhood.

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