La Gazette musicale de Paris

(Paris, 1834-1835)
Complete Introduction : French | English
Complete Introduction

Prepared by Doris Pyee-Cohen and Diane Cloutier
13 volumes* (1999)

A Parisian journal issued by the Franco-German music publisher Maurice Schlesinger, La Gazette musicale de Paris comprises ninety-five weekly issues. In November 1835 the journal merged with François-Joseph Fétis’s Revue musicale, an important and very serious weekly periodical begun in early 1827. Fétis, “tired of the reader’s fickleness” sold his journal to Schlesinger, who joined the two titles to create the Revue et Gazette musical de Paris (1835-1880). It is difficult to establish precisely GMP’s actual editor, for the masthead of the initial issue lists no less than fifteen well-known personalities including Adolphe Adam, Berlioz, Liszt, Castil-Blaze, Joesph Mainzer and Adolph Bernhard Marx as editors. From the content of the journal it is clear that these writers were contributors and were not responsible for the overseeing production of the journal’s content.

The structure of the issues is fairly regular; each begins with one or two leading articles followed by extensive review sections—focusing on productions of opera, concerts, published music and books—and thereafter advertising of Schlesinger’s own publications. The leading articles cover a wide range of topics such as the music of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, the music of Beethoven, Giovanni Gabrieli and the Venetian school, music at the 1834 industrial exhibition, the manufacture of Chinese percussion instruments, Chinese music, and Hebrew music at the synagogue in Vienna. Biographical studies of musical figures include Berlioz’s extended series on Gluck, which contains analytical studies of Iphigénie et Tauride and Telemaco. Also by Berlioz is an analysis of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell. Literature also figures in an important way in the journal. Schlesinger, wanting to depart from the austere style of Fétis’s Revue musicale, regularly published contes written by musical and literary celebrities (Jules Janin, Berlioz, Alexandre Dumas).

Piano music and pedagogical manuals are frequently treated in the review sections, which include notices on works by Henri Herz, P. Rode, Carl Czerny, J.-P. Pixis, Chopin, and Ferdinand Hiller. There are also numerous reviews of new productions at the Académie royale de musique (Mozart’s Don Juan and Halévy’s La Juive), the Théâtre-Italien (Mercadante’s Il Bravo and Bellini’s I Puritani), the Opéra-Comique (Auber’s Lestocq and Le Cheval de bronze), as well as concert reviews which include those of the Concerts du Conservatoire.

*Hard Bound with
La Revue et Gazette musicale de Paris (Paris, 1835-1880)