La Hollande musicale

(The Hague, 1854-1855, 1866-1867)
Complete Introduction : French | English

Prepared by Doris Pyee
1 volume* (2004)

La Hollande musicale was published monthly in The Hague from September 1854 until October 1855, and from January 1866 to September 1867. There are eighteen single issues (four to seven pages in length) and four double issues (six to thirteen pages in length). From September 1854 to October 1855, readers were offered supplements of piano music (fantasies, transcriptions of songs including Queen Hortense’s national anthem “Partons pour la Syrie”). Until 1855, no editor is mentioned and it seems that the journal had no regular contributors. However, in the January 1866 issue Achille Desfossez is cited as the journal’s editor.

All articles, set in two columns per page, reflect the musical life in the main cultural centers of The Netherlands: The Hague, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Until October 1855, musical events are treated under several headings: “Chronique musicale” or “Chronique, Nouvelles diverses” or “Nouvelles-Faits divers” and then “Variétés.” However, beginning in January 1866, the journal’s layout is more concise. Reviews of performances at the Théâtre royal français de La Haye and at the Opéra de Rotterdam are featured in many of the journal’s issues. Columns such as “Concerts,” “Concerts de musique de chamber” and “Chroniques” deal with various performing ensembles. Occasionally lists of newly published works and scores are included. Few articles are signed.

The Hague with its active Théâtre-royal-français de La Haye receives the most attention. In an article entitled “Clôture 1855,” HMU offers a retrospective list of works performed at this theater since September 1854: in all, eighteen operas and comic operas. The same type of article concerning the annual closing of theaters in 1865-66 lists twenty-six operas and comic operas. Among the composers whose works were performed are: Adolphe Adam (Le Postillon de Longjumeau, Si j’étais roi), Auber (Le Domino noir), Bellini (Norma), Donizetti, (La Favorite, Lucie de Lammermoor), Flotow (Martha), Gounod (Faust), Halévy (Charles VI, La Juive, La Reine de Chypre), Hérold (Zampa), Meyerbeer (Les Huguenots, Robert le diable), Ambroise Thomas (Le Songe d’une nuit d’été) and Verdi (Jérusalem, Le Trouvère). The leading performers were Élizabeth Geismar, Mrs. Dhélens and Léonti (sopranos), Bourdais, Révial and René (tenors), Gaudemar and Roberti (baritones) and Vila and Dutasta (basses). The Concerts Diligentia, the Sociétés de Toonkunst, d’Aurora, de l’Hélicon, Caecilia and Con Animo are among the organizations reported upon.

Reviews of Rotterdam’s German Opera include works by Gounod, Halévy, Rossini, Mozart and Beethoven, with singers such as the tenor Collin, the baritone Roberti, and the soprano Miss Adolph. The concerts of the Sociétés de Voorzorg and Eruditio Musica and the concerts of the societies Caecilia, Félix Méritis, Euterpe and Toonkunst in Amsterdam are also reviewed. The activities of several prominent figures in the country’s musical life including J. Verhulst (composer and conductor), Nicolaï (composer and professor at The Hague Conservatory of Music), Mrs. Offermans-van Hove (soprano), Ernst Lubeck, (pianist and composer) and Botgorschek (flutist) are also featured.

News items from the Dutch press treat, for example, Jenny Lind’s visit to The Netherlands for concerts, and performances of Handel’s Messiah. In 1867, a biographical sketch of Arthur Pougin, the noted French music critic is featured. A lengthy article reproduces part of a Mémoire by Fétis evaluating “the prominent role of the Dutch nation in the movement that gave new birth to arts and sciences during the Renaissance.”

*Hard Bound with
L’Indépendance musicale et dramatique (Paris, 1887-1888)