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L’Indépendance musicale et dramatique

(Paris, 1887-1888)

Prepared by Doris Pyee
1 volume* (2004)

L’Indépendance musicale et dramatique was published in Paris from 1 March 1887 until 15 January 1888. Each of its nineteen issues is about thirty pages in length, with articles printed in single column format. From a bi-weekly publication, INM became a monthly starting on 15 November 1887. INM was not linked to a publisher and did not contain advertisements.

On the title page Ernest Thomas is identified as the “Supervisor-Editor in Chief.” There is no mention of Thomas as a music critic, but in the holdings of the Music Section of the Bibliothèque Nationale, there are several of his compositions for the piano: polkas, valses and quadrilles composed in 1863 and 1865. The composer and conductor Joseph-Guy Ropartz, who contributed fifteen articles to the journal, is also thought to be one of the editors. Other contributors include Camille Bellaigue, Anédée Boutarel, Hughes Imbert, Adolphe Jullien and Georges Noufflard. The journal features a thoughtful selection of topics, concentrates on the major musical events of 1887 and 1888, and offers articles and reviews of unquestionable quality. Each issue includes a table of contents on the title page, three or four signed articles and a review, followed by an unsigned section, “Échos et Nouvelles.”

Among the important articles, are a series of studies on composers: four articles by Léonce Mesnard on Berlioz; three each on Vincent d’Indy and Saint-Saëns, two on Brahms and one on Fauré, all by Hugues Imbert. Georges Noufflard contributes two articles on the critic Filippo Filippi and the evolution of music in Italy. Two unsigned articles list works “premièred on the stage of the Opéra-Comique from 16 May 1840”—the date of the Salle Favart inauguration—“until 25 May 1887, when it was turned to ashes by a fire.” Apart from these thematic articles, there are two contributions by Hugues Imbert: the “Berlioz Monument” and “A Preface to Schumann’s Work.” A scholarly article on the Concerts populaires is published on the occasion of Jules Pasdeloup’s death, while the revival of Massenet’s Marie-Magdeleine by Colonne at the Châtelet Theater is the occasion to introduce a retrospective overview of the work’s performances.

Reviews are given under the headings “Chronique des concerts” and “Chronique musicale” and deal with Parisian musical life: the reception of Wagner’s Lohengrin conducted by Lamoureux at the Eden Theatre; the performance history of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique (beginning with a performance in the Salle des Menus-Plaisirs in December 1833); a performance of Beethoven’s Messe solennelle at the Paris Conservatory, and the centennial exhibition for the occasion of the first performance of Mozart’s Don Juan at the Paris Opera. “Échos et nouvelles” deals with musical life in the provinces: activities of the Association artistique d’Angers, concerts in Dijon, Valence, Lorient and Rouen. This section also deals with news from the capital: for example, the hundredth performance of Daudet’s L’Arlésienne with incidental music by Bizet, the audition of the Prix de Rome applicants, and Auguste Vianesi, the new conductor of the Paris Opera.

*Bound with:
La Hollande musicale (The Hague, 1854-1855; 1866-1867)

* Hard bound with