A travers chants

Published in 1862, A travers chants is the final panel of the ‘trilogy’ begun by Les Soirées de l’orchestre (1852) and continued by Les Grotesques de la musique (1859). In this last book, Berlioz continued selecting pieces from his feuilletons, adding part of his Voyage musical en Allemagne et en Italie; but otherwise he proceeded differently from the earlier volumes. In Soirées, we hear the voices of fictional musicians during performances of inferior operas, whereas Grotesques gives pride of place to fragments, tales, and antics designed to satirize Parisian musical life. A travers chants pays more attention to the ‘sacred monsters’, most of them German, whom Berlioz revered. Although the book is subtitled ‘Etudes musicales, adorations, boutades et critiques’, ‘adorations’ have pride of place. Fragmentary texts have virtually disappeared, allowing space for extended essays on Berlioz’s favoured repertories. The result is three large groupings: the first devoted to Beethoven (all 9 symphonies, trios, sonates and Fidelio), the second centred on Gluck, the third treating other masters, from Weber to Wagner by way of Reber and Heller.

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digitized editions
genreMusic Criticism
editorMichel Lévy frères
place of publicationParis
years of publication1862
adapted from
same ashttp://data.bnf.fr/15043864/hector_berlioz_a_travers_chants/