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Castil-Blaze, De L’Opéra en France, and the Feuilletons of the Journal des Débats (1820-1832) Gíslason, Donald Garth 1992

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CASTIL-BLAZE,  DE L'OPÉRA EN FRANCE and the  F E U I L L E T O N S of the  JOURNAL DES DÉBA TS ( 1820-1832)  by  D O N A L D G A R T H GÎSLASON B.A., The University of Manitoba, 1974 B.Mus., The University of British Columbia, 1982 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 1985  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E D E G R E E O F D O C T O R O F PHILOSOPHY (Musicology [Historical Studies])  in  T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (School of Music)  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A August 1992 © Donald Garth Gislason, 1992  In  presenting  degree freely  this  at the  thesis  in  partial fulfilment  of  University of  British Columbia,  I agree  available for reference  copying  of  department publication  this or of  and study.  thesis for scholarly by  this  his  or  her  Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  DE-6 (2/88)  requirements that the  I further agree  purposes  representatives,  may be it  thesis for financial gain shall not  permission.  Date  the  is  that  an  advanced  Library shall make it  permission for extensive  granted  by the  understood be  for  allowed  that without  head  of  my  copying  or  my written  ABSTRACT  François-Henri-Joseph Blaze (1784-1857), who published under the pseudonym CastilBlaze, was an important figure in French musical life during the period of the Bourbon Restoration (1815-1830). In his historical monographs, he was the first writer to address the wider French public to explain to them the history and practical functioning of their major musical institutions. As France's first professional music critic and the author of some 340 articles in the prestigious Journal des débatshetween 1820 and 1832, he created a place for literate writing about music on the front pages of the most respected daily newspaper in France, providing the French public for the first time with a regular account of Parisian musical activities written from a musician's point of view. The present study examines his views on opera as expressed in his articles in the Journal des débats and in the work which launched his career. De J'Opéra en France (1820). Chapter 1 reviews the centrality of opera in French musical life from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, concentrating upon the literary outlook which conditioned its development and upon the parallel development of French music criticism during this period. EHscussed as well are the founding of the Journal des débats at the end of the eighteenth century and the work of its first important critic, Julien-Louis Geoffroy, at the beginning of the nineteenth. Chapter 2 describes the early career of Castil-Blaze before his arrival in Paris and analyses both the new direction which De l'Opéra en /ra/îce represented in French writing about music and the contrast evident between Castil-Blaze and his predecessor Geoffroy. Chapter 3 outlines Castil-Blaze's views on the nature of music criticism as a specialty discipline and details the ways in which his own work attempted to put these views into practice. Chapter 4 discusses the crucial importance of the libretto, in Castil-Blaze's view, to the ultimate effectiveness of opera, both at the large-scale level of its dramatic structure and at the small-scale  level of its verse prosody. Chapter 5 deals with the issues affecting the opera composer's score: the theoretical basis of Castil-Blaze's musical aesthetics, his practical concerns with the traditional French system for distributing voice roles, and his opinions on text-music setting and the nature of dramatic expression in music. Chapter 6 deals with Castil-Blaze's expectations of the opera singer, both as a vehicle for the composer's written intentions and as an important contributor of dramatic expression and improvised ornamentation in performance. A concluding chapter outlines unifying themes in his writings as a whole and discusses their impact upon later developments in French opera.  m  T A B L E OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  ii  T A B L E O F CONTENTS  iv  LIST OF FIGURES  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS PREFACE  vii 1  C H A P T E R 1: F R E N C H O P E R A A N D M U S I C CRITICISM BEFORE CASTIL-BLAZE  12  Opera in French Musical Life  12  The French View of Opera as Literature  15  Critical Writing about Music before 1800  20  The Journal des débats, the Feuilleton, and Geoffroy  27  New Conditions of Musical Life in Restoration Paris  35  C H A P T E R 2: CASTIL-BLAZE'S DÉBUT I N PARIS A N D DEL OPÉRA EN FRANCE  42  Castil-Blaze's Background  42  De l'Opéra en France  46  Castil-Blaze and Geoffroy  54  C H A P T E R 3: C A S T I L - B L A Z E A N D SPECIALIZED MUSIC CRITICISM  57  Castil-Blaze's Innovation  57  Music Criticism as a Specialized Discipline  60  Qualities of the Music Critic  65  Objectivity and Practicality in Castil-Blaze's Feuilletons  82  Range of Subject Matter  86  Table of Contents C H A P T E R 4: T H E OPERA LIBRETTO  90  Setting and Dramatic Interest  100  Distribution of Roles and Music  109  Division into Acts and Scenes  118  Operatic Prosody  124  C H A P T E R S : T H E D R A M A T I C SCORE  140  Castil-Blaze's Aesthetics  140  The Système vocal of French Opera  146  Text-Music Setting and Dramatic Expression  154  C H A P T E R 6: T H E SINGER'S A R T  168  The Singer as the Composer's Vehicle  174  Ornamentation and the Singer's Taste  187  CONCLUSION  197  BIBLIOGRAPHY  209  A P P E N D I X : The /feu^/efô/75of Castil-Blaze in the Journal des débats iUlO-mi)  220  LIST O F F I G U R E S  Figure 1: De l'Opéra, II, Planches, p. 1 Figure 2: De l'Opéra, II, Planches, pp. 22-23  51 163  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I am grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for their generous support in the early stages of my doctoral programme. I wish as well to thank Dr. J. Evan Kreider and Dr. John Roeder for their careful reading of my work and for the depth of interest which they displayed in a subject area at some remove from their own. Dr. Gregory Butler and Dr. Sylvia L'Écuyer have occupied a special place in my labours. The warmth of their encouragement and the model of their scholarship have sustained and inspired me throughout my research work. I am no less grateful to my research supervisor, Dr. Vera Micznik, whose perceptive insight into my strengths and quiet faith in my abilities more than once surpassed my own. I wish finally to thank my mother and father, my sister Kathryn, and most specially my brother Gordon for their emotional and material support, their concern and their wise counsel, and for their unfailing good hiunour during the long period leading to the completion of this dissertation.  PREFACE  Historiens de l'avenir, méfiez-vous de Castil-Blaze! ^  It is a notion commonly held that the great figures of history tend to transcend their time while lesser figures tend to typify the age in which they live. The historical figure treated in this dissertation will find neither a unique nor a imiversally agreed upon place in such a scheme, however, for as both a pioneer and a popularizer he would appear to lay ahnost equal claim to the titles of leader and follower of the French public to whom he directed his work. François-Henri-Joseph Blaze (1784-1857), known by his pseudonym "Castil-Blaze," was a learned, articulate, enterprising and ultimately controversial musical personality whose activities as a writer on music and as a translator and adaptor of foreign works for the lyric stage made him an important figure in French musical life during the 1820s and 1830s. His principal contribution, in writings which comprise both historical monographs and a major corpus of articles in the press, was to stimulate public interest in the serious study of music as an art and to raise standards for writing about music in general. In his historical monographs, some of which are still consulted by modem scholars, he was the first writer to address the wider French public to explain to them the history and practical functioning of their major musical institutions.^ As France's first professional music  1. Attributed to Arthur Pougin in Herbert Weinstock, Rossini: A Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1975), p. 441. 2. His major historical works, all published in Paris, are as follows: De l'Opéra en France ( 1820), Dictionnaire de musique moderne {V?,2\.), Chapelle musique des rois de France {1^2)2), La Danse et les Ballets depuis Bacchusjusqu 'à Mlle Taglioni ( 1832), Piano ( 1840), Physiologie du musicien (1844), Mémorial du Grand Opéra (1847), Molière musicien (1852), L Académie impériale de musique de 1645à 1855{\%SS), L'Opéra italien de 1548 à 7*5^(1856), Surl'Opéra français: vérités dures mais utiles (IS56), L'Art des vers lyriques {\%5%). Remaining unpublished at his death were the following projected volumes: Histoire de l'Opéra-Comique : 1753-1856; Le Livre des pianistes, histoire du clavecin, du piano, des clavecinistes, des pianistes, des pièces écrites pour ces instruments; Musidana, salade légèrement assaisonnée; and Curiosités musicales et galantes sur le Grand Opéra.  critic and the author of some 340 articles in the prestigious Journal des débats between 1820 and 1832, he created a place for literate writing about music on the front pages of the most respected daily newspaper in France, providing the French public for the first time with a regular account of Parisian musical activities written from a musician's point of view. In so doing, he set new standards for French music criticism and in his journalistic writings he gained a wide audience for the serious discussion of French musical culture conceived in its broadest terms.^ Yet as pioneering and progressive a figure as Castil-Blaze may appear to be, he was also undeniably a man whose interests and ambitions were typical of the age in which he lived. Early nineteenth-century France was in the process of becoming a more industrial society, mediated by a growing class of administrators and financial middlemen whose role became increasingly important in the regulation of French affairs as more and more of the national wealth began to derive from the manufacturing and financial sectors."^ Castil-Blaze participated in this expansion of French industry in ways that are not always associated with a musical figure. In his early career he was a lawyer and a public administrator, but one who displayed strong entrepreneurial tendencies as well. His death notice in the Journal des débats indicates, for example, that he had also been a wholesaler in wines before moving to Paris from his native Vaucluse. ^ Very soon after establishing himself in the capital in 1820 3. Castil-Blaze later became the music critic for the Parisian daily Le ConstitutionnelsSicr leaving the Débatsin 1832, and was a frequent contributor to specialized publications such as the Revue de Paris, Le Ménestrel, the Revue et Gazette musicale de Paris and La France musicale. 4.  French industry had been stimulated greatly by Napoleon's continental blockade, instigated in 1806, which forced France to begin producing goods that had previously been imported from England, notably textiles. In addition, Napoleonic reforms in the legal system, in the organization of professional faculties at the universities and in the domain of public administration had promoted the bourgeoisie, giving them a clearer path of advancement in society and creating an important place for their talents. These developments had prompted an increase in the population of Paris, the administrative and business centre of the country, of almost 50% between 1800 and 1830.  5. The fire which immolated Castil-Blaze's entire warehouse of wines at Bercy is described in Jules Janin, "La Semaine dramatique. Les Parodies nouvelles— et nos derniers morts. M . CastilBlaze," Journal des débats (21 December 1857): 1.  he became very active in the business of music publishing, and many of his works were published by his own publishing company, which he appears to have directed with enormous energy and commitment.^ Castil-Blaze's dual pursuit of music as an aesthetic preoccupation and as an economic activity have made him a controversial figure in the historical literature. Fuelling this controversy are his activities as a translator and adaptor of works for the French lyric stage, which stand at the crux of the debate over his ultimate status as a progressive or a regressive force in French musical life. Arguing in his favour is the prescient, early and wide exposure which he gave to operatic works of outstanding merit destined to remain in the canon. It was by means of his translations that many of the operas of Mozart, Cimarosa, Beethoven, Rossini, Weber and Donizetti were first introduced to a large segment of the French public, especially in the provinces, where foreign-language opera performances were comparatively rare.^ But the freedom which he granted himself to revise some of these works in the aim of making them more acceptable to the French public has created for him the reputation of a défiler  6. The Dictionnaire des éditeurs de musique français, Vol. II (Geneva: Éditions MinkofT, 1988), s.v. "Castil-Blaze," indicates that in July of 1822 Castil-Blaze established a music publishing company in Paris in association with a dentist, André Rossi, and that between 1824 and 1830 his catalogue extended to seven pages. His personal sense of industry in the management of his business affairs is evoked by Fétis in the following terms: "... il faisait tout lui-même, arrangements pour le piano et pour tous les instruments, dispositions des planches pour les graveurs, choix du papier, soins de l'impression, corrections des épreuves, tenue des livres de commerce, correspondance universelle, et cela sans un seul coinmis." Biograpliie universelle, s.v. "Blaze, François-Henri-Joseph, dit Castil Bla^e," (Vol. I, p. 443). 7. Castil-Blaze's French adaptations include the following. Cimarosa: Le Mariage Secret (Nîmes, 1817). Mozart: Les Noces de Figaro (Nîmes, 1818; Nantes, 1822), Don Juan, ou le Festin de p/isrre (Paris, 1827), La Flûte enchantée (apparently not performed). Rossini: Le Barbier de Seville (Lyon, 1821; Paris, 1824), La Pie voleuse {UWq, 1822; Brussels, 1822), Otello (Lyon, 1823; Brussels, 1824; Paris, 1825), Tancrède(Paris, 1827), L'Italienne à Algers(Rouen, 1830; Liège, 1831). Weber: DerFreyschûtzas Robin des bois (Paris, 1824, 1835,1855; Brussels, Bordeaux, Marseilles, Rouen, Nantes, Lyon, Lille, 1825), Preciosaas Les Bohémiennes (Paris, 1825), Euryanthe (Paris, 1831), Oberon as Huon de Bordeaux (Toulouse, 1846). Donizetti: Anne de 5ou7e/7 (Le Havre, 1835; Lyon, Lille, 1839). Beethoven: Fidelio (Brussels, 1847). Performance indications for these works have been taken principally from Alfred Loewenberg, Annals of Opera, 3rded. (London: John Calder, 1978), Enciclopedio dello spettacolo (s.\. "Castil-Blaze, François-Joseph B., detto") and from Fétis' Revue musicale, in which a number of the above productions were reviewed.  rather than a champion of high musical art. This view of his activities has only been encouraged by the lengthy list of successful and profitable pastiches which chronologically interlard his full-length adaptations.^ Scholars have thus been torn between the conflicting interpretations of his life's work as either a reaching out with enthxisiasm to gain a wider audience for the great admired works of Western musical art, or a vast exercise in mass marketing, the principal aim of which was to maximize profit without regard for artistic integrity. In the camp of those crediting him with moving against the current of public opinion to champion the cause of great art one might place Leo Schrade, who writes: No less a man than Castil-Blaze, greatly deserving for his efforts on behalf of German classic and romantic music, ventured to bring the Freischutz to the Paris stage as Robin des Bois, three short years after Carl Maria von Weber produced this paragon of romantic music in Berlin for the first time.^ The author of the article on Castil-Blaze in the Grand Dictionnaire Universelle more eloquently admiring still, referring to ... son rêve favori : propager en France, à l'aide de traductions plus ou moins littérales, les chefs-d'œuvres des grands maîtres. Cette noble ambition, réalisée en partie, est, à nos yeux, le plus beau titre de gloire de Castil-Blaze. Grâce à ces traductions arrangées par lui, les départemens, qui s'en emparèrent, furent initiés à la connaissance de ces œuvres impérissables qui élèvent à la fois l'âme et le goût des spectateurs.^^ 8. Castil-Blaze's pastiches include: Les Folies amoureuses, after Regnard, music by Mozart, CLmarosa, Paër, Rossini, Pavesi, General! (pseud, for Castil-Blaze himself), Steibelt (Lyon, 1823; Paris, 1825); La Fausse Agnès, after Destouches, music by Cimarosa, Rossini, Meyerbeer, Pucitta, Federici (Paris, Lyon, 1824); La Forêt de Senart, ou la Pard de chasse de Henri IV, after Collé, music by Beethoven, Weber, Rossini, Meyerbeer (Paris, 1826); M. de Pourceaugnac, after Molière, music by Rossini and Weber (Paris, 1827); La Marquise de Brinvilliers, libretto by Scribe, music by Auber, Batton, Berton, Blangini, Boieldieu, Carafa, Cherubini, Paër (Paris, 1831); Les Sybarites de Florence, libretto by Lafitte, music by Aimon, Barbereau, Beethoven, Castil-Blaze, Meyerbeer, Rossini, Spohr, Weber (Paris, 1831); Bemabo, after Molière, music by Cimarosa, Salieri, Paisiello, Guglielmi, Farinelli, Grétry (not performed). 9. Leo Schrade, Beethoven in France: The Growth ofan Idea (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1942), p. 15. 10. Grand Dictionnaire Universel, s. v. "Blaze, François-Henri-Joseph."  Far more numerous and more weighty in the balance of critical opinion, however, have been those for whom Castil-Blaze's arrangements and adaptations have raised troubling questions of originality and artistic propriety, and for whom his financial success has only exacerbated their mistrust of his intentions. At the head of these must stand Hector Berlioz, whoflamboyantlydefined his artistic personality in categorical opposition to that of CastilBlaze. Berlioz described Castil-Blaze in his Mémoires as a "veterinary surgeon of music," as the "plunderer" of Weber's Der Freyschiitz, and he even coined the scornful term castilblazade to refer to his arrangements.  Indeed, Berlioz's reaction to Castil-Blaze provides some  of the most memorable passages from his writings: Villain! And a wretched sailor gets fifty lashes for a minor act of insubordination! Weber [assassinated] by Castil-Blaze; Gluck, Grétry, Mozart, Rossini, Beethoven, Vogel mutilated by this same Castil-Blaze ... There is hardly a work of these composers that he has not retouched in his own image. I believe he is mad.^^ Berlioz's anathema, with its excoriating tone of moral indignation, is echoed in the comments of many modem scholars, among whom John Warrack stands out in describing CastilBlaze as: ... a species of theatrical tomb-robber who, despite his attacks on poor translations and adaptations and the abuses of theatre managers, was himself guilty of pillaging numerous foreign works for the stage and modifying others to suit prevailing Parisian taste. ^3 11. Berlioz writes that "Weber was naturally incensed when he discovered what Castil-Blaze, veterinary surgeon of music, had done with this Freiscliiitz..." Tlie Memoirs ofHector Berlioz, trans, by David Cairns (London: Victor GoUancz, 1969; repr. 1977), p. 89. "The Odéon made a fortune, and M . Castil-Blaze, the plunderer of the masterpiece, [i.e., Der Freyschiitz] was richer by a good hundred thousand francs." Ibid., p. 86. In 1841 Berlioz writes in a letter of 14 March to his sister Adèle: "... on m'a demandé à l'Opéra de faire des récitatifs pour le Freischiitzàç. Weber qu'on monte en ce moment. J'ai accepté à la condition expresse qu'il n'y aurait aucun tripotage, aucune castilblazade dans le chef-d'œuvre allemand ..." Hector Berlioz, Correspondance générale. Vol. 2, ed. Frédéric Robert (Paris: Flammarion, 1975), p. 683. 12. The Memoirs ofHector Berlioz, pp. 89, 91. Castil-Blaze is pilloried as well in many of Berlioz's journalistic writings and especially in his Grotesques de la musique and Les Soirées de l'orchestre. 13. John Warrack, Carl Maria von Weber, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), p. 236.  Castil-Blaze's largely unsavoury reputation as an arranger may well be responsible for the scant recognition and superficial treatment given in the scholarly literature to his work as a pioneering journalist. Arthur Pougin, for example, in his overview of the French musical press in the Encyclopédie delà musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire, ignores CastilBlaze's writings in the Journal des cféôa^s completely, preferring to see the establishment of the Revue musicale (1827-1835) as the signal revolutionary development in nineteenth century music criticism, and Fétis as the real "founder of the musical press in France."  His  comments follow upon opinions in a similar vein expressed by Ernest Thoinan who, while admitting Castil-Blaze's competence, seeks to minimize his importance by claiming for his writing a "limited influence" relative to that of Fétis.  It would be difficult, however, to  support this claim by citing chronological priority, a large difference in frequency of appearance, or a superior circulation base as criteria for judgement. Castil-Blaze's articles in the Journal des débatsb^gdiXï seven years before the establishment of Fétis's journal, and attracted considerable attention, appearing an average of just mider thirty times per year. Furthermore, his articles were published in the most prestigious daily newspaper in France with a circulation of 13,000 copies compared with the approximately 200 subscribers of the  14. "... c'était Fétis, qui allait enfin, avec sa Revue musicale, opérer en France une sorte de révolution, fonder en ce pays la véritable presse musicale, et par son exemple encourager la création d'un grand nombre de publications qui, à sa suite, ont rendu et rendent chaque jour les plus grands et les plus signalés services." Arthur Pougin, "Notes sur la presse musicale en France," in Encyclopédie de la musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire, ed. by A. Lavignac and L. de la Laurencie, Part II, Vol. 6 (Paris: Librairie Delagrave, 1931), p. 3847. Pougin might claim for Fétis the distinction of founding the musical press in France if the latter be understood to refer to specialized publications alone, but his article discusses numerous general publications as important antecedents of Fétis's Revue musicaleWAhoui, however, mentioning Castil-Blaze's feuilletons. 15. "Si... Castil-Blaze sut se faire remarquer dans un journal en y parlant de la musique en toute connaissance de cause, il n'en faut pas moins reconnaître que les feuilletons du Journal des Débats (1820), ne paraissant que de loin en loin, n'eurent qu'une influence assez limitée. Il n'en fut pas de même des écrits de Fétis, qui acquit de suite une certaine notoriété par la publication de sa Revue musicale {1^21), et qui peut justement être considéré comme le fondateur de la presse musicale dans notre pays." Ernest Thoinan, "Esquisse historique sur la presse musicale en France," La Chronique musicale 1, No. 2 (August 1873): 58.  Revue musicale.  In fact, Castil-Blaze's reputation at the time of the establishment of the  Revue musicale was such that Fétis had wanted him to contribute articles to his new publication.'^ Moreover, the pubhshed remarks of Fétis himself make clear the historical position which he believed Castil-Blaze's journalism merited. In one of his first articles in the Revue musicale in 1827, a review of Castil-Blaze's De l'Opéra en France, he remarks on the progress of music journalism in the following terms: Tout cela [illiterate writing about music] a changé depuis sept ou huit ans; la plupart de nos journalistes ne font plus sourire de pitié les connaisseurs lorsqu'ils parlent de musique; le public n'est plus étranger aux notions de cet art; enfin, une révolution s'est faite, et cette révolution, il faut l'avouer, a été provoquée par l'écrivain spirituel dont je me propose d'examiner l'ouvrage. Fétis's entry for Castil-Blaze in the Biographie universelle des musiciens is equally emphatic: L'auteur de la chronique musicale sut bientôt se faire remarquer par la spécialité de ses connaissances; il imposa silence au bavardage des gens de lettres, et parvint à la faveur de sa verve méridionale, à initier le pubHc au langage technique dont il se servait. Quels que soient les progrès que puisse faire en France l'art d'écrire sur la musique dans les journaux, on n'oubliera pas que c'est M . C. Blaze qui le premier, l'a naturalisé dans ce pays.^^  16. Peter Bloom estimates the circulation of the Revue musicale as roughly 200 in "A Review of Fétis's Revue musicale," in Music in Paris in theEighteen-77]irties(Stuyvesa.nt, N.Y.: Pendragon Press, 1987), p. 72. See Chapter 3, note 2 (pp. 57-58) for the circulation of the Journal des débats 17. Peter Bloom, "A Review of Fétis's Revue musicale," in op.dt, p. 57. 18. François-Joseph Fétis, ''Del'Opéra en France, par M . Castil-Blaze. Deuxième édition." Revue musicale (June 1827): 473. Fétis's assessment of Castil-Blaze's importance is reaffirmed by Joseph D'Ortigue, who writes with regard to Fétis's review: "Du reste, on ne saurait nier que ce musicienlittérateur [Castil-Blaze] n'ait fait une révolution dans la musique, et M . Fétis n'a rien exagéré à cet égard. Le premier il a appelle le droit d'examen et de critique sur des ouvrages dont les auteurs avaient pu mériter quelque renom dans l'enfance de la musique dramatique, et qui, depuis, malgré de grand progrès, étaient restés l'objet d'une stupide admiration. De cette époque, [1820] date, pour l'art, en France, l'affranchissement de la routine, et il a contribué ainsi à lui donner une allure libre et assurée. Il a introduit autant de netteté que de précision dans le language de la science, et l'on sait que l'un ne se perfectionne pas sans l'autre." De la guerre des dilettanti (Paris: Ladvocat, 1829), pp. 29-30. 19. Biographie universelle des musiciens, 2nd éd., s. v., "Blaze, François-Henri-Joseph, dit Castil Blaze" (Vol. l,p.441).  Yet despite more recent acknowledgments of Castil-Blaze's importance in the relatively sparse literature on French music journalism since Fétis's time, notably from such historians as Frédéric Hellouin and Andrea Delia Corte,"^*^ Castil-Blaze has remained afiguremuch quoted but little studied. Early nineteenth-century French music specialists know well the range of his historical and journalistic work and frequently have recourse to his writings in the course of their research. In the collection Music in Paris in the Eighteen-Thirties, for example, Castil-Blaze's writings are cited in essays by H . Robert Cohen, Philip Gossett, D . Kern Holoman and Jean-Michel Nectoux. But others interested in this period, ill-served no doubt by the paucity of secondary literature, seem only distantly aware of Castil-Blaze, and it is not uncommon, even in the most recent scholarly literature, to find imprecise or patently inaccurate references to his life and work.^^ The work of still other writers exists at a further remove in that they seem unaware that they are even citing Castil-Blaze when quoting the Journal des débats of the 1820s, either directly or through other sources.  Most surprising  20. Chapter III of Hellouin's Essai de cridque de la critique musicale (?ar\s: A. Joanin & Co., 1906), p. 81 begins; "Jusqu'ici nous n'avons point encore, à vrai dire, rencontré de critique musical professionnel. Maintenant nous allons en trouver un, Castil-Blaze. C'est lui, en effet, qui se présente d'abord dans l'histoire. Avec complaisance il a rappelle ce titre, que l'on ne saurait lui contester." See also Andrea Delia Corte, La critica musicale e i critici (Txmn:. Unione Tipografico - Editrice Torinese, 1961), pp. 372-73. 21. For example, the Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 8 th edition (1992) continues to indicate that Castil-Blaze's articles first appeared in the Journal des débats in 1822 (instead of 1820), an error derived perhaps from the 1927 edition of the Grove Dictionary (s.y., "Blaze, François Henri Joseph") or from even earlier sources in which this error was propagated. Emblematic of his marginalization within the literature is the difficulty that scholars have with his name. Shelagh Aitken refers to "Castil-Blaisd' in "Music and the Popular Press: Music Criticism in Paris during the First Empire" (Ph.D. diss.. Northwestern Univ., 1987), p. iii; and Robin Wallace makes repeated reference to "Castile-Blazc" in Beethoven's C/?^/^»(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986), pp. 108-09 and 115-17. Even the distinguished scholar Pierre Citron lists him as "FrançoisHenri-Jacqueff' (rec^e "Joseph") and gives his date of birth as 1785 (instead of 1784) in his annotations to Hector Berlioz's Mémoires (Paris: Flammarion, 1991), p. 103 note 4. 22. James H. Johnson cites Castil-Blaze in the Débats through. J.G. Prod'homme's Les Symphonies de Beethoven in "Beethoven and the Birth of Romantic Musical Experience in France," 19th-century MusiciS, No. 1 (1991): 23-35 (see for example p. 24 note 5). Castil-Blaze is also quoted unwittingly by members of the "Équipe littérature-musique" of the Université de Paris IV in their most curious article "Les Notes d'un dilettante de. Stendhal, ou : du bon usage de la musicographie romantique," Revue de musicologie 67 (1983): 187-208. This group of scholars seems largely unaware that Castil-Blaze is writing at the same time as Stendhal, and on the same subjects.  of all are the comments by speciaUsts in French music criticism such as Kerry Murphy and Katherine Reeve characterizing Castil-Blaze's criticism as vague or uninformative,^'^ opinions considerably at variance with the above-cited nineteenth-century assessments of his work by Fétis, among his admirers, and even Thoinan, among his detractors. On the whole, then, there is little evidence to suggest that our understanding of this important figure has advanced substantially since the last century, and much to suggest that it has receded. While French music criticism has benefitted from fine research work on a number of its great figures from the nineteenth century, including Fétis, Berlioz, Ernest Reyer, and most recently Joseph D'Ortigue,^'* no work of any length has yet been directed to the journalistic writings of Castil-Blaze. It will be the pmpose of this dissertation to study Castil-Blaze's contribution to French music criticism through an examination of his articles in the Journal des débats during his tenure as its first music critic (1820-1832), and furthermore to analyse the critical perspective which he brought to bear on the composition and performance of opera in France, which formed the principal subject matter of his writings during this period. A n important point of reference in this study is Castil-Blaze's De l'Opéra en France, a work largely credited with  23. Kerry Murphy writes: "Despite his background, Castil-Blaze's musical analysis in these early reviews is fairly rudimentary. He tends to be descriptive rather than analytical and uses a number of vague emotive adjectives which add litde to the readers' knowledge of the work." Hector Berlioz and the Development of French Music Criticism (Ann Arbor: U M l Research Press, 1988), pp. 1112. Katherine Reeve, in her essay "Rhetoric and Reason in French Music Criticism of the 1830s," in Music in Paris in the Eighteen-Thirties, pp. 537-551, views Castil-Blaze, Fétis and the musically illiterate drama critic Geoffroy together as representatives of a type of criticism which "was outspoken in judgment, yet it had very little to say about the music itself" (p. 538) 24. Peter Bloom has examined the interaction of Fétis's criticism with the major musical figures of his time in "François-Joseph Fétis and the Revue musicale (1827-1835)" (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1972). H . Robert Cohen has proposed the criterion of "dramatic appropriateness" as the underlying principle in Berlioz's critical aesthetic in "Berlioz on the Opera: A Study in Music Criticism" ( Ph.D. diss.. New York Univ., 1973). Finally, Elizabeth Lamberton's "The Critical Writings of Ernest Reyer" (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Bridsh Columbia, 1988) and Sylvia L'Écuyer's "La Vie et l'Œuvre de Joseph d'Ortigue" (Ph.D. diss.. Université Laval, 1992) have provided landmark studies of immense documentaryrichnesson the lives and works of these two critics.  launching his career as a journalist after its publication in 1820, and one which offers an important context within which to interpret his journalistic writings. Chapter 1 of this study reviews the centrality of opera in French musical life from the seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries , concentrating upon the literary outlook which conditioned its development and the parallel development of French music criticism during this period. Discussed as well are the founding of the Journal des débats at the end of the eighteenth century and the work of its first important critic, Julien-Louis Geoffroy at the beginning of the nineteenth. Chapter 2 describes the early career of Castil-Blaze before his arrival in Paris and analyses both the new direction which De l'Opéra en France represented in French writing about music and the contrast evident between Castil-Blaze and his predecessor Geoffroy. Chapter 3 outlines Castil-Blaze's views on the nature of music criticism as a specialty discipline and details the ways in which his own work attempted to put these views into practice. Chapter 4 discusses the crucial importance of the libretto, in Castil-Blaze's view, to the ultimate effectiveness of opera both at the level of its large-scale dramatic structure and at the small-scale level of its verse prosody. Chapter 5 deals with issues affecting the opera composer's score: the theoretical basis for Castil-Blaze's musical aesthetics, his practical concerns with the traditional French system for distributing voice roles, and his opinions on text-music setting and the nature of dramatic expression in music. Chapter 6 deals with Castil-Blaze's expectations of the opera singer, both as a vehicle for the composer's written intentions and as a contributor of dramatic expression and improvised ornamentation in performance. A Conclusion assesses his influence in the context of the later developments in French music.  *  *  *  It should be noted that no attempt has been made in the many direct quotations featured in this study to bring any measure of discipline to the unruliness of early nineteenthcentury French spelling. The decade of the 1820s was especially capricious in this regard and the reader is hereby alerted that the imperfect tense may appear with either an "oi" or "ai" suffix (e.g., étoitoT était), that accents on the letter "e" may be reversed or even missing (e.g., arpège, tenor), that endings in "-nts" may lack the letter "t" (e.g., chantans), and that italics may be either missing or present in abundance, according to the whim of the writer.  CHAPTER 1 F R E N C H OPERA A N D MUSIC CRITICISM BEFORE CASTIL-BLAZE  Opera in French Musical Life Opera occupied a place of privilege in French musical life from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, supported by its importance in the political, social and intellectual domains of French life. The high status which opera enjoyed throughout this period derived ultimately from its origins as an aristocratic entertainment developed at the court of Louis XIV for the personal pleasure of the sovereign by his courtier composer, LuUy, and by Quinault, his courtier librettist. ^ The theatrical organization estabUshed in 1672 by royal letters patent to produce this type of opera was given the status of a royal académie, and as such it outHved its immediate royal patron, composer and librettist to become a state-subsidized institution whose performances symbolized French national prestige in lyrical dramatic art. By virtue of its status as a royal institution and the strict enforcement of its exclusive privilègeXo present continuous dramatic music in the French language, the Académie royale de musique legislated an important place in France for its uniquely national brand of opera, and stood at the same time as a cultural bulwark against the incursion of Italian opera seria into France in the eighteenth century.^ As France's national lyric theatre, the Académie royale de 1. The operas of Lully and Quinault were each dedicated to the King in an allegorical prologue. Louis was personally consulted at every stage, and his life and reign were the implicit subject matter of every opera, which usually addressed the problems of kingship in terms of the conflict between amour and gloire. 2. "In their privileged position, Lully and his successors were able to confine the repertory to French works. When the whole of Europe — from Lisbon to St Petersburg, from Vienna to London — was in the grip of Italian opera seria, France was still hermetically sealed against this foreign form of art. Up to the Revolution, only the r/a^éii?ie7^77^ueheld sway." Jean Mongrédien, "Paris: the End of the Ancien Régime," in The Classical Era: From the 1740s to the End of the 18th Century, ed. by Neal Zaslaw (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1989), p. 85.  musique —or Opéra, as it was known — enjoyed immense social prestige, and its importance was further magnified by its eleven-month season of performances, the longest in all of Europe.^ The importance of opera as a genre within French musical life is confirmed as well by the attention given to it by French intellectuals. All of the major musical debates of the eighteenth century — between Lecerf and Raguenet at the beginning of the eighteenth century, between the LuUistes and Ramistes in the 1730s, the Guerre des bouffons ai mid-century and the war between the Gluckists and Piccinnists in the 1770s — are centred on opera, and it was to opera, rather than to instrumental music, that the philosophes directed their speculations about the nature of music in general. Toutes les grandes querelles relatives à la musique qui agitent le XVIIIe siècle ont pour point de départ le théâtre lyrique. Des philosophes, des hommes de lettres, qui souvent connaissent très mal la technique de l'art sur lequel ils dissertent à l'envi, échafaudent des théories esthétiques qui s'appuient presque toujours à l'origine sur l'opéra. La musique instrumentale, sans être pour autant dédaignée des vrais connaisseurs, reste cependant au second plan. C'est l'époque où, pour beaucoup d'esprits, et non des plus médiocres, il n'est de musique que vocale.'^ The French found vocal music in general, and opera in particular, as its most prominent genre, a more natural object for intellectual enquiry than instrumental music since its text 3. "... no other city had an opera season anywhere close to the more than eleven months of performances at the Académie Royale de Musique each year. In cities such as Rome opera came about for several weeks during the carnival, and while seasons did lengthen in some places by the 1750s, none rivalled the long season at the Paris theatre.... The receipts at the Opéra reflect this situation, since they show that summer attendance was often substantial, a quite respectable half of that in the high season." William Weber, "Lully and the Rise of Musical Classics in the 18th Century," in Jean-Baptiste Lully. Actes du colloque: Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Heidelberg, 1987, ed. by Jerome de La Gorce and Herbert Schneider (Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 1990), pp. 585-86. It is interesting to note that the premiere of perhaps the most important French operatic work of the Restoration period (1815-30) — Rossini's Guillaume Tell — took place at the height of summer on 3 August 1829. 4. Jean Mongrédien, La Musique en France des Lumières au Romantisme 1789-1830 (Paris: Flammarion, 1986), p. 48. Mongrédien goes on to add that despite the progress of instrumental music which began in the opening decades of the nineteenth century, "... le théâtre lyrique conserve les faveurs d'un public chaque jour plus large et l'on sait que, plus encore peut-être que le siècle des Lumières, le XIXe siècle sera le grand siècle de l'opéra français." Ibid., p. 49.  provided an obvious point of reference within the theory of the "imitation of nature," which dominated eighteenth-century French aesthetics. Instrumental music, on the other hand, seemed more difficult for the French to grasp intellectually, and their discomfort with it is evident in eighteenth-century writings about music. Lacépède, for example, in his aesthetic treatise of more than 700 pages entitled La Poétique de la musique {\1%5), devotes less than 20 pages to instrumental music, and even in these short sections he attempts to explain symphonies, sonatas, trios, etc. either in terms of vocal music, or in terms of visual images and the metaphors of painting.^ In the face of instnmiental music French writers of the eighteenth century often seemed to draw a complete blank.^ The importance of opera as a prestigious art form of national importance, its centrality to intellectual musical debate, and the relatively primitive understanding of instrumental music in this era led composers to seek out their careers in opera composition, rather than in instrumental music. ^ Opera was thus the career of choice for the composing musician in France, a way of making one's name and of gaining national recognition for one's skill and one's art. It should not be surprizing, then, that the places of honour in early nineteenthcentury cultural and musical institutions were routinely occupied by opera composers.  5. On Lacépède's Poétique de la musique see Mongrédien, "Paris," in The Classical Era, pp. 63-64, and La Musique en France, pp. 255-56. 6. "The inability of most 18th-century writers in France to conceptualize absolute music as meaningful and significant finds its epitome in the apostrophe attributed to Fontenelle: Sonate, que me veux-tu?" Maria Rika Maniâtes, "Sonate, que me veux-tu?'The. Enigma of French Musical Aesthetics in the 18th Century," CurrentMusicology 9 (1969): 132. 7. "On voit poindre, sous ces idées, le refus de ce qu'on appellera, au siècle suivant, la musique pure. Un homme aussi fin que d'Alembert le dit d'ailleurs expressément: « Toute cette musique purement instrumentale, sans dessein et sans objet ne parle ni à l'esprit ni à l'âme et mérite qu'on lui demande avec Fontenelle : Sonate, que me veux-tu? » Ces prises de position très tranchées ont pesé parfois lourdement sur la musique française au tournant du XVIIIe et du XIXe siècles : quantité de compositeurs, égarés par des principes défmis très souvent par des littérateurs qui n'étaient pas des musiciens, vont se détourner de la musique instrumentale ou du moins privilégier l'opéra." Mongrédien, La Musique en France, pp. 254-55.  Many of the best composers of the day were drawn to write operas for Paris, and for good reason. The high status that the French traditionally granted to spoken theatre carried over to the théâtre lyrique: during the nineteenth century nearly all the musicians elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts were opera composers, as were three of the four long-term directors of the Conservatoire: Cherubini, Auber and Ambroise Thomas (the one exception, Théodore Dubois, was best known for another largescale vocal genre, sacred oratorio).^  The French View of Opera as Literature Locke's comment that "the high status that the French traditionally granted to spoken theatre carried over to the théâtre lyrique" is an important one, for the imprint of the spoken theatre is clearly evident in French opera from its inception, and the stamp of both literary merit in the text of the libretto and dramaturgical merit in its construction was expected both by theatre critics and by opera audiences alike. One should not be surprized to find, therefore, that French librettists tended to be playwrights rather than simply poets, as was the norm in Italy,^ and that French audiences considered the libretto text to be more important than the composer's music. ... although the musician may have more talent than the poet, although by the force of his genixis he may assure the success of an opera, his art is always regarded in France as secondary to that of the poetry.  8. Ralph Locke, "Paris: Centre oflntellectual Ferment," in The Early Romantic Era. Between Revolutions: 1789 and 1848, ed. by Alexander Ringer (London: Macmillan Press, 1990), pp. 45-46. 9. "The influence of the drama upon French librettists is far more marked than upon their Italian counterparts. The importance of the play in France and its relative unimportance in Italy account for the distinction: most French librettists from Quinault to the twentieth century began life as playwrights or wrote plays concurrent with their operatic œuvres, whereas most Italian librettists, with the obvious exception of Goldoni, considered themselves poets rather than dramatists, and wrote few if any works for the spoken stage until late in the nineteenth century." Patrick Smith, The Tenth Muse: A Historical Study of the Opera Libretto (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), p. 48. Smith notes further "the general absence of stage directions in Italian librettos, and their presence in French ones." Ibid. 10. Rochement, Réflexions d'un patriot [sic] sur l'opéra françois (1754), quoted in James Anthony, "Lully," in The New Grove French Baroque Masters (London & New York: W.W Norton, 1986), p. 28.  The clearly deferential posture which French music adopted with respect to the libretto is exemplified in the operas of Lully and Quinault. Lullyan opera, as indicated by its generic name tragédie lyrique, was conceived essentially as a French verse tragedy, enriched with music, ballet and spectacle. The purpose of these enriching elements was to inflate the surface brilliance of the tragedy, rendering it suitable for presentation before a king whose grandeur was a distinguishing characteristic of his court. The meter and rhjmie pattern of Quinault's verse imitated the alexandrines of the tragedies of Racine and Corneille, and its text received official sanction from the Académie des inscriptions et  belles-lettresThe  music which enveloped this verse text, and which structured the divertissements (as the episodes of ballet and the scenes using stage machinery were called), was not intended to replace its literary or dramatic appeal with a purely musical appeal. Rather, it was meant to enhance that appeal, and the perception of music as a foreground layer of aesthetic activity was kept deliberately weak by the manner in which it was used. Most of the text, for example, was set as recitative, and it was in these declamatory sections that the points of highest emotional intensity were found, rather than in the lyrical sections of aria, as was the case in Italian opera. Moments of purely lyrical appeal — the airs, where one might expect musical interest to be in the foreground — were kept short, infrequent and without great contrast with respect to the recitative.  xhe music was deliberately crafted so as to magnify the dis-  tinctive speech patterns of the spoken text and the prosodie patterning of the verse, without upstaging them by asserting its own unique qualities as music. Harmony and rhythm, for example, were unadventurous, choruses moved in block chordal patterns without contrapuntal  11. Robert M . Isherwood, Music in the Service of the King: Franœ in the Seventeenth Century (Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 1973), p. 204. 12. "The vocal airs in Lully's operas differ considerably from Italian arias. As a rule, they are not strongly set apart as separate numbers, but are continually interspersed in a scene along with recitatives, duets, choruses and dances. For the most part these airs are short, narrow in range, and subject to piquant irregularities of phrasing." Donald J. Grout, A Short History of Opera, 2nd ed. (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1965), p. 127.  elaboration, and the time signature often slavishly followed the demands of the verse patterning. Claude Palisca explains how plastically Lully's music was draped over the prosodie patterning of Quinault's verse text in his analysis of a passage from Cadmus et Hermione (1673): Ends of lines are invariably marked by a long value or rest, and accented syllables almost always fall on successive quarters of the measure. Constant shifting of the poetic foot between iambic and anapest in Quinault's verses requires alternately a duple or quadruple subdivision of the beat, while the changing number of feet per line and the convention of placing the principal accents of each line on the first beat of a bar demand shifting between 3/4 and 4/4. Lully's music, furthermore, was written with scrupulous care to reproduce the accentuation patterns and declamatory style of the best actors of French tragedy, and rehearsed to preserve every declamatory detail. This manner of conceiving the role of music in French opera — i.e., as merely one of the components of its grandeur, but not the primary element of its aesthetic appeal — was carried into the eighteenth century by the longevity of LuUyan opera in the French repertoire, and remained an important point of reference for serious opera composition until late in the century.'^  13. Claude Palisca, Baroque Music, 3rd ed. (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1991), pp. 223-24. 14. "Weeks before the general rehearsals began Lully worked individually with the actors, carefully directing their every gesture and drilling them in the inflections, the accents, and the declamatory style of delivery which he had studied at the Comédie-Française. He controlled the musical expression of his singers by forbidding the florid vocalizing common in Italian opera. An enemy of individuality, Lully would not permit the singers to embellish their parts." Isherwood, Music in the Service of the King, p. 207. 15. Lully's Thésée and Amadis, for example, were performed in revivals as late as the 1770s. For a discussion of the survival of Lullyan opera into the eighteenth century, see William Weber, "Lully and the Rise of Musical Classics in the 18th Century," cited in note 3. The changes made to the texts and scores of these operas during their long tenure in the French repertoire are discussed in Lois Rosow, "From Destouches to Berton: Editorial Responsibility at the Paris Opéra," Journal of the American Musicological Society m (1987): 285-309.  If music in tragédie lyrique was subordinate to the claims of language and dramatic action, its role was even more utilitarian and functional in the genre of French lyric theatre known as opéra comique}^ This genre of comedy with music traces its origins to the comédies-ballets of Molière and Lully, ^'^ and to the improvised farces and parodies of the the troupe of Italian comedians resident at the French court in Paris from 1660 to 1697. During the eighteenth century opéra comique ewohed out of the theatrical successors to these comedies — the colourful stage entertainments offered at the fairs held in spring and late simimer at the Saint-Laurent and Saint-Germain fair grounds in Paris. Competing with acrobats, tightrope walkers and animal acts, the plays mixing music and spoken dialogue performed at these fairs as opéras comiques were characterized by irreverent flashes of wit and what might be termed a certain "directness" of appeal, especially in the parades performed outside the theatre to entice in passers-by. Authors believed that their works had to be vulgar and obscene in order to cater to the low taste of the common people. For example, in the parade Le Marchand de merde by Thomas-Simon Gueulette, a well-known barrister of the Parlement of Paris, Gilles learns from Arlequin how to become a successful salesman of excrement. The nature of opéra comique as a popular entertainment operating under difficult circumstances prescribed a deliberate simplicity of means in the musical score.  The orches-  16. Robert M . Isherwood's "Popular Musical Entertainment in Eighteenth-Century Paris," International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 9 (1978): 295-309 provides, in its richly annotated discussion, a compendium of many of the important documentary resources and research done on the opéra comique genre. 17. Molière and Lully collaborated on a number of comedies interlarded with musical entrées de bal7(5^5 beginning 'mih Le Manage forcé m 1664 and ending with Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme in 1670. On the nature of these productions see James R. Anthony, "The Comédie-Ballet and Related Genres," Chap. 5 of French Baroque Music from Beaujoyeuh to Rameau, 2nd rev. ed. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1978), pp. 54-59. 18. Isherwood, "Popular Musical Entertainment," p. 302. 19. Not the least of its problems was the fact that its legal status was, for the better part of the eighteenth century, the subject of continual judicial challenge: "One is inclined to believe that opéracomique ewa.e into being through the constant pressure and persecution exerted by the two privileged royal institutions on the illegitimate stage, the théâtre de la foire. The Comédie Française prevented the performance of spoken plays and the Académie Royale de Musique'vn-  tra, which provided overtures, dances and descriptive symphonies, comprised less than a dozen players, and the vocal score, when not parodying some recent production of the Académie royale de musique, was fashioned from well-known popular songs fitted with new words. Songs created in this way, known as vaudevilles, had been sung in France since the early sixteenth century. They provided a light touch of musical colouring to the farces and comedies of the fair that was suited both to the limited means available for their performance and to the varied nature of the audiences which they were likely to a t t r a c t . T h e extreme simplicity of this type of music is described by Robert Isherwood in the following terms: The vaudeville airs were lively and catchy. The rhythms were animated, usually in 6/8 or 3/4 time with words, notes and beats in perfect cadence. Each phrase of the refrain was repeated twice and the first phrase recurred twice again at the end. This A A , BB, A A pattern enabled people to remember the tunes easily. The simplicity of the melody and harmony served the same end. Melodic intervals were seldom greater than a third. The refrains were adorned with onomatopoeia in the form of imitations of the sounds of beating drums and trumpet fanfares.22 During the eighteenth century opéra co/H/iy«e developed rapidly as a genre. In the 1740s and 1750s a greater place was given to original vocal music as arae/tes patterned after the style of formal Italian arias were gradually introduced. After the Guerre des bouffons sisted on its monopoly in presenting works which were sung from the beginning to the end." Paul Henry Lang, "Literary Aspects of the History of Opera in France" (Ph.D. diss., Cornell University, 1934), p. 206. 20. "A vaudeville was any song whose melody had long since passed into public domain. It was identified textually by a timbre which was a title usually based on the first line of the refrain by which the original tune was generally known. The entire melody of the song, tagged by this timbre, was known as a fredon. The tunes were folk-like with repeated, simple rhythmic patterns and a narrow melodic range ... Any tune that caught the public's fancy was a likely candidate for the growing stockpile OÏ fredons. " James Anthony, French Baroque Music, p. 153. 21. Useful to the arranger of vaudeville tunes were such publications as J.B.C. Ballard's compilation entitled La Clef des chansonniers, ou Recueil des vaudevilles depuis cent ans et plus, notez et recueillis pour la première fois (Pans: Mont-Parnasse, 1717); Alain-René Lesage's Le Théâtre de la Foire ou l'Opéra-Comique contenant les meilleures pièces qui ont été représentées aux foires de S. Germain et de S. Laurent, 10 vols. (Paris: Etienne Ganeau, 1721-37); and P. Capelle's La Clef du caveau, published at the beginning of the nineteenth century. 22. Isherwood, "Popular Musical Entertainment," p. 299.  of the early 1750s, opéra comique began to develop its own distinctive musical personality in the works of such composers as Egidio Duni, François-André-Danican Philidor, PierreAlexandre Monsigny and above all André-Emest-Modeste Grétry. 23 But from its beginnings in the early entertainments of the foire to its late eighteenth-century flowering in the works of Grétry, opéra com/^ue retained its roots in the popular good humour of the common folk. It retained as well its appeal as a theatrical genre in which simplicity and transparency were the most prized qualities of its musical score, and in which music was expected to be a discrete background element against the foreground interest of its witty dialogue and its engaging comic or sentimental dramatic action. In both the comic and tragic genres of opera, then, the French displayed a greater interest in opera as dramatic literature than as music. It was principally the dramatic action on stage that held their attention, and it was the text beneath the score that represented to them the major creative achievement in each work. Such an attitude encouraged in French writing on the theatre the application of a single critical perspective to the productions of the spoken and lyric theatres alike, and set important limitations on the appreciation of the uniquely musical qualities of French opera, as will now be discussed.  Critical Writing about Music before 1800 The nature of Lullyan opera as a mixed genre, and the prestige that accrued from its status at court as French national art, set the stage for its own critical reception by  23. These developments are well treated in David Charlton, Grétry and the Growth of OpéraComique (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), esp. "Introduction" (pp. 3-19) and "Opéra-comique en the 1780s" (pp. 207-16). Italian influence on the genre and the social and political background affecting its development are treated in Michael F. Robinson, "Opera buffa into opéra comique, 1771-90," in Music and the French Revolution, ed. by Malcolm Boyd (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 37-56.  Httérateurs, rather than by musicians. Tragédie lyrique-^^s, judged against the standards of purity and intellectual clarity applied to the tragedies of Corneille and Racine, and inevitably found wanting. The very idea of this mixture of music with tragedy, along with its attendant elements of spectacle — not to mention its "corrupting" themes of love — drew fire from many literary critics who considered it a serious debasement of French drama which threatened to sensationalize and pervert the ancient form of tragedy on which it was modeled. Music, far from being judged on its own merits, was frequently criticized as merely another of the sensual charms debasing this pure and noble literary genre. The seventeenth-century critical reception of French opera, then, was largely concerned with its very validity as a mixed genre. La Bruyère complained that it offered nothing for the mind and that it was, in fact, rather boring, "faute de théâtre, d'action, et de choses qui intéressent. "24 Saint-Evremond was more direct. He applied to opera the criteria of verisimilitude used in spoken stage presentations and thought that the whole concept of a dramatic work presented completely in song was utterly proposterous, totally unrealistic, and consequently doomed to fail.25 Boileau even doubted whether music could contribute in any way at all to the presentation of dramatic material since it was unable to tell a story, 26 but 24. "Je ne sais pas comment l'Opéra, avec une musique si parfaite et une dépense toute royale, a pu réussir à m'ennuyer. Il y a des endroits dans l'Opéra, qui laissent en désirer d'autres; il échappe quelquefois de souhaiter la fin de tout le spectacle : c'est faute de théâtre, d'action, et de choses qui intéressent." Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, "Des Ouvrages de l'esprit," No. 47 in La Bruyère: Œuvres complètes, ed. by Julien Benda (Paris: Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1951), p. 79. 25. "... there is nothing so ridiculous as having an action sung, whether it be the deliberation of a Council, the giving of orders in battle, or any thing else you like. Where the Gods are concerned there may be singing: every Nation has worshipped them in song, and chanted their praises. We can sing what we feel and suffer, for grief and affection are naturally expressed by a kind of tender and melancholy song. But our actions require no other expression but the spoken word." Letter to Monsieur d'Hervart (4 February 1674/5), in The Letters of Saint-Evremond, trans, and ed. by John Hayward (London: George Routledge & Sons, 1930), pp. 161-62. 26. "... on ne peut jamais faire un bon Opera: parce que la Musique ne sçauroit narrer. Que les passions n'y peuvent estre peintes dans toute l'estendue qu'elles demandent. Que d'ailleurs elle ne sçauroit souvent mettre en chant les expressions vrayment sublimes et courageuses.'' "Avertissement au lecteur," Œuvres complètes de Boileau, edited by Françoise Escal (Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1966), p. 277. The influence of this opinion lasted into the late eighteenth century as evidenced by Beaumarchais' quoting of this passage from Boileau in his Preface to Tarare (1787).  warned against the danger that such works represented to the moral rectitude of young girls who might succumb to thoughts of love and other "operatic" emotions while in the grip of  its mmxcP And so it was that much of the "music criticism" of the seventeenth century is not about music at all; rather, it is quite plainly about literature and about theories of propriety in dramatic art. The music in opera was almost transparent to the seventeenth-century critics who talk about it, since music was still regarded almost as a department of manners, and even the critical systems propounded in the France of Louis X I V approached it first through ethics and then through literature.^^ The resistance of the literary establishment to a serious consideration of opera as an independent genre, in effect "finding fault with opera for being sung, and with the libretto for being 29  tailored to a musical setting,"  continued in the philosophical and polemical debates of the  eighteenth century on the subject of music. With opera established as a permanent form of state-supported art in France, attention then turned to the relative importance to be accorded to its competing elements of music and libretto. This issue dominates the major polemical debates on music in the eighteenth century, as Oliver Strunk points out in his introduction to an excerpt from Raguenet's Parallèle des Italiens et des Français:  27. See Boileau's Satire X, lines 125ff. 28. WintonDean, New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, s.v. "Criticism" (Vol. Ill, p. 522). Richard Oliver draws a telling comparison between the opera criticism of this age and twentiethcentury film reviews: "We praise or condemn a film on the basis of drama or spectacle, as the case may be; almost never on the basis of music. We realize that the music is present, and indeed we should notice its absence; but we never make a point of praising a film because of its musical excellence. This was precisely the reaction of classical critics to opera. Their criticism of the opera was based chiefly on literary and dramatic grounds. " The Encyclopedists as Critics of Music (New York: Columbia University Press, 1947), p. 9. 29. Georgia Cowart, The Origins of Modem Musical Criticism: French and Italian Music, 16fK>-17S0 (Ann Arbor, Mich.: U M I Research Press, 1981), p. 70.  With the Abbé François Raguenet... began the impassioned and obstinate controversies about the opera that were to hold under their sway the artistic and literary circles in France throughout the eighteenth century. No matter whether the controversy was fought out between the followers and detractors of Lully, as was the case with Raguenet and Le Cerf de la Vie ville; whether it was transferred to the field of comic opera, as in the "Querelle des Bouffons" ... or whether it assumed the aspect of a fight for or against the major operatic reform embodied in the works of C. W. Gluck ... the imderlying issue was fundamentally the same — should the musical expression in the opera be entirely autonomous, or should it be determined by the exigencies of the dramatic action?^^ On the surface these controversies often appeared framed in terms of national cultural rivalries between France and Italy, but even the terms "French" and "Italian" could not really be called valid labels during this century. Rameau, for example, was first accused of being too italianate when Italian music was thought to be complex and confusing, and then not italianate enough when, during the Guerre des bouffons, Italian music was held up as the model of simplicity. Louis Strifïling points out that because French musical taste was so conservative, and because the essential style of opera created by Lully changed so little up until the time of Gluck, those who were bored with this style and attracted to innovation of any sort enrolled naturally under the banner of Italian music.^' While the circulation of ideas about music increased in the eighteenth century, and while music figured among the topics argued about by some of the age's most intelligent writers, it could not be said that music criticism, in the sense of critical judgements about individual musical works, existed at a very advanced stage. In the polemical debates of the eighteenth century the merit of the individual musical work was not the point; the issues discussed really centred in essence around much larger aesthetic questions concerning entire national schools of composition, and justifications for broad aesthetic positions that often mixed political, literary and musical issues together.  30. Sourœ Readings in Music History, ed. by Oliver Strunk (New York: W.W. Norton, 1950), p. 473. 31. Louis Strifiling, Esquisse d'une liistoire du goût musical en France au XVIIIe siècle (Paris: Librairie Ch. Delagrave, 1912), pp. 65-66.  The polemical and philosophic debates about music's place in opera were not the only avenue for discussion of music and musical events, however. Since the early part of the seventeenth century, music had been "covered" as a news item by the first developing organs of the French press.^^ gy j^e middle of the eighteenth century the number of periodical publications dealing with music in some way — in direct discussion, publicizing of musical events, or by the inclusion of engraved music — began to grow substantially. The musical commentary contained in these general interest journals is for the most part insubstantial. Many were content to register the success or failure of the works reviewed, or to devote most of their discussion to a superficial commentary on the performers. The works themselves, if discussed at all, might be approached in two ways, according to Lionel de la Laurencie: by discussing the way in which the music fitted to the words, or by indicating musical patterns of contrast and opposition.Vague characterizing adjectives were, for the most part, the stock in trade of the writer discussing musical events in the popular press. Frédéric Hellouin notes, with regard to reviews of operatic productions in the Mercure: ... dans les articles réservés aux théâtres musicaux, toujours quelques mots seulement — où il est généralement question de « simplicité », de « variété », de « majesté noble » — seront consacrés à la musique. Seul le livret aura le privilège de retenir la sollicitude. Pendant tout le cours du XVIIIe siècle, il en sera de même.^"^ Hellouin notes further that other genres of music, reviewed in other publications, offered little more by way of informed commentary: En effet, notamment dans le Mercure, les Annonces, alïïches et avis divers, V AvantCoureur, la Gazette de France, le Journal encyclopédique, le Journal étranger, le 32. The first of these was the GazeWe of Théophraste Renaudot, first published in 1639, in which the first performances of Italian opera in France during the 1740s are discussed. In 1672 appeared Le Mercure galant, which in its long run (it lasted until 1792) published a continuous chronicle of musical events. 33. Lionel de la Laurencie, Le Goût musical en France (Paris, 1905; repr. Geneva: Slatkine Reprints, 1970), p. 193. 34. Hellouin, Essai de critique de la critique musicale (Paris: A. Joanin& Co., 1906), pp. 71-72.  Journal de politique et de littérature, le Journal de Paris, qu'il s'agisse de musique sacrée ou profane, l'admiration se condense dans certains mots dont voici les plus usuels: « noble et gracieux », « naturel », « absence de fard », « doux », « touchant ». L'audace de même que l'insuccès est ainsi accueillie: « hazardé », « brillan », « qui surprend l'esprit », « sçavant », « pas caractérisé », « qui a plû aux connoisseurs », « mieux reçu des connoisseurs que de la multitude ». Bref, tout cela reste très insignifiant.^^ Yet another indication of the slow development of music criticism in France is given in the fact that the specialized musical press did not permanently take root in France until relatively late: until the publication of Fétis's Revue musicale m the. 1827. During their short, and often erratic schedule of publication, such specialized journals as Le Sentiment d'un harmoniphile, the Journal de musique historique, théorique et pratique (1770-1771), continued as Journal de musique par une Société d'amateurs  the Correspondance des  amateurs musiciens (1^02-IS05), the Journal de Musique et des Théâtres de tous les pays... (1804) and Les Tablettes de Polymnie(IS10-\811}, increased the range of articles offered to the public on French musical life. Yet despite the increased availability of historical essays, letters to the editor on topics of musical interest, reviews of recent performances and publications, and information about composers, performers, publishers and printers, these specialized publications failed to win for themselves a permanent audience. The fact that specialized music criticism was in its infancy in France is indicated by the way in which discussion of music was "buried" in amongst other journalistic subject matter in most publications; it had no separate place in the press. Coverage of the opera, for example, the most important form of musical activity reviewed, was entrusted to the same critic who wrote about the spoken theatre, and very frequently this coverage concerned the li35. Ibid, pp. 72-73. 36. Most of these periodicals arereproducedin Minkoff reprint editions listed in the Bibliography. They are discussed in Ernest Tlioinan, "Esquisse historique sur la presse musicale en France," La Chronique musicale 1, No. 1 (July 1873): 13-17 and No. 2 (August 1873): 55-59; in Arthur Pougin, "Notes sur la presse musicale en France, " in Encyclopédie de la musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire, ed. by Albert Lavignac and Lionel de la Laurencie, Part II, Vol. 6 (Paris: Librairie Delagrave, 1931), pp. 3841-59; and in Hellouin, Essai de critique, pp. 74-76.  bretto alone, which was naturally that part of an opera which was most accessible to a musically untrained Uttérateur. Indeed, the limited nature of the discussion which this implies was in some quarters raised to the status of an editorial principle. The Mercure galant, for example, writes concerning Rameau's Castor et Pollux in 1737: ... les applaudissements que M . Rameau s'étoit attirés dans ses deux premiers Opéra, donnoient une grande idée du troisième; ce n'est pas à nous à juger si cette idée a été remplie; le Public n'est point encore d'accord sur ce point, et ce n'est que par lui que nous devons nous déterminer : d'ailleurs nos Extraits n'ont ordinairement que le Poëme pour objet. Ce sera donc uniquement s\ir ce qu'on appelle les paroles que nous nous arrêterons.^^ Hellouin concludes that the eighteenth century failed to produce music criticism of any stature, and the causes lie both with a public that was not inclined to demand or support it, and with a pool of journalistic talent that on the whole was ill-equiped to provide it. La littérature musicale ne réussissait donc pas à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, et pas plus au commencement du XIXe. Telle est la constatation qu'il faut se résigner à faire. A cela il y avait une double cause: l'indifférence du public et des professionels de la musique pour toutes les questions se rattachant à celle-ci, et la médiocrité des écrits d'alors.^^ The nineteenth century begins a new era in the history of the press in general, and one which has important repercussions for the development of music criticism. It was in the opening decade of the nineteenth century that the Journal des débats, the newspaper for which Castil-Blaze was to write, rose to prominence. An important factor contributing to its success was the readership attracted by its dramatic critic, Julien-Louis Geoffroy, who wrote a regular series of reviews for the Débats between 1800 and 1814 in the new journalistic form, known as the feuilleton, invented at this newspaper. The feuilleton was crucially im37. Quoted in Hellouin, Essai de cridque, p. 72. By contrast, Germany had begun much earlier to develop specialized musical publications — with Mattheson's CriUca musica (Hamburg, 1722) — and had firmly established itself by the end of the century with the Allgemeine Musikalische  Ze/to/2^( 1798-1848). 38. Hellouin, Essai de critique, p. 76.  portant in gaining a wider audience for critical writing about musical events and performances. Few journalistic vehicles allowed music criticism to reach a wider audience in the nineteenth century than the feuilleton of the French daily newspapers. Furthermore, few daily newspapers reached as many readers, and none was as intellectually prestigious, as the Journal des débats. And no critic represented more concretely than did Geoffroy the characteristics of eighteenth-century critical writing that hindered the development of nineteenth century music criticism — the combination of a zealous literary orientation, blatant musical illiteracy and the respect of a large and devoted public following. Before beginning a discussion of the ways in which Castil-Blaze contributed to the development of music criticism in the nineteenth century, it would be well to discuss first the early history of the publication for which he wrote, the feuilleton form which he inherited, and the first charismatic practitioner of feuilleton journalism, Julien-Louis Geoffroy.  The Journal des débats, the Feuilleton, and Geoffroy The Journal des débats et des décretshad begun in August of 1789 as little more than an account of the proceedings of the Assemblée natJonale.^^ In those unstable times, publishing the verbatim record of political speeches in the Assembly was an effective means of feeding the public's desire for news while not running afoul of the stringent censorship laws of the time. In the decade that followed its founding, the Journal des débatshad gradually diversified its content to include other material as well such as foreign news and stock mar39. The Journal des débats is discussed in Eugène Hatin's Histoire du journal en France, 1631-1853, 2nded. (Paris: P. Jannet, 1853), pp. 130-144, and in his Bibliographie historique et cridque de la presse périodique française (P?ins: Didot, 1866), pp. 130-131. Specialized works, with studies on individual features of the journal, include: Alfred Nettement, Histoire du Journal des débats (Paris: Dentu, 1842), 2 vols.; Le Livre du centenaire du Journal des débats, 1789-1889 (Paris: E. Pion, Nourrit et Cie, 1889); and Alfred Pereire, Le Journal des débats politiques et littéraires, 18141914 (Paris: Edouard Champion, 1914).  ket reports, along with the occasional review of theatrical performances.'**^ The decisive step which transformed the Journal des débats into the influential force that it was to become in the nineteenth century was its acquisition in late January of 1800 by François and Louis Bertin.^l These innovative proprietors sought a means for distinguishing this newspaper from the many others that competed for the attention of the reading public. After the bloody excesses of the Terror, political reporting seemed to be a particularly dangerous field for innovation, one which offered little scope for journalistic development. The brothers Bertin therefore sought to transform their newspaper into afirst-ratejournal of ideas which would boldly exploit the one area in which freedom of expression was still guaranteed: literary and theatrical criticism.'^^ The journalistic vehicle of this strategy was the feuilleton, an area reserved for arts criticism that ran across the bottom third of each page, separated by a solid line from the political reporting and other general news reports above. This mixing of political and arts reporting in a single daily newspaper was a novelty that had just recentiy been introduced in France at the end of the eighteenth century, and one which the Journal des débats used to great advantage to establish itself in the journalistic market.'*^ Before this time, periodicals had generally been much more specialized in their content, and much less frequent in their distribution. As a consequence, Parisians wishing both timely and specialized reporting in both the political and artistic spheres would have had to subscribe to several different publications.'*'* The success of the feuilleton form in response to these needs was amply proven 40. Pereire, Le Journal des débats..., p. 5. 41. The brothers Bertin, known as Bertin l'aîné and Bertin de Veaux, respectively, were important figures in the development of the French press. The Journal des débats stayed in their family until the end of the nineteenth century. Bertin l'aîné is well-known as the subject of a famous portrait by Ingres. 42. Hatin, Histoire du journal en France, p. 131. 43. Grand DicUonnaire Larousse du XIXe siècle, s.v. "Feuilleton" (Vol. VIII, p. 311). 44. Timely reporting in the arts was particularly scarce since most journals specializing in literature or  by the fact that shortly after its appearance the Journal des débats began to gain subscribers at the expense of other journals, eventually attaining a readership of over 30,000. But perhaps the most striking feature of the Journal des débatsin its early years, and that which distinguished it from all other publications, was its choice of critic to fill the post of feuilletoniste: Julien-Louis Geoffroy.^ So well-known was Geoffroy in his post at the Débatsihdii even when other major newspapers were forced to imitate the Débatsby beginning a feuilleton of their own, Geoffroy's article was still referred to generically as simply "le feuilleton " and he himself as "le Père Feuilleton. "47 Geoffroy's appeal was broad, since his purview was the entire range of theatrical activities in Paris. His articles, which appeared regularly every two or three days from 1800 to 1814, covered such diverse repertoires as the tragédie and comic productions of the ThéâtreFrançais, the musical productions of the Opéra, Opéra-Comique and Théâtre de l'Impératrice (i.e., Théâtre-Italien), as well as the variegated theatrical offerings of theatres such as the Odéon, the Porte-Saint-Martin, Théâtre du Vaudeville and others. Geoffroy reviewed everything, including drames, mélodrames, and even the occasional tightrope walker and highwire dancer. the theatre were either weeklies or monthlies. An exception was the Courrier des théâtres, a daily published between 1795 and 1807. 45. "Quoi qu'il en soit, le feuilleton de Geoffroy, ce compte-rendu sans façon, vif, alerte, moqueur, ingénieux, savant, fut de plus en plus goûté, et le Journal des Débats mi bientôt 32,000 abonnés dans cette grande France qui lui faisait Napoléon." Hatin, Histoire du Journal en France, p. 134. One indication of the commercial success enjoyed by the Débats is the fact that the Courrier des théâtres, its most direct competitor in specialized theatre criticism, was forced to join with the Courrier de I'Europein 1807, which was subsequently absorbed by the Journal de Paris in 1811. 46. Geoffroy is discussed in most of the studies of the Journal des débats cited above (see n. 39 above). Shelagh Aitkin's doctoral dissertation, "Music Criticism in France during the First Empire," (University of Chicago, 1985) gives a review of pertinent literature about Geoffroy, but adds litde to it. By far the most comprehensive study is that by Charles-Marc Des Granges, Geoffroy et la critique dramatique sous le Consulat et l'Empire (1800-1814) (Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1897). Geoffroy's major feuilletons on the lyric theatre may be found in the Cours de littérature dramahque, ou Recueilpar ordre de matières des feuilletons de Geoffroy, Vol. 5 (Paris: Pierre Blanchard, 1820). 47. Des Granges, Geoffroy, p. 119.  Geoffrey's popularity may be attributed to the engaging combination of scholarly erudition and journalistic flair which characterized his writing. As a docteur agrégé of the Faculty of Arts and a former professor of rhetoric at the Collège de Navarre and Collège Mazarin in Paris, Geoffroy's academic credentials were very much in order (as he was not above reminding his readers). He had been the principal editor of the literary journal L'Année litterake from 1776 to 1790 and co-foimder of the short-lived royalist periodical L 'Ami du roi (1790-92). He was thus well acquainted with a wide range of journalistic writing styles, from the poised formal set pieces of literary reviewing^^ to the more agile verbal fencing of the polemical essay. Geoffroy used his distinguished academic reputation and his long years of experience (he was 56 when he began writing for the Debate to create a style of critical article that dazzled his readers, and left his competitors gasping in exasperation. Gone was the traditional formal structure of the literary set piece in favour of an unpredictably wide-ranging view of the work being reviewed. Des Granges indicates that in Geoffroy's articles on tragedy, for example, one might find: ... l'indication des sources anciennes ou étrangères, la comparaison avec les modèles; l'histoire de la pièce, les remaniements, les chutes suivies des succès; les intrigues de l'auteur avec le pouvoir et les confrères; les extraits de la Correspondance,^'^ les destinées de telle ou telle tragédie, son influence sur les mœurs en général, sur la Révolution, sur nous-mêmes; le déplacement des effets philosophiques; la polémique avec les journalistes contemporains, avec les pamphlétaires, etc., que sais-je encore ? l'étude du style et de la versification ... Combien d'éléments multiples, inépuisables, sans cesse mis en œuvre avec une infatigable animositél^^  48. Des Granges gives an idea of the constituent elements in this established form of literary review: "Geoffroy, à l'Année littéraire, suivait la routine de ses prédécesseurs. Il donnait d'abord une analyse de la pièce nouvelle, acte par acte; puis il discutait Xaction, les caractères, le styleet l'interprétation. Du répertoire, il n'est point question, ni chez lui, ni chez ses confrères ... si ce n'est pour la rentrée de quelque grand acteur." Des Granges, Geoffroy, p. 184. 49. Presumably the Correspondance littéraire, published by Baron Grimm i^etween 1759 and 1772. 50. Des Granges, Geoffroy, p. 192. Eugène Hatin notes: "Geoffroy avait donc tout ce qu'il fallait pour faire un excellent journaliste; il réunissait à un haut degré deux qualités essentielles : c'était à la fois un homme d'érudition et d'actualité, un homme de souvenir et d'à-propos." E. Hatin, Histoire du journal en France, p. 132.  Complementing Geoffroy's remarkable versatility and flexible writing style is the high moral tone which characterizes all of his writing. Just as he believed that literary works should be understood within the social and intellectual context of the age in which they were produced, so he repeatedly warned in the sternest terms that the poor quality of many of the stage works of his own age gave evidence of a dangerous decline in standards, both social and intellectual. Les mauvais auteurs sont une vermine qui ronge la société et l'État... Toute république sagement constituée doit redouter cette racaille turbulente qui, n'ayant rien à faire, s'ameute dans les tripots littéraires, corrompt l'esprit public, égare l'opinion, répand dans la société des idées fausses qui sont autant de germes de discorde. Tous ces fainéants, soi-disants poètes ou écrivains doivent attirer l'attention de la police, autant que les aventuriers, les aigrefins, les quidams, les chevaliers d'industrie, et tous les gens sans aveu qui n'attendent qu'une bagarre pour faire un coup de main.^i The withering severity of Geoffroy's criticism was legendary, and it frequently brought him into conflict with many of the important artistic personalities of his day.^^ fjg viewed the entire philosophic movement of the eighteenth century with alarm, seeing it as a corrupting force that had attacked the high standards upheld in the previous century and — worse still — as a direct cause of the breakdown of social order in the Revolution and its bloody aftermath. He continually singled out Voltaire as the worst representative of this century. Even the most celebrated actor of his age. Talma, the favourite of Napoleon, was not spared Geoffroy's venom, and indeed was one of his frequent targets. 51. Geoffroy, "Grande conspiration des petits barbouilleurs," Journal des débats {25 January 1804). Quoted in Des Granges, Oeoffroy, p. 179. 52. Des Granges devotes 3 entire chapters to the various polemical disputes in which Geoffroy engaged, vrtth a chapter each given to his quarrels with pamphleteers, with fellow journalists and with authors. 53. Talma is said to have become so irritated with Geoffroy that he actually slapped him in the face in the middle of the foyer of the Théâtre-Française, according to the Dictionnaire Larousse du XIXe siècle (s.\. "Feuilleton," Vol. VIII, p. 311). Napoleon seems nonetheless to have been extraordinarily indulgent towards Geoffroy. For example, when the Journal des débats-was placed under the control of a state-appointed censor, Geoffroy's feuilleton was specifically exempted from censorship, and remained so until his death in 1814.  While the Parisian public was enormously entertained by the ongoing gladiatorial spectacle of Geoffroy's rigorous standards locked in mortal combat with current theatrical offerings, they were also extremely impressed by it. Charles-Marc Des Granges believes that the receptivity of the Parisian public for a figure such as Geoffroy — one who invested his work with such intellectual and moral authority that he held even his own readers in disdain — may be explained by the need of his public to find a link to a theatrical tradition whose continuity had been ruptured by the events of the 1790s.54 In short, the parvenu audiences of the Empire were all too aware of their intellectual and social shortcomings, and were willing to "go back to school" under the knuckle-rapping professorial figure that Geoffroy represented. It is noteworthy that Geoffroy, like his journalistic predecessors from the eighteenth century, was eager to do battle with the repertoires of both the musical and the spoken theatres outfitted with his literary armour alone. Geoffroy was brazenly illiterate in music, and the mere topic of his musical credentials has evoked commentary from historians which, in its derisive tone, is worthy of Geoffroy himself. ... il est inutile d'ajouter que, sous le rapport de la technique musicale, il était l'incompétence même.^^ ... ce critique, justement célèbre en beaucoup de choses, était d'une stupidité rare  en musique.56  Geoffroy's long experience with the theatre had not left him completely bereft of any musical sense. There was much musical theatre that he enjoyed immensely, and praised in  54. In particular Des Granges believes that the emigration of many aristocrats after the Revolution deprived Parisian theatres of its most knowledgeable audience members, and that the break-up, in the 1790s, of the company of actors that had composed the Théâtre-Français robbed the stage of many performers withfirst-handknowledge of theatrical practices under the Ancien Régime. Des Granges, Geoffroy, pp. 125-127. 55. Ernest Reyer, "La Critique musicale: Castil-Blaze — Berlioz," in Le Livre du centenaire du Journal des débats, 1789-1889 (Paris: E. Pion, Nourrit et Cie, 1889), p. 427. 56. Le Grand Dictionnaire Larousse du XIXe siècle, s.v. "Feuilleton" (Vol. VIII, p. 311).  his feuilletons. But the sort of theatre which he enjoyed and praised fell within the narrow confines of what he considered to be "music's place" in the dramatic realm. The operas comiques of Grétry, for example, knew "music's place" and hence garnered his sincere praise for their witty combination of music and text. In the older opéra comique genre he felt well oriented because of the clearly deferential role that music takes to the dramatic text, and because of the prominence of the spoken dialogue. But his praise was primarily reserved for the quality of simple tunefulness in these works. Where musical stage works strayed too near the depiction of hiunan passions, which he considered the proper domain of language, he complained loudly against the trespass of music on the domain of literature. His general mistrust of serious opera as a genre, for example, could have been written in the seventeenth century, as he himself admits: Je pense de ce théâtre comme La Bruyère ... j'y éprouve toujours le même ennui dont se plaignait l'auteur des Caractères, sans expliquer la catxse. La littérature est presque étrangère à ce genre de spectacle ...^^ Indicative of his conservative approach to the place of music in opera are his views of Gluck, whose works are especially troubling for him. Geoffroy might well admit that Gluck was a man of talent, even of genius, but he thought that in general he was the propogator of a "false system" that purported to be creating tragedy in music, something which, according to him, simply could not be done. Gluck's music was fine when it was tuneful, or picturesque, but Gluck's recitatives, which usurp the place of language, are by comparison with spoken theatre "heavy" and "slow." ... il a quelquefois confondu la douceur avec la monotonie, la volupté avec la lenteur.58  57. Article on La Caravane du Caire, in Cours de littérature dramatique, p. 35. In this article, Geoffroy's musical leanings are expressed in his stated wish that Grétry had made this more musically developed opera into a simple opéra comique like Zémire etAzor. 58. ''Gluck. Armide," m Cours de littérature dramatique, p. 15.  Ce grand compositeur, qui pouvait tout ce qu'il voulait, a été trop souvent égaré par un faux système de mélopée et de déclamation musicale qui dénature le véritable idiome de son art: il voulait faire des tragédies en musique, et rapprocher la mélodie de la déclamation théâtrale. Avec ce principe, on ne fait ni musique ni tragédie: on fait seulement une grande dépense d'harmonie et de génie, pour fatiguer les auditeurs. Une tragédie bien déclamée par d'excellens acteurs, sera toujours plus agréable et plus intéressante que la même tragédie en récitatif... La musique affaiblit et dégrade tous les genres auxquels on la marie : un grand opéra n'est pas plus une tragédie qu'un opéra comique n'est une comédie : et même la musique aurait encore plus de prise sur les sentimens de la comédie que sur les passions de la tragédie.^^ Ou parlez, ou chantez, il n'y a pas de milieu; mais ne me donnez pas pour de la musique un débit corrompu et dénaturé par la servitude de la note.^*^ Ail of this "complication," this "noise" and "fracas" was, for Geoffroy, just a passing fashion of Gluck's time, related, naturally, to the lack of moral fibre in the nation. His view is predicated on the idea that music is something which is intrinsically exterior to drama, like costuming, or set design; it is something that reflects the time, but does not go deeper into the portrayal of character or action.^' Geoffroy, writing at the beginning of the nineteenth century, in the period immediately preceding the arrival of Castil-Blaze in Paris, is still firmly ensconced in the tradition of the literary appreciation of musical stage works that begins in the seventeenth century. The important difference, however, is that his voice is no longer an elitist one, directed at the intelligensia or the aristocracy; rather, he is unquestionably the most popular and most frequently read critic in the daily newspapers of Paris. Obviously Geoffroy was widely followed for reasons other than his piercing insight into the development of French music, and  59. Ibid. p. 16. 60. Ibid, p.30. 61. At the end of his article on Gluck's Armide, for example, he lists a few bright moments in an otherwise boring three-hour operatic spectacle, as if they were of equivalent value : the décor, the ballets, the rain of fire effect, and the occasional "trait de génie de Gluck." Cours de littérature dramatique, p. 15  despite the substantial number of his feuilletons dealing with the lyric theatre, he seems not to have been challenged by his contemporaries on his lack of musical knowledge. Geoffroy, his polemical adversaries, and his readers alike, seemed all to have agreed that criticism of the lyric theatre, in the opening decades of the nineteenth century, was still a literary affair alone. Geoffroy's lack of musical education, of musical insight — his lack, even, of musical sympathy — do not disqualify him as an important predecessor of Castil-Blaze at the Journal des débats. By establishing the theatricaJ fcuûleton as such a strong journahstic vehicle for criticism, with its characteristic mixture of scholarly familiarity with past traditions and polemical interest in new developments, Geoffroy created a model which Castil-Blaze's own learning and flair for written expression made it easy to adapt to create the /27U5/ca/feuilleton. The smug self-assxirance with which Castil-Blaze dismisses his polemical opponents for their lack of erudition, his command of a wide range of subject matter, as well as the overwhelming force of moral conviction that emanates from his many proposed reforms of musical life, identify him as a direct inheritor of Geoffroy's powerful journalistic legacy.  New Conditions of Musical Life in Restoration Paris The death of Geoffroy in February of 1814 created considerable speculation as to the choice of his successor in the post of feuilletoniste. No less than seventeen pretenders to the throne of dramatic criticism were eagerly waiting in the wings, according to an article in the Débats of 7 March 1814.^2 After a short period in which the reviewing responsibilities of the feuilletoniste were divided between several of the Débats ' writers, and a further reorganization after the first Bourbon Restoration, there emerged by the end of the year a permanent 62. Cited in Des Granges, Geoffroy, pp. 497-98.  successor — Pierre Duvicquet.^^ Duvicquet was an academic like Geoffroy, a staunch supporter of the classics, and an opponent of "romantic" innovation,  but his tone was more moderate and less biting. In  matters of music, however, he could be every bit as intolerant as his distinguished predecessor, waxing archaically vexed, it seems, at the mere presence of music in combination with classical drama. Recent publishing activities, however, indicate that there was a growing market in Paris for specialized reporting on music. Since the founding of the Conservatoire in 1795 Paris had become a major centre of music education, and a growing number of teaching texts and method books had appeared on the market. A particularly important figure in this development was Alexandre Choron, founder of the Institution Royale de Musique Classique et Religieuse, who published an impressive munber of pedagogical works in the early part of the nineteenth century.^^ A n indication of the variety and range of works newly becoming available is found in César Gardeton's Annales delà musique, ou Almanach musical, published in two yearly volimies (1819 and 1820),^^ which attempted to provide an organized listing of  63. Pierre Duvicquet (1766-1835) was a lawyer and politician who had held many administrative posts in the 1790s. After holding office briefly in the magistrature under the Consulat, he left administrative and political life to teach at the Lycée Napoléon until joining the Journal des débats as drama critic in 1814. He remained as feuilletoniste for the spoken theatre until replaced by Jules Janin in 1835. 64. "II défendit avec autant de bravoure que d'urbanité le drapeau de l'école classique contre les attaques des barbares : c'est ainsi qu'on appelait alors les romantiques." Grand Dictionnaire universel, s.v. "Duvicquet" (Vol. VI, p. 457). 65. In collaboration with Fayolle, Choron published the Dictionnaire liistorique des musiciens, artistes et amateurs, morts et vivants (Paris, 1811). The extraordinary range of Choron's pedagogical activities in the ensuing period may be seen in the following partial list of his works published in the second decade of the century: Méthode élémentaire de musique et de plain-chant (1811); Traité général des voix et des instrumens d'orchestre (1813); Méthode élémentaire de composition (1814); Méthode concertante de musique à plusieurs parties (1815); Le Musicien pratique (1816); Exposition élémentaire des principes de la musique (1819); Cours élémentaire de musique, solfège et chant (1820). 66. The two volumes of the Annales de la musique, ou Almanach musicalha.\e been reprinted as Tome V i n the series Archives de l'édition musicale française (Geneva: MinkofT Reprints, 1978).  the institutions and activities that were contributing to the burgeoning musical life of the capital during this period. Not only do these volumes contain a bibliographical compilation of recent available musical publications and engravings, but also Usts of inventors and instrument manufacturers, an address list of prominent composers, singers and instrumental performers in Paris and the provinces, as well as a month-by-month review of important musical events, and even a detailed price list of seats in the major Parisian theatres. While Gardeton's attempts at bibUography were far from systematic,  and his journal foundered  after its second yearly issue in 1820, the appearance of this type of publication — and that of his similar Bibh'ographie musicale published in 1822 — indicate that the level of musical activity in Paris was becoming such as to attract increasing attention from the press. ^8 The opening years of the Bourbon Restoration saw a substantial rise as well in theatrical activity due to the easing of the former Napoleonic restrictions on the number and types of theatres permitted to operate in the capital, and due as well to the return of many theatreloving emigres to France after the re-establishment of the Bourbon monarchy. Representative of this expansion in theatrical activity was the opening in 1820 of the Gymnase Dramatique, a type of "farm league" theatre mandated to present excerpted fragments from the standard repertoire (either spoken theatre or comedies with interspersed songs), and to generate experienced performers for promotion to the state-subsidized royal theatres.^^ in the same 67.  Feds is particularly disdainful of Gardeton's methods and approach. See his Biographie universelle des musiciens, s.v. "Gardeton, César."  68. The coverage of music journals in both the Annales and Bibliographie are treated in James Deaville, "The Earliest Known Inventories of European Music Journals," Periodica Musica A {\9%9): 14-17. 69. After the liberté des théâtres v/as declared in 1791, a great many theatres and theatrical entertainments came into existence, including those featuring acrobatic displays, equestrian events, and many with overtly political content. By the decree of 29 July 1807 Napoleon re-introduced government regulation of the theatres, reducing the number of establishments permitted to operate under the title of "theatre" to eight: the four royal theatres (Opéra, Opéra-Comique, Odéon, Théâti-e Français) and four secondary theatres (Vaudeville, Gaîté, Variétés, Ambigu-Comique). The Gymnase Dramatique was the first new secondary theatre licenced to open since the decree of 1807.  year, a new modem opera house was being built for the Académie royale de musique. But perhaps the phenomenon with the greatest impact on musical life in this period — the phenomenon which represented the greatest challenge for musical criticism — was the rise of Italian opera in Paris. Italian opera was hardly new to the capital, but it was only in the early nineteenth century that it had joined the ranks of the official Parisian musical establishment, with its own officially-sanctioned theatre space in which to perform and, most importantly, its own state subsidy. The Théâtre-Italien was officially established in Paris by decree in 1801 and its performances were at first restricted to Italian opera buffa, but in 1810 opera seria was added to its repertoire. Its operation from 1818 to 1827 under the tutelage of the Académie royale de musique gave it the additional orchestral, choral and staging resources needed to ecHpse in popularity the Opéra itself.'^ Italian opera became fashionable as never before, serving eventually as a common literary backdrop in the novels of Stendhal and Balzac. Le Théâtre italien entre alors dans la phase la plus glorieuse de son histoire. Il était déjà de bon ton de « se montrer aux Italiens » sous l'Empire. Sous la Restatiration, c'est une nécessité, du moins si l'on prétend appartenir à une certaine élite intellectuel et sociale. Le thème de « la loge aux Italiens » devient alors — et pour de longues années — un thème littéraire.^ ^ The driving force behind the dramatic increase in popularity of Italian opera was undoubtedly the introduction to Paris of the works of Rossini, and the concomitant appearance on French stages and in French concerts of the finest Italian singers in Europe. During the Restoration, the Parisian public heard over a dozen of Rossini's works  — many under  70. Janet Lynn Johnson, "The Théâtre-Italien and Opera and Theatrical Life in Restoration Paris, 1818-1827," (Ph.D. diss.. University of Chicago, 1988), pp.7-8. 71. Jean Mongrédien, La Musique en France, p. 132. 72. These included the Italian operas IIBarbiere di Siviglia, Semiramide, Zebnira, L 'Italiana in Algen, Tancredi, La Cenerentola, La Gazza ladra, Mosè in Egitto, La Donna del lago, Mathildedi Stiabran, II Viaggio a Reims, and / / Turco in Italia; the French adaptations of Maometto secondo as Le Siège de Corinthe and Mosè in Egitto as Moïse; the opéra comique Le Comte Ory; and  the composer's own direction during his tenure as director of the Théâtre Italien from 1824 to 1826 — performed by singers such as the sopranos Maria Malibran, Laure CintiDamoreau, Joséphine Mainvielle-Fodor and Henriette Sontag, basses Filippo Galli and Luigi Lablache, tenors Giovanni Battista Rubini and Antonio Tamburini, and above all, the most worshipped of all divas, Giuditta Pasta, whose haunting dramatic presence on stage earned her a following that can only be compared to that of Maria Callas in this century. This music presented at once a piquant and titillating attraction to French ears and a forthright challenge to established French musical practice of the previous century and a half. Here was dramatic music based frankly on its purely musical appeal. Alors que ses devanciers se contenaient d'enchaînements banals, d'ime instrumentation plus que discrète (la même, à peu près depuis un siècle) pour laisser la première place à la mélodie, lui n'hésitait pas à user continuellement de la modulation, à hérisser sa phrase de dissonances non préparées, d'appoggiatures non résolues, à donner aux instruments une part entière et non plus à les limiter au seul rôle de soutien de la ligne vocale. On sait la surprise causée aux contemporains par les fameux effets du crescendo orchestral(\\à. consiste à faire entrer les pupitres successivement pour parvenir finalement au tutti..P Rossini and ItaUan opera were not only a popular success, but — and herein lies the surest sign of its importance in French terms — a subject of polemical debate and controversy among littérateurs. Paris in the Restoration was divided into French traditionalist and Italophile dilettanti musical camps, exchanging polemical volleys by means of monographs and brochures. Prominent on the Rossinist side was Stendhal's La Vie de Rossini(1^23); expressing reservations over the latter's enthusiasm was Joseph D'Ortigue's De la guerre des dilettanti (1829,) the opening line of which summarizes well the mark which Rossini's music had made upon Parisian cultural life:  Guillaume Tell, his last opera. 73. Mongrédien, La Musique en France, p. 135.  Rossini! On a tant parlé de Rossini depuis quelques années; ce nom est devenu si populaire dans le monde musical, qu'il peut paraître superflu d'en parler encore. N'a-t-on pas déjà tout dit sur un compositeur qui semble avoir épuisé tous les genres d'éloges et de critiques?^'* At the beginning of this period of rising interest in Italian music, and in burgeoning growth of musical life in general, there is evidence that the literary figures employed by the Débats were unequal to the task of writing about the growing importance of musical activities and institutions in the French capital. In the period preceding the arrival of Castil-Blaze in 1820, Duvicquet had written about the full range of spoken and lyric theatrical productions — tragedies, comedies, operas, opéras-comiques, ballets, pantomimes with music, vaudevilles — with the notable exception of Italian opera. The first performances of Rossini operas in the period 1817-1819, and the Théâtre-Italien in general, were reviewed under the rubric Mélanges by various writers such as Etienne and Becquet. François-Benoît Hoffman, the librettist of Cherubini's Medeeana Spontini's La Vestale, who had written some articles on musical topics during the reign of Geoffroy, also continued to contribute articles on musical events during this period. It was becoming increasingly clear that writing music criticism for more demanding, more musically educated audiences was not the task for a musically illiterate drama critic. Given the strength of the new vogue for the operas of Rossini and Italian opera in general there must have been a gap in the reviewing staff at the Débats?^ It is logical, then, in the expansion of musical activity in Paris after the restoration of the Bourbons, that the Parisian  74. Joseph D'Ortigue, De la guerre des dilettanti, ou de la révolution opérée par M. Rossini dans l'opéra français; et des rapports qui existent entre la musique, la littérature et les arts. (Paris: Ladvocat, 1829), p. 1. 75. The quality of coverage of the Théâtre-Italien would likely have been an important issue for the circulation statistics of the Débats as well, since the clientèle of this theatre — artistocratic exemigres for the most part — made up an important part of the paper's readership. It was no coincidence that the musical reviews of La Quotidienne, the Parisian daily of the right-wing Ultra faction in French politics of the time, were overwhelmingly devoted to performances of Italian opera at the Théâtre-Italien.  public should feel the need for intelligent critical commentary on musical topics to match the quality of commentary to which they had become accustomed in the fields of Uterature, drama and the other arts. It was the high quality of its critical writing that had established the reputation of the Débats since it was acquired by the Bertin brothers in 1800, and the leading position of this newspaper in criticism of the arts was confirmed, in the opening years of the Restoration, by the publication of the collected works of two of its major arts journalists, Geoffroy  ^nd Dussault.^^ What the Débats obviously needed in this period  was a critic with musical training, one who could write as engagingly and authoritatively about the Théâtre-Italien as well as the French lyric stage, one who was capable of reviewing recent publications, both scores and pedagogical materials, who took an interest in technological advances in instrument manufacture and who remained abreast of musical developments in other European capitals. Towards 1820 just such a figure was making his way to Paris from the provinces — François-Henri-Joseph Castil-Blaze.  76. Cours de httérature dramatique, cited in note 46, 77. Jean-Joseph-François Dussault had held the post of literary reviewer at the Débats since the time of the invention of the feuilleton in 1800. His collected writings were published as Annales littéraires, ou choix chronologique des principaux articles de littérature insérés par M. Dussault dans le « Journal des Débats » depuis 1800jusqu 'à 1819 inclusivement, recueillis et publiés par l'auteur des Mémoires historiques sur Louis XVII ( Paris, Maradan, 1818-1824), 5 vol. in-8°.  CHAPTER 2 CASTIL-BLAZE'S DÉBUT IN PARIS A N D DE L'OPÉRA EN FRANCE  Castil-Blaze's Background It is a curious phenomenon that one of the strongest influences on musical taste in Paris during the Restoration period was not that of a native Parisian. Rather, it was that of a figure recently arrived from the provinces whose knowledge of the Parisian lyric theatre appears to have been acquired virtually entirely while living away from the French capital. His command of the rejjertoire, traditions and practices of this stage were authoritative and commanding enough to establish him within a short period of time as Paris's pre-eminent music critic, indeed the first newspaper critic to devote himself consistently to the discussion of music and musical issues. The French critic, arranger and writer on music known as Castil-Blaze was born François-Henri-Joseph Blaze in Cavaillon, near Avignon in the department of Vaucluse, in 1784. Published biographical information concerning his early life is sketchy. ^ It is known, however, that in 1799 he came to Paris to study law at the University, and that while in the capital he undertook studies as well in music and in painting in addition to his legal studies.  1. No full-length study of Castil-Blaze's life has yet been attempted, but relatively short biograpical summaries are available in the standard dictionaries and encylopedias (Fétis's Biographie universelle, the Grand Dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle, La Grande Encyclopédie, Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, The New Grove) and in the memoirs and biographies of his contemporaries. Notable for the fulsomeness of its detail, though not for its reliability, is Marie-Louise Pailleron's anecdotal account of early nineteenth-century French literary life entitled François Buloz et ses amis: La Revue des Deux-Mondes et la Comédie-Française (Paris: Cahnann-Lévy, c. 1920). The first half of Chapter II of this work (pp. 40ff.) is devoted to "La famille Blaze" and the "Débuts de Castil-Blaze."  enrolling in harmony and solfège classes at the newly-founded Conservatoire, and apprenticing in the atelier of the painter David.^ In contrast to many young artists sent away to university and forced to overcome parental opposition in order to take musical training — the case of Berlioz springs immediately to mind — the young Castil-Blaze seems rather to have followed in the footsteps of his own father, the notary, composer and novelist Henri-Sébastien Blaze. ^ The elder Blaze had also come to Paris when young to receive legal training about a quarter century before, and while there had taken instruction in piano and organ from Séjan.^ He had followed an administrative career after returning to his native Cavaillon but had composed as well, and his compositions were particularly well received in Marseille. Henri-Sébastien Blaze was actually in Paris with his son at the time of the latter's legal, musical and artistic studies around the turn of the century, and the young Castil-Blaze no doubt benefitted from his father's friendship with such figures as Méhul and Grétry. Castil-Blaze must have returned to Vaucluse some time toward 1805 and like his father pursued an administrative career there. He is said to have held several administrative posts in Vaucluse, including those of Inspecteur de la Librairie and Sous-préfet. Like his father as  2. Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) rose to prominence during the Revolutionary period and is best known for his paintings relating the sternness of ancient civic virtue to the zeal of the fledgling French Republic. Marie-Louise Pailleron {op. at, p. 44) indicates that the figure of Romulus in David's paindng of The Sabmes was posed by the young Castil-Blaze. Although Mme Pailleron's information is often questionable, this anecdote may be true, since Castil-Blaze reveals an in-depth knowledge of David's creative process and of the genesis of this painting in De l'Opéra en France (Vol. I, pp. 406-407), and seems quite taken with the way in which this figure in particular came out: "Le Romulus de David est un modèle de beauté." Ibid., p. 130. 3. According to the entry in the Grande Encyclopédie Larousse du XIXe siècle, the compositions of Henri-Sébastien Blaze (1763-1833) include a number of sonatas and instnimental duos, an opera entitled Semiramis (which, though unperformed, earned him a corresponding membership in the Institut), a Requiem and several masses. His literary works include the novel Julien, ou le Prêtre, ( 1805) and a volume entitled De la nécessité d'une religion dominante en France ( 1796). 4. Nicolas Séjan (1743-1819), the most celebrated French organ composer of the second half of the eighteenth century, held the post of organist at the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris and was professor of organ at the Conservatoire.  well, he remained active as a musician. The romances and other light pieces which he composed during this period were published under the pseudonym "Castil-Blaze," a name that made reference to his own but which would not compromise him in the eyes of his employers.^ At the beginning of the Restoration, Castil-Blaze began to be known in the south of France for his French translations and musical adaptations of Italian operas. In 1817 his French adaptation of Cimarosa's II Matrimonio segreto-^a^ performed in Nîmes and in 1818 his adaptation of Mozart's ZeA^ozzec/iF/^aro in the same city. In 1819 his French version of Rossini's Barbiere di Siviglia was accepted for performance at the Grand Théâtre de Lyon.^ It was at this time as well — sometime towards 1820 — that he moved to Paris with his wife and three children, bringing with him a number of works for publication, including his French adaptations of Mozart's LeNozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, and his two-volume study of French musical life and institutions entitled De l'Opéra en France. By the early part of 1820 Castil-Blaze had found a publisher for these works in the firm of Janet et Cotelle^ and his career in Paris as a writer about and for the musical stage had begun. The 5. The pseudonym Castil-Blaze, under which he published for the rest of his life, is a French version of Castil-Blazo, the name of the first tutor of the hapless travelling hero of Lesage's picaresque novel Gil Bias de Santillane. Many of Castil-Blaze's early romances, the earliest dating from 1808 but the majority from the period 1811-1817, are listed in Rita Benton and Jeanne Halley, Pleyel as Music Publisher: A Documentary Sourcebook of Early 19th-century Music, Annotated Reference Tools in Music No. 3 (Stuyvesant, N.Y.: Pendragon Press, 1990), s.v. "Castil-Blaze" (pp. 4445). 6. Castil-Blaze's Le Barbier de Seville-was eventually performed in Lyon on 19 September 1821. This production is the subject of Mark Everist's "Lindoro in Lyon: Rossini's Le Barbier de Seville,'" Acta musicologica (in press), an advance copy of which was most kindly provided to me by the author. 7. The publishing firm of Janet et Cotelle was founded in 1810. Its period of greatest influence was the Restoration and early July Monarchy, and thus parallelled that of Castil-Blaze himself. Like Castil-Blaze as well, it created its success by marketing the works of others. By absorbing other firms (Imbault in 1812; Décombé in 1821; Boieldieu in 1824; Ozi et Cie in 1825) Janet et Cotelle acquired a large stock of plates, and by 1830 were among the largest music publishers of the capital. The bulk of their output consisted of new editions or re-issues of previously published works that they had acquired, but they also published didactic and literary works such as those of CastilBlaze and Fétis. See D.W. Krummel and Stanley Sadie, Music Printing and Publishing (New York: MacMillan Press, 1990), s.v. "Janet et Cotelle."  publication of De l'Opéra en France in that year is repeatedly quoted as the source of Castil-Blaze's fame, as the work which first brought him to the attention of the Bertin brothers at the Journal des débats, and as the work which gained him the post of music critic at that newspaper.^ Contemporary discussion of this work shows that the importance of De l'Opéra was evident from the very year of its publication. The high-circulation Parisian daily newspaper Le Constitutionnel reviewed it very enthusiastically inimediately following its appearance,^ and its second edition, published in 1825, was given a laudatory review by Fétis in one of the first issues of his Revue musicale}^ The work even received high praise in Germany: the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung of Leipzig devoted an extensive two-part article to it in 1822.11 The German author of this latter review clearly saw DeVOpéra en France as an authoritative, even epoch-making work, and in his opening sentence goes so far as to claim that "musical Uterature had perhaps revealed no work on this subject rendered with such spirit... and all-encompassing knowledge."^^ Given that it was the publication of DeVOpéra en France that is generally credited with obtaining Castil-Blaze his post at the Journal des  8. See, for example, the entries under his name in the Grand Dictionnaire Larousse du XIXe siècle, Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians ( 1927 edition). The New Grove ( 1980), etc. 9. Unsigned article, ''Del'opéra en France; p^^r M . Castil-Blaze. Deux vol. in-8°, avec 24 planches gravées. A Paris, chez Janet et Cotelle, rue Neuve-des-Petits-Champs, n. 15; Camille Pleyel, boulevard Montmartre, Mongie aîné, boulevard Poissonnière, n. 18. — 2 vol. in-8°. Prix, 12 fr." Le Constitutionnel (8 July 1820): 4. 10. [F.-J. Feds], "De l'Opéra en France, par M . Castil-Blaze. Deuxième édition," Revue musicale (June 1827): 472-478. 11. [Unsigned], "Recension. De l'Opéra en France, par Castil-Blaze. 2 Vol. in 8. Paris 1820," Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung[hsipzig] No. 28 (10 July 1822), cols. 453-456 and No. 29 (17 July 1822), cols. 469-478. 12. "Die Literatur der Tonkunst hat vielleicht kein Werk iiber diesen Gegenstand aufzuweisen, welches mit so vieler Warme ... entworfen und mit so vieler umfassender Kenntnis durchgefuhrt ist." Ibid, No. 28 (10 July 1822), col. 453. As late as 1835, the writer of the entry under "CastilBlaze" in the Encyclopadie dergesammten musikalischen Wissenschaften der Tonkunst (Stuttgart: Franz Heinrich Kohler, 1835) wrote that he fully concurred with this latter review (Vol. 2, p. 151).  débats, and that the ideas expressed in this work prefigure those in the feuilletons which were to appear in the following twelve years, it would be useful to examine what qualities of this work so captivated both the Parisian reading public that bought it and the Bertin brothers who hired him as their first professional music critic.  De l'Opéra en France The success oî De l'Opéra en France cannot be attributed to its favorable reception by newspaper critics and professional musicians alone, since it was not for these readers that the work was expressly written. Far from being directed to the aspiring professional musician, to the musically trained or even musically literate amateur, this quasi-encyclopedic work sought its readership instead among the general music-loving public. In his opening Avertissement Castil-Blaze states: Ce livre n'est point fait potir les compositeurs et les érudits, ils en savent tous plus que son auteur. Les bons praticiens y apprendront peu de chose. C'est pour les gens du monde qu'il a été écrit; pour ces amateurs passionnés de musique, qui suivent avec ardeur les messes, les oratorios, les concerts, les opéras, et n'ont cependant ni la doctrine, ni l'exercice de cet art.^^ These "amateurs passionnés" for whom the book was written should not be understood in the Romantic sense as exalted adepts, à la Berlioz, worshipping at the temple of art, for they are in no sense isolated from their fellow men, but rather "gens du monde." CastilBlaze takes pains to avoid painting the appreciation of music as either an arcane art or as melomanic ecstasy. The only prerequisite of those who would read his book seems to be a simple enjoyment of music, an enjoyment which he describes as being as natural as a walk in  13. F.-J-H. Castil-Blaze, De l'Opéra en FranceÇPzns: Janet et Cotelle, 1820), "Avertissement," p. i.  the garden. Castil-Blaze's intended reader need only have the ability to listen to the songs of birds and to concertos with equal pleasure, as if they were extensions of the same experience. Toute personne qui trouve du plaisir et s'attache vivement à une représentation lyrique; celle qui ressent une douce émotion en entendant chanter xm air, un duo, une tendre romance, un nocturne mystérieux; celle qui ne s'endort pas à un excellent concert; celle qui s'arrête un moment dans sa course pour goûter les charmes d'une musique militaire harmonieuse et brillante, ou d'une sérénade pleine de mélodie ... celle qui écoute avec intérêt le ramage des oiseaux, et les rustiques accens de la musette; celle qui ne dédaigne pas ime sonate de piano, un concerto de violon, bien exécutés ... pourront lire avec plaisir cet ouvrage que je leur destine; il les entretiendra d'tm art qtxi leur a donné tant de jouissances, et leur en préparera de plus vives pour l'avenir, en leur expliquant tour à tour ses moyens et ses résultats, By having explained to them "les moyens et les résultats" of the art of music, readers are promised that they will learn to speak intelligently about their amorphous musical impressions and so become articulate in the art of ctxltured conversation about music. They will be able to speak about it intelligently in society, as the average cultured bourgeois, perhaps, would be expected to be able to speak about art or literature. Music is thus portrayed as a cultural attaiimient, as a social grace, a living skill for those who must deal with the large quantity of discussion on musical topics encountered in salons, in theatre foyers, in cafés and in the newspapers. It is in these venues, Castil-Blaze states, where musical opinion is most in need of correction. As much as De l'Opéra en France \^ written for the general public, it is also explicitly written against the prevailing troupe of "savans et littérateurs parfaitement étrangers à cette matière"*^ who are responsible for most of the current books and articles on music, and whose unhealthy influence, in Castil-Blaze's view, is lamentably evident in the above-mentioned venues where music comes under discussion. According to Castil-Blaze, the latter have not only been of little assistance in helping the public to understand the issues most fre14. Il}/d, pp. i-ii. 15. Ibid, p. iii.  quently discussed, but they have in fact been the source of many new errors and have spread many heresies. 1^ Thus, Castil-Blaze's book is not about how to write music, i.e., how to find musical ideas and connect them together effectively and appropriately. It is essentially a book about how to judge music, i.e., how to tell what is good music and what is bad music, and how to talk about the difference and defend one's point of view. As stated in the A vertissement, the work is not written for composers, but rather for audiences. It is not a theory treatise, nor is it a harmony text; it is, in fact, one of the first books in the genre of what would nowadays likely be called "music appreciation." This work by which Castil-Blaze proposes to educate the average citizen, and correct the errors spread by the literarily erudite but musically illiterate, comprises some 650 pages, divided into two halves. The following is its table of contents: Tome Premier Des paroles De la musique II. De l'expression musicale, III. de l'imitation De la mélodie rv. De l'harmonie V. De la composition VI. Des effets de la musique VII. VIII. Des voix et du chant vocal IX. Des emplois et des rôles X. Des instrumens XI. De l'orchestre XII. Du chant instrumental XIII. De l'accompagnement De l'exécution xrv.  I.  I. II.  m. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI.  16. Ibid., p. iii.  Tome Deuxième Des parties dont se compose un opéra De l'ouverture De l'introduction Du récitatif De l'air Du duo Du trio, du quatuor, du quintette, du sextuor Du finale Du chœur Des airs de danse De la marche De l'entr'acte Des traductions, parodies et centons S'il faut être musicien pour bien juger de la musique, et pour écrire sur cet art De l'opéra en province Des musiciens  The first volume deals with the small-scale building blocks which the composer manipulates to create the texture of dramatic music: its words, harmonies, accompanimental patterns, instrumental combinations, orchestral effects, voice ranges, etc. In the second volume Castil-Blaze discusses the various large-scale forms which dramatic music takes on, e.g., overtures, airs, duos, trios, choruses, ensembles, ballets. At the end of the second volume he adds three chapters treating topics of special interest to him: on the prerequisites for writing competently about music in Chapter XIV; on musical life in the provinces in Chapter X V ; and about the life led by musicians in Chapter X V I . An Appendix at the end of the second volume features 188 musical illustrations that complement the musical discussion and are referred to in the text. From a look at this table of contents one might think that one was dealing with an encyclopedia of music, and indeed De l'Opéra en France stands heir to the eighteenth-century example of the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des arts, des sciences et des métiers in that its stated aim is the democratization of knowledge, and its subtext the subversion of traditional authority. There is, as well, a touch of the philosopheKo\^s/tavL in the quotation given above, with its blended appeal to both "man in society," represented by the sonata and concerto, and to the solitary wandering "man in nature" who listens to the sounds of birds. Above all, the inheritance of the encyclopédistes is most evident in Castil-Blaze's insistence on the concept of progress. As we shall see, his discussion of all the major topics dealing with opera — whether in the creation of more realistic, logical and inherently interesting libretti, in the composition of more dramatically descriptive and densely picturesque music, or in the simple advancement of vocal and instrumental technique — is led by the concept of progress, an idea which lies at the base of the encyclopédiste philosophy as well. But what would likely be most impressive about such a work as De l'Opéra en France to a reader of 1820 is the authority and breadth of learning with which its author speaks about his subject matter. The range of historical, philosophical and literary sources cited in 49  his text is extraordinarily wide. From the ancient classics he cites Aristotle, Cicero, Horace and Vergil; from the modern classics Rabelais, Racine, Corneille, Boileau and L a Fontaine. Among philosophers and aestheticians he discusses the treatises of Algarotti, Batteux and Boyé, Laborde and Lacépède; among writers on music he cites the historical works of Burney, Forkel and Kalkbrenner as well as the latest instrumental method books of Baillot and Choron. He is extremely well-read in the music criticism of the last 50 years, in particular quoting extensively from the major journalists contributing to the debate surrounding Gluck in the 1770s — La Harpe, Marmontel, Suard, Guingené — as well as from more recent writings by Grétry and Geoffroy, and from current literature by Chateaubriand and Mme de Staël. Adding to the aura of learning surrounding this work is the fact the many quotations are given in the original Latin, Italian, German and even Spanish. From this wide range of source material Castil-Blaze assembles for his readers a history of the musical stage in France and a description of its resources and characteristic forms. His breadth of reference within the field of musical stage works is as impressive as his knowledge of the secondary literature about it. In his Introduction alone, for example, he mentions over 240 stage works by over 110 authors and composers. In other chapters many stage works are discussed with reference to their first performances, subsequent reprises, the companies and singers performing them, and the repertoires of the theatres at which they were performed. This collection of dates and facts, of literary sources and philosophical analyses, would make De l'Opéra en France a valuable reference text for anyone interested in the history of the French lyric stage, but what most impressed the critic of Le Constitutionnel who reviewed the work immediately after it appeared, and what he considered the most "modern" part of the work, was the way in which Castil-Blaze managed to draw from this information not only a philosophie oi music (i.e., a systematic description of the overarching principles  which govern it) but also an idéologie}'' i.e., an analysis of the reasons behind the development of its central ideas, explaining why they developed in the way in which they did: Notre époque le veut ainsi : elle veut qu'en tout on remonte aux principes; la littérature même la plus légère n'a plus la permission d'être frivole et sans but. Il ne faut pas seulement des idées; il faut encore donner la raison de ces idées. Nous dirons presque que le siècle est décidément idéologue.... Voyons comment M . Castil-Blaze a suivi Vidéologie de la musique. However, where Castil-Blaze's unique niche as a writer about music resided, and where he set himself apart from even the most cultivated of littérateurs before him, was in the way in which he could communicate to his audience the nature of expression in music and the role played by individual musical parameters (e.g., rhythm, mode, harmony and melodic outline) in communicating it. He points out, for example, by means of a side-by-side comparison of the opening of Mozart's Symphony No. 40 and an operatic air from Nicolo's opéra comique Joconde, how two melodies with very similar outlines, differing only in mode, can produce dramatically different expressive effects:  Symphonie de  Air  de  «OZAIIT ,  JOCONDÏ  All.  ^  Fig. 1. De l'Opéra, Vol. 2, Planches, p. I.  17. Tlie word idéologie was of recent coinage at the time of this review. The Pedt Robert {Ï9M edition) defines it as follows: "IDÉOLOGIE ... (1796; de idéo-et -logié). 1° Hist, philo. « Science qui a pour objet l'étude des idées, de leurs lois, de leur origine. » ( L A L A N D E ) . " 18. Unsigned article. Le Constitutionnel (8 July 1820): 4. 19. De l'Opéra, I, p. 130.  Other examples pique the reader's interest by demonstrating the underlying interconnectedness of "cultivated" and "popular" musical styles. By means of other side-by-side comparisons, Castil-Blaze reveals how various airs and ensembles of the great works of the lyric stage, e.g., a trio from Didon, an air from Armide are only slightly altered versions of popular songs such as La Bourbonnaise and Toto Carabo. The idea of isolating a single musical parameter to show how fragile and subtle are the determining elements in musical expression is an extraordinarily good teaching technique, and the examples which he gives in the course of this discussion obviously made for very engaging reading. The critic of Le Constitutionnel was obviously delighted with them; in fact he admires the entire chapter devoted to L 'Expression musicale.  Ce chapitre plein de pensées profondes et d'observations fmes offre le rapprochement très-piquant de certains airs dont l'expression prend un caractère tout-à-fait différent si l'on change le mode, la mesure, ou le mouvement dans lesquels ils ont été composés; on est étonné de trouver la Musette de Nina dans le vaudeville de MaîtreAdam; la Bourbonnaise dam le trio de Didon; Toto Carabo dans un air d'Armide.  Such examples as these are not only instructive, but also entertaining, and it is CastilBlaze's gift to be able to convince his readers with the force of his arguments on a subject as alien as the technicalities of musical structure while still delighting them with the discovery of new relationships in old and familiar material. De l'Opéra en France represents, therefore, not only a compendium of historical information, a footnote-laden treatise on the development of the lyric theatre which enjoyed the respect of the scholarly and critical communities, but also, as previously mentioned, an important early contribution to the field of "music appreciation." In this he anticipates by ten years the next major work in this field, Fétis's  20. De l'Opéra, II, p. 132. 21. Le Constitutionnel, op. cit.  La Musique mise à la portée de tout le monde. Extremely important to the success of De l'Opéra en France as a music appreciation text is not only the ingenious presentation of its factual material and the relevance of its examples, but also the engaging style in which it is written. It is a quality which provoked mention in every review of the work. The reviewer in the Allegemeine Musikalische Zeitung cited above refers in his first sentence to the great "spirit" (Warme) which characterizes Castil-Blaze writing.23 Fétis calls Castil-Blaze an "écrivain spirituel" and an "homme d'esprit," and refers to the "manière piquante" with which he develops his ideas. And the reviewer from Le Constitutionnel devotes almost an entire paragraph to this point: Le style de M . Castil-Blaze est correct et plein de franchise; et si, comme Buffon l'a dit, le style est l'homme même, on ne peut que prendre une très-bonne idée de l'auteur d'après son ouvrage. D u charme et de l'élévation dans divers passages où ces qualités sont à leur place; enfin, partout la couleur du sujet. Nous avons particulièrement remarqué un récit de la guerre des Gluckistes et des Piccinistes, une description du chant des Oiseaux, une analyse savante des ouvertures du Mariage secret et des Noces de Figaro; enfui, le mérite précieux de cette production, c'est qu'elle instruit en amusant. L'intérêt se soutient du commencement à la fin, tantôt par les faits, tantôt par les raisonnemens.^^ Lastly, De l'Opéra en France was an important polemical document that, while teaching and amusing its audience, made important statements about the state of the contemporary lyric theatre. By vigorously confronting such topics as the nature of the traditional opera libretto, the administrative structure of the French national theatres, the unusual manner of classifying lyric voice types in France and of distributing them in stage productions, Castil-Blaze raised important new questions for public debate, questions which challenged the centralized control of state institutions and their repertories by the French government.  22. François-Joseph Fétis, La Musique mise à la portée de tout le monde, exposé succint de tout ce qui est nécessaire pourju^r de cet art, et pour en parler sans l'avoir étudié (Paris: Mesnier, 1830). 23. Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, op. cit., col. 453. 24. Le Constitutionnel, op.cit, p. 4.  By so doing, he also raised himself closer to the level of other commentators on public policy, and to the level of the political journalists whose remarks appeared above the feuilleton in the pages of the Journal des débats. His authority to speak, like theirs, lay not only in the knowledge which he had acquired in his subject area, but also in his ability to make practical application of that knowledge. In this respect, the publicity notice for Castil-Blaze's French adaptation of LeNozze di Figaro which greets the reader at the beginning of Volume I publicizes not only the adaptation which it announces, but Castil-Blaze's credentials as a practicising musician as well. Castil-Blaze thus reveals himself to be a writer whose command of music, and of the respect of his audience, is multi-faceted. He is first of all an historical authority on the French lyric stage. He is furthermore a teacher and popularizer of considerable gifts as well as an engaging and witty writer. Finally, he is a reformer whose engagement in the practical issues facing the contemporary repertoire is as impressive as his authority over the repertoire of the past, and is backed up by his experience of writing for the stage.  Castil-Blaze and Geoffroy By hiring Castil-Blaze as their new musical feuilletoniste the Bertin brothers had, in many ways, hired another Geoffroy. They had hired a writer of solid erudition with an engaging writing style whose spirited and well docimiented critiques of the musical practices of his time separated him cleanly from his contemporaries and made his feuilletons required reading for Parisian audiences. Indeed, a comparison of Castil-Blaze and Geoffroy has much to reveal about the changing nature of French theatre journalism in the early nineteenth century.  First of ail, the regional, intellectual and professsional backgrounds of these two writers was entirely different. Castil-Blaze was a provincial, a fact which he advertised in the many anecdotes of provincial musical life interlarding his prose and which was recognizable in the general verve méridionale of his writing style. He had of course been given professional training in Paris but had nonetheless spent essentially his entire professional life in the provinces. His taste of musical life in the capital lasted only a few years during his period of study around the turn of the century, and he had spent the better part of his mature life, it appears, viewing Parisian musical life from a distance. The ideas for the reform of musical institutions that he developed over this period, and which he published in De l'Opéra en France, bear the common-sense stamp of this long-range, perhaps more "objective" vantage point. Geoffroy, by contrast, was a lifelong Parisian insider. As a former literary critic for L'Annéelittérate  in the 1770s and a professor of rhetoric at the Collège Mazarin, he was a  surviving link with the artistic traditions and established institutions of the ancien régime, a link with traditions and institutions that were fotmded in and nourished by the specific conditions of artistic life in the capital. Furthermore, Geoffroy viewed the theatre with the eye of an eighteenth-century generalist, confident that his deep knowledge of the classics and his impeccable credentials as an academic were all that was needed to confront the full range of theatrical offerings of his time. Despite his formidable command of the fimdamentals of crafted speech, his critical writings rarely deal with technical details, but rather concentrate instead on the moral dimensions of the dramatic literature which he reviewed. These works were judged as evidence for either the maintenance or the decline of moral values in society as a whole. In this way he was very close in spirit to the critics and commentators from the age of the Latin and Greek texts which he knew so well and which he had taught at the Collège Mazarin.  Castil-Blaze, however, was distinctly more modern in outlook than Geoffroy. A lawyer by training, and thus a member of the professional classes, he had been employed as an administrator, and was used to applying practical solutions to the problems of managing public institutions. His wealth of background knowledge and his manner of indicating clearly the rational rather than tradition authority for his judgements could be expected to appeal to the same class of readers that looked for similar qualities in political writing in the press. If Castil-Blaze struck a chord, therefore, with the readership of the daily press in Paris in his feuilletons of the next twelve years, it may well have been in part because he represented the aspirations of the professional classes that increasingly began to claim power during the Restoration, classes whose chief political instrimient was the press. Free of associations with powerful state institutions such as the university or the government, Castil-Blaze spoke to his readers as one of them. He treated them as interested amateurs who, if they so desired, could become knowledgeable and informed audience members if they would merely take the trouble to educate themselves systematically in the fundamentals of music. His own career as a trained lawyer turned professional music critic and adaptor of stage works gave them ample assurance that this transformation was indeed possible. Apart from these differences in background, it is chiefly in his treatment of the lyric theater and of the discipline of criticism itself that Castil-Blaze distinguishes himself from his predecessor Geoffroy. In his articles for the Journal des débats, Castil-Blaze left behind much of the outlook that Geoffroy represented and established new standards for writing about opera. The dominating new idea that characterized Castil-Blaze's writings as a whole dm-ing this period was the concept that opera was not a literary endeavour, but a musical one, and writing about it was a task that should be reserved for the musically literate. The implications of this view for the type of music criticism he espoused and for the critical perspective on opera displayed in his writings will be the subject of the remaining chapters of this work.  CHAPTERS CASTIL-BLAZE A N D SPECIALIZED MUSIC CRITICISM  Cette chronique sera exclusivement consacrée à la musique. Les opéras anciens et nouveaux y seront (uniquement sous le rapport musical) examinés, analysés avec soin, et d'après les principes de la bonne école. ^  Castil-Blaze's Innovation In December of 1820, the feuilletons of Castil-Blaze began to appear under the rubric "Chronique musicale," signed with the three-star pseudonym " X . X . X . " by which he became widely known in Parisian musical circles. With their publication Castil-Blaze became the first specialized music critic for the Journal des débats. Indeed, he became the first specialized music critic, so-called, in any of the Parisian daily newspapers, and the appearance of these feuilletons marks the starting point of the continuing presence of specialized music criticism in the French press. This development is remarkable from two points of view. First of all, it is noteworthy that specialized music criticism in France did not first take root in a marginal publication, i.e., in a specialized music journal, in a specialty arts publication, or even in a publication of general interest but of small circulation and infrequent appearance. Rather, its founding occurred in the Journal des débats, one of the largest daily newspapers in Paris, and a journalistic vehicle of enormous intellectual prestige and popular influence. The importance of the Journal des débats made it unlikely that the new type of music criticism that Castil-Blaze was developing would be ignored by the Parisian public.^ 1. 2.  X.X.X. [Castil-Blaze]. "Chronique musicale," Débats  (7 December 1820): 1.  Print run statistics of the daily Parisian newspapers are not available for the year 1820 but those for the year 1824 (found in Pierre Albert, Gilles Feyel and Jean-François Picard, Documents pour l'histoire de la presse nationale aux XlXe et XXe siécles\Pa.ns: Éditions du C.N.R.S., n.d.], p. 10) may be considered typical of the period. The leading newspaper in Paris at this time was Le Constitutionnel, the newspaper of the Liberal opposition, with a circulation of 16,250; the  Secondly, it is remarkable that specialized music criticism arrived in the French press in a fully-formed state. Castil-Blaze's feuilletons stand out in high relief against a background of critical writing about music that had produced no intermediary figures. No previous writers had even approached his combined depth of knowledge, breadth of interests and talent for written expression. The modern music critic as we would recognize him or her today — musically literate, historically informed, and conversant in the current musical events of his time — appears to have arrived all at once in the French press in the figure of Castil-Blaze, seemingly without any significant antecedents. From these two points of view, Castil-Blaze's feuilletons in the Journal des débats repiesent an important turning point in the musical life of Paris. In seeking the causes of this development one might be tempted to stress those conditions that would favour the rise to prominence of just such a figure at this time, in particular the growing importance of Italian opera in the capital and the inadequacy of the older generation of writers at the Débats to deal with an aesthetic debate that was attaining an increasingly higher profile in the press. In this view Castil-Blaze might be painted as an accident of history, as a "man of the hour" propelled artificially high in the estime of the musical public by the publication of his De l'Opéra en France, with its strong Italophile sympathies, just at the time of the Rossinian invasion of Paris. But such a view would undervalue the contribution of his own unique personality and the forceful appeal of his new views on the nature of the lyric stage as major factors in the arrival of this new development in music journalism. As will be discussed, the inadequacy of previous music criticism was a prominent theme in this writings, and he had argued strongly in De l'Opéra en France for the establishment of just such a type of specialized criticism as Journal des débats, with 13,000 subscribers, was followed by La Quotidienne, the paper of the Catholic right, with a circulation of 5,800. It should be noted that these numbers do not represent the number of readers for each publication, but merely the number of subscribers. Newspapers were sold only by subscription at this time and each copy might be read by as many as twenty persons in commercial reading libraries (cabinets de lecture) which gained great popularity in this period. On this latter phenomenon see Françoise Parent-Lardeur, Les Cabinets de lecture à Paris: la lecture publique à Paris sous la Restauration (Paris: Payot, 1982).  he himself inaugurated as the first music critic at the Journal des débats. Moreover, once in this post, he continually sought to remind his public of the progressive step that this new style of critical writings represented, and frequently contrasted the quahty of his own commentary with that of less musically literate writers in order to reinforce his point. His contribution, therefore, was in no sense accidental, but rather deliberate and intentional in every way. Moreover, the outstanding characteristics of his criticism as a whole — his concentration on the practical aspects of music-making and his rejection of a literary or generalist philosophical approach to musical issues — are first applied in an important way in his views on the nature of music criticism. It would be well, therefore, before examining his more general critical outlook, to discuss first his approach to the very journalistic discipline in which these views are communicated, i.e., the discipline of music criticism itself. For in discussing music criticism Castil-Blaze reveals many of the salient characteristics of his approach to music as a whole. In particular, he reveals the wide spectrum of knowledge sources that inform his opinions, the depth of detail that he is willing to apply in supporting his opinions, and the range of topics that caught his attention. Castil-Blaze's writings represent an important point of origin for modem music criticism. Hefleshedout the aims of the discipline and the specific requirements of the critic in a way that none in France had done before. Some writers had proposed that music be accepted as an independent art, but none had specified what this might imply for the critic who must analyse and comment intelligently on this art. No formulation of the principles of music criticism, no description of the art of the music critic had been outlined, and no body of writing had emerged embodying these principles and putting them into practice to match that produced by Castil-Blaze.  It will be the purpose of this chapter to examine Castil-Blaze's views on 1) the need for specialized music criticism; 2) the qualities of the ideal music critic and how he reflected these qualities in his own criticism; 3) the qualities of objectivity and practicality that characterize his critical judgements; and 4) the range of topics discussed in his feuilletons.  Music Criticism as a Specialized Discipline The idea of beginning a regular newspaper column devoted exclusively to musical issues originated with Castil-Blaze himself, if we are to believe the account of his meeting with Bertin l'aîné, principal owner of the Journal des débats, cited by Marie-Louise Pailleron. In her anecdote-laden history of early nineteenth-century French literary life entitled François Buloz et ses amis: La Revue des Deux-Mondes et la Comédie-Française, she recounts how Castil-Blaze boldy suggested in an interview with Bertin that his newspaper was sadly lacking in one area of expertise — that of specialized musical commentary — and that he, CastilBlaze, was precisely the person needed by the Débats to fill this void. U n matin de 1823 [sic] un incoimnu se présente chez M . Bertin et, sans avoir l'air de se douter de ce que sa démarche a d'insolite, ose lui parler d'une réforme qui s'impose à son journal. — Fort bien, monsieur, répond en souriant M . Bertin, ne vous gênez pas, dites ce qui nous manque. — U n feuilleton. — C'est vrai, nous n'avons plus Geoffroy, et vous voudriez remplacer Duvicquet? — Je ne veux remplacer personne, je veux créer, fonder un art nouveau : la critique musicale, et comme il me faut une tribune d'où l'on entende, j'ai choisi les Débats? While this account is hkely fanciful — to begin with it dates the conversation from 1823 instead of 1820 — it certainly does not contradict the degree of self-confidence and forthrightness evidenced by Castil-Blaze in his writings about the importance of competent music  3.  Marie-Louise Pailleron, op. cit., pp.48-49. This account is cited by Mme Pailleron as deriving in turn from a work entitled Mes Souvenirs by "H. Blaze."  criticism. Even before obtaining the post of music critic at the Débatshe had argued the cause of specialized music criticism, if not to Bertin l'aîné, then to the French public itself, in De l'Opéra en France. The sixty pages of Chap. XIV of Vol. 2 (one of the longest chapters of the entire work), entitled "S'il faut être musicien pour bien juger de la musique, et pour écrire sur cet art," show that his ideas on music criticism were fully formed before he began to write. In this chapter he argues a parallel between music criticism and other forms of specialized criticism well accepted in journalistic practice; he describes the inadequacy of previous writing about music; and he isolates the element of musical literacy as the key element missing in music criticism to date. Castil-Blaze's point of departure in this chapter is the established practice of having various disciplines treated in the press by expert commentators, each competent in a specialized field. The fields of comparative anatomy, painting, sculpture, architecture, geography, causes célèbres, and the different branches of literature are all covered in the press by specialists in their field, he argues, but music is not. Lorsque les journalistes veulent nous rendre compte des travaux des savans et des artistes, ils ont recours à diverses personnes instruites chacune dans son genre. Ainsi M . Cuvier fournira d'excellens articles sur l'anatomie comparée, M . Bouillon sur la f)einture, M . Boutard sur la sculpture et l'architecture, M . Malte-Brun sur la géographie, M . Méjan sur les catxses célèbres. La littérature dont le cercle est trop étendu a ses différentes branches, et l'écrivain qui rédige la partie poétique ne s'occupe point de traductions. C'est très-bien établi: par ce moyen chaque matière est traitée par des gens qui la possèdent à fond et qui joignent encore la pureté, l'élégance du style à la force du raisonnement et de la doctrine.... Cette prévoyante sollicitude devrait du moins s'étendre jusqu'à la musique, et cet art qui fait le charme principal de trois théâtres royaux, cet art si généralement cultivé et qui pourrait donner lieu à des articles d'un si grand intérêt, n'obtient pas les honneurs d'une rédaction spéciale.^  4.  De l'Opéra, II, pp. 192-93.  Yet from the point of view of public interest, he argues, music is certainly the equal of architecture or geography; and from the point of view oflntellectual complexity, music is surely too complex a subject matter to be entrusted to a generalist writer.^ Castil-Blaze judges previous critical writing about music severely, and analyses its limitations, its arbitrariness and its haphazard quality in the following terms. Music critics, he writes, may be divided into three camps: 1) those who either evade the topic by speaking in vague generalities such as "the poet was well seconded by the musician" or "the music could not overcome the defects of the text," or who are content to report audience reaction; 2) those who manage to write something sensible, but who cannot amplify or develop what they have written because it was cribbed from some knowledgeable source and repeated by rote without understanding it; and 3) those who boldly and brazenly write what they genuinely think and thereby reveal the full plenitude of their ignorance. The worst aspect of this latter kind of writing is that its authors, among whom he mentions the well-known writers Marmontel, La Harpe and Geoffroy, would often do much harm by slandering composers and works later recognized as classics.^ Even before being hired by the Débats, Castil-Blaze seems to be predicting — or even lobbying for — his own hiring at one of the major newspapers when he writes, in 1820, that the field of music criticism is wide open to the first competent musician who wishes to pick up a pen and write:  5.  "Confier cette partie à un simple littérateur, c'est convenir que la musique n'est pas un art assez important pour qu'on s'en occupe d'une manière particulière, ou peut-être pense-t-on qu'il est beaucoup plus aisé d'analyser le sextuor de Don Juan, lefinaledes Deux Journées, l'ouverture du Jeune Henri ou de 1 Hôtellerie Portugaise, les quatuors de l'Irato ci de Ma Tante Aurore, les airs de Ricliard ou de Stratonice, que de décrire des frontons et des arcs doubleaux, l'île de Madagasgar et la mer Caspienne." Ibid., p. 194.  6.  Ibid, pp. 193-97.  Cependant quelle carrière s'offre au littérateur musical! que de fleurs et de fruits à cueillir dans un champ si fertile, où personne n'a moissonné! que de choses à dire sur tant de beaux sujets vierges encore! quelle mine à exploiter pour un journaliste, s'il lui était permis de porter ses regards au-delà du cercle étroit qui l'environne et de s'emparer de la plume des Arnaud, des Suard!^ Once in his post at the Journal des débats, Castil-Blaze was not content to let drop the theme that music criticism was a specialized discipline which reqiiired specialized training, and this topic continues to be discussed in his feuilletons, especially in the first year of his tenure as music feuilletonist at the Débats.  In these early feuilletons, Castil-Blaze repeatedly  emphasizes that real music criticism consists of more than an appreciation, no matter how just, of the purely literary elements of an opera and that the time is gone when a writer can limit his comments on the musical score to reporting audience reaction. He attempts, moreover, to have his readers pity such writing more than hate it by his analysis of the causes for some of the quasi-intellectual sallies which some writers have made into the actual musical score of an operatic production. The problem, he explains, is that since these writers have only their raw sense impressions to guide them, unmediated by the intervention of reflection and critical thinking, their judgements are tainted with other impressions received and stored in the same way, i.e., memories unrelated to the substance and content of their musical experience (souvenirs). And this, he insists, accoimts more than anything for the uncritical support which French opera has received from its commentators. Les gens de lettres, n'ayant point étudié la musique, en ont parlé comme ils parleroient de toute autre chose qu'ils ne connoissent point, et ne sont point tenus de con-noître. Ils rendent compte de leurs sensations, c'est tout ce qu'ils peuvent faire.... Les littérateurs ont toujours trouvé notre ancienne musique excellente, 7.  DerOpéra,l\,  p. 208.  8.  In a feuilleton from late 1821 he describes, for example, the efforts of previous critics in the following way: "... ils rendent un compte exact de l'intrigue du drame, jugent admirablement le dialogue, les vers et jusques aux rimes hasardées, et donnent, sur la musique, l'avis du public. A-t-il applaudi, la musique est enchanteresse, divine. A-t-il manifesté son mécontentement, elle est pitoyable. A-t-on bâillé, la musique est savante, et à l'aide de quelques mots employés à tort et à travers, le rédacteur d'un feuilleton motive son jugement et passe pour un docte aux yeux de ceux qui n'en savent pas plus que lui. Il ne dit rien, mais il a l'air de dire quelque chose, cela suffit à bien des gens. " Débats ( 18 November 1821 ): 2.  applaudissons à leur zèle patriotique; on s'attache aisément aux airs que l'on a entendus dans sa jeunesse, mille raisons, toutes indépendantes du mérite musical des ces airs, s'unissent pour motiver cet attachement. En voulant séparer l'opéra français de l'opéra allemand et de l'opéra italien, ils se sont privés d'un moyen de comparaison, qui seul pouvoit les éclairer sur l'état de notre musique théâtrale, et les tenir en garde contre l'influence des souvenirs.^ Castil-Blaze's argumentation cuts even more cleanly to the centre of the issue by virtue of his sincere praise for the literary talents and philosophical depth of the very critics whose writing on music he so severely criticizes. He does not wish to discredit the intellectual capabilities nor the genuine talent for written expression which he finds in the best French writers who have written on music. He takes great care to distinguish cleanly between their true depth of thought and not inconsiderable literary gifts, on the one hand, and on the other their knowledge, pure and simple, of matters musical. Marmontel, La Harpe, Geoffroy, and above all Rousseau are all given credit for their accomplishments in their respective literary and philosophical domains, but he emphasizes that those accomplishments simply have no relevance when they write about music. When they write about literature or philosophy, he insists, they write with the authority that their education and intellect grants them, but when they attempt to write about a subject such as music, which is outside of their training, their comments are no more significant than those of writers without specialized knowledge in any field. His comments on Rousseau's Dictionnate de musique illustrate well the distinction that he wishes to make between the philosophical thinker and the musical commentator: U n feuillet de ce Dictionnaire, remarquable d'ailleurs par des beautés sublimes de style et des déclamations éloquentes, mais en quelque sorte étrangères à l'art, renversera toujours le pompeux édifice que les louangeurs maladroits voudront élever au philosophe musicien; et l'exhibition de sa burlesque partition [i.e.. Le Devin du village] ne sera point nécessaire pour achever la conversion des incrédules.... Nous sommes accoutxmiés à les entendre divaguer sur cet art; Marmontel, La Harpe, Geoffroy ont ouvert la carrière. On leur a pardonné ce qu'ils ont dit en faveur de la manière dont ils l'ont dit ...'^  9.  Débats  10. Débats  (14 March 1821): 3. (23 August 1821): 1-2.  Both in his comments in De l'Opéra en France and in his feuilletons, then, Castil-Blaze defends the notion that music is a subject domain of sufficient complexity as to require its own specialized body of critical literature. The question remaining, of course, is "What qualities are required in a writer who wishes to contribute to such a body of critical literature?"  Qualities of the Music Critic In attempting to define the characteristics of the professional music critic, Castil-Blaze was in one sense, of course, "starting from scratch" since this species of writer had, in his opinion, not yet come into existence. But in another sense his models were perfectly clear to him: if music was to be the equal of the other arts, as he repeatedly insisted in arguing for a specialized discipline of writing about music, then it required a form of critical writing of the same depth of thought and with the same quality of considered judgement that characterized the specialized criticism of the other arts. Defining the qualities of the music critic, then, was a matter of translating the established qualities and credentials expected in the arts critic of his day into a specific suite of skills applicable to the music critic. These skills may be divided into five categories: musical literacy, a knowledge of technical vocabulary and terminology, the ability to analyse musical style, a prodigious memory and wide-ranging base of musical experience from which to make one's judgements, and the ability to isolate originality and to identify plagiarism in a musical work.  Musical Literacy. The prime requirement of a music critic, according to Castil-Blaze, may appear extraordinarily obvious to us today, but it was proposed with the forcefulness of a writer who faced stiff resistance to such an idea: the music critic must be musically literate, he must be able to read a musical score. Only if the critic is able to study the score, CastilBlaze argued, will his comments be able to compare in intellectual weight and density with  those expected of the serious critic of Uterature or art. The ability to read a musical score is not only necessary because the critic must know what kinds of elements comprise a musical score in order to know what effects are being attempted — i.e., he must know what to listen for — but also because the critic's judgement of a work must evolve out of a wider base of evidence than that provided by merely hearing it in performance. It is important that the critic also have an opportunity to form a judgement that in some way is independent of the performance that occasions his review. He should, in other words be able to "teU a good work in a bad performance," just as a literary critic would be able to tell the merit of a play by Racine no matter how badly performed: Je demanderai aux gens de lettres qui veulent à toute force être les seuls juges compétenset irrécusables en musique, si les vers de Racine, bien ou mal dits, ne leur semblent pas toujours beaux et si poxir apprécier le mérite d'une tragédie ils ont besoin qu'elle soit déclamée dans la perfection. Il faudroit qu'un morceau de musique fût défiguré par une exécution tout à fait barbare pour que l'oeuvre du compositeur se dérobât à l'oreille de l'homme exercé. On saisit ce que l'on peut, l'imagination supplée le reste; une partie fait deviner l'autre; on suit le motif à la piste, et la seconde reprise rend tout ce qu'on avoit perdu du début et des premiers développemens. La belle musique mal jouée ne perd jamais tous ses charmes. Plus on mettra de soins pour exécuter une mauvaise composition, et plus les sottises du fabricateur se montreront à découvert. Castil-Blaze carries the point even further stiU. The critic must be able to review an opera from the score alone, if necessary, just as a literary critic might review a published tragedy that had never been produced on the stage.  Les tragédies de Bélisaire, d'AnnibaJ, de Tribère, ont été analysées par les journalistes, quoiqu'on ne les ait pas représentées. Je demanderai à ces messieurs ce qu'ils pourraient dire de l'opéra de Sésostris, si les héritiers de Méhul le faisaient graver. Il est pourtant plus facile de juger un ouvrage dans le silence du cabinet que  11.  Débats (14 March 1821): 2-3. In the middle of his tenure as music critic for the Journal des débats, Castil-Blaze reiterates this point. In referring to musical literacy as a modem development, he writes: "Autrefois, les journalistes n'avoient d'autre opinion que celle du public; un opéra ap- plaudi étoit toujours excellent; un ouvrage tombé ne trouvoit aucun défenseur. Vouloir qu'un homme de lettres s'occupât de détails harmoniques, et sût apprécier le mérite d'un bel opéra mal exécuté, étoit une prétention trop impertinente." Débats (15 October 1827): 4.  pendant qu'on l'exécute sur la scène. Mais pourquoi donner des partitions à examiner à ceux qui ne les savent pas lire?^^ Castil-Blaze's insistence upon the printed score as an essential object of scrutiny in music criticism comes at time when this type of study was first becoming practically possible. Full scores of many operas were being published in increasing numbers, and the library of the Conservatoire contained a large collection of manuscript copies of unpublished full scores which were available for consultation. It was in this library, open to the public every day until three in the afternoon, that Berlioz, for example, studied the scores of Gluck in the 1820s during his student years after his arrival in Paris. But perhaps the most important concept in the requirement that the music critic be musically literate is an unstated one: that music is in fact worthy of "study," i.e., that it is an aspect of a stage work that is addressed to the intelligence, one which goes beyond mere surface sensation to give an intellectual pleasure as well. He believes along with A. Perotti, whom he quotes in De l'Opéra en France, that the art of music "fait naître tm plaisir raisonné, fruit de l'observation et de la réflexion."'^ The real beauty of music, Castil-Blaze insists, the part of it which is worth writing about, requires study. While this may seem obvious to us now in the twentieth century, it must be remembered that the large amount of intellectually concentrated "seriotis music" — largely instnmiental music — of which the modem canon is comprised has made this concept second nature to us. But the musical canon of early nineteenth-century France, as outlined in Chapter 1, was only marginally composed of instrumental works. Furthermore, important and respected opinion-makers such as Geoffroy could generalize that music, on the whole, was a lesser form of pleasure, overly influenced by the whims of fashion, in which the engagement of the intellect was a sign of  12. /^/'(9/x-ra,II,p. 222. 13. De l'Opéra,  II, p.210n.  social decadence associated with frivolity,'"* and an art, in any event, which "degrades every genre to which it is wed."'^ The degree of forcefulness with which Castil-Blaze makes his point testifies to the challenging nature of the concept of musical literacy as a legitimate prerequisite for writing about music at the time that he was writing. Castil-Blaze's own ability to work from the composer's score is perhaps the most striking new aspect of his criticism. Apart from references to his training at the Conservatoire,'^ Castil-Blaze's musical literacy is most evident in the parts of the lyric production which he choses to discuss. The overture which, if discussed at all by other critics, had normally been discussed as a kind of mood picture or simplistic narrative in sound, is frequently analyzed by Castil-Blaze as an abstract musical structure. He cites the formal disposition of its themes, its modulations, its patterns of motivic development and its orchestration. Duvicquet, for example, in his review of Manuel Garcia's La Mort du Tasse at the Opéra, describes the overture to this work in the following terms: L'ouverture est riche, peut-être un peu trop riche et trop bruyante; mais le caractère en est juste et profondément senti; les sons entrecoupés des instrumens à vent, les silences, les reprises vives et animées m'ont paru avoir pour objet de peindre alernativement les cris, les sanglots de la douleur, et le désordre tumultuaire qu'amène une mort subite. 1^  14.  E.g., "... moins il y a, chez un peuple, de sensiblité, de justesse et de raison, plus la musique, pour plaire, doit être compliquée, bruyante, minaudière, frivole." Geoffroy, Cours de littérature dramatique, p. 9.  15. See Chapter 1, p. 34. 16.  The thoroughness of Castil-Blaze's training at the Conservatoire may be glimpsed in the following anecdote: "Je me souviens que M . Charles Duvemoy, mon maître au Conservatoire, après nous avoir fait chanter sur toutes les clefs et dans tous les tons imaginaires le répertoire entier des solfèges, nous faisoit exécuter des partitions d'opéra, dans lesquelles chaque élève prenoit une partie vocale ou instrumentale; il en vint ensuite aux manuscrits, aux brouillons indéchiffrables, et ses élèves qui pouvoient se vanter de savoir lire, finirent par apprendre à deviner. Car ce n'est rien que de lire la musique gravée, il faut attaquer avec autant de confiance les partitions griffonnées par Zingarelli, Nicolo, Paër, Andreozzi, etc., et dire ce qu'il y a, ce qui n'y est pas, et ce qui devroit y être." Débats (11 June 1827): 3.  17.  C. [Pierre Duvicquet], "Académie royale de musique. Première représentation de la Mort du Tasse, opéra en trois actes, paroles de M M . Cuvelier et Hélitas ***, musique de M . Garcia, ballet de M . Milon," Débats (9 Febniary 1821): 3.  Castil-Blaze, however, writing about the same overture, finds different issues to discuss: Si quelques critiques prétendoient que le premier motif de l'ouverture de M . Garcia est le même que celui de l'ouverture de Gulnare, je répondrois que ce trait étant formé des notes de l'accord parfait appartient à tout le monde, il est pourtant placé plus heureusement dans ce dernier opéra. M . Garcia accompagne le second motif de son ouverture d'un trait de second violon qui est d'un bon effet. Il me semble cependant que ce trait seroit entendu avec plus de plaisir s'il ne paroissoit que quand le premier dit le motif pour la seconde fois, ce chant et son accompagnement devant figurer deux fois encore vers la fin de l'ouverture. Il faut savoir ménager avec art les bonnes choses; un chant simple gagne beaucoup à être embeUi des fleurs du contrepoint, et il y a de la coquetterie à le présenter d'abord dépouillé d'une partie de ses agrémens.18 Individual numbers within the opera might be described equally carefxxlly, and with a degree of detail that could only come from writing with the score ready to hand. Castil-Blaze's knowledge of the score is evident as well in his comments on the cuts that have been made in the production, on the insertions, on the ornamentation added by singers and in many other deviations from the established text. Castil-Blaze obviously knows what is on paper and what has been added (or subtracted) by those responsible for the performance. These, as 19  well, are details that could only be written about with certainty after studying the score.  Technical Vocabulary and Terminology. The ability to consult the musical score would be of no use without a second requirement of the music critic: that he be able to communicate his thoughts in terms of the terminology used by musicians themselves to describe musical compositions. The proper use of terminology, in Castil-Blaze's view, is what most  18.  (19 February 1821): 2.  19. He writes the following, for example, in discussing Henriette Sontag's performance of a passage from Rossini's Otello: "... j'invite les dilettanti à se donner le plaisir d'entendre la nouvelle Desdemona, et je leur recommande de prêter toute leur attention à la soixante-quatrième mesure du grand air du second acte, il y a une gamme chromatique ascendante, écrite par Rossini, et qui fait, par conséquent, partie du texte de l'air." Débats (5 January 1828): 3,  easily distinguishes the littérateur from the musician.  In making this point in De l'Opéra  en France, Castil-Blaze uses as his spokesman the critic Suard, who comments in the following terms on La Harpe's misuse of terminology in the latter's review of an art exposition: De telles méprises, qui échappent à un homme non-seulement de beaucoup d'esprit, mais d'un esprit très-juste et très-exercé (M. de La Harpe), prouve bien ... que la précision du langage suppose nécessairement la précision des idées; que pour appliquer avec justesse les termes d'art qui paraissent les plus simples, il faut avoir des connaissances plus exactes qu'on ne le croit communément. Il n'y a point d'art en effet dont la langue ne demande l'étude pour être bien entendue.^l Important here is the phrase "la précision du langage suppose la précision des idées," for the whole value of terminology is explained in it: without the proper terminology, the critic — no matter how intelligent, how skilled as a writer, no matter how attentive an audience member — cannot really say anything precise at all about the art that he is purporting to discuss. Insight is inextricably connected with the vocabulary used to communicate it, and insight can only be communicated in the terms recognized by practitioners of the art itself. Castil-Blaze uses the analogy of the literary critic to make this distinction clear. The littérateur may well know the rules of rhetoric and be able to isolate and describe the slightest fault in a syntactic period of prose or verse, but Castil-Blaze asks whether he knows the rules oi musical rhetoric, and whether he can isolate and describe a missing measure in a /»u5ïca/period, whether he can identify an irregular phrase length in the same way that he can  20. "Mais un littérateur peut-il distinguer seulement l'excellente musique de la mauvaise? Il cite au hasard et s'abondonne à la règle des probabilités qui le fit tomber bien souvent sur un morceau médiocre et même pitoyable qu'il exalte avec une bonhomie risible. Faut-il s'étonner qu'il se trompe si grossièrement sur les choses puisqu'il ne comprend pas même les mots, et que dans ses écrits les termes de mélodie, harmonie, mélopée, motif, chant vocal, chant instrumental, accompagnement, récitatif chant mesuré, etc. etc. etc., sont employés à contre-sens ou substitués les uns aux autres comme par plaisir et pour rendre ses phrases inintelligibles aux lecteurs les plus exercés." De l'Opéra, II, pp. 198-99. 21. DerOpéra,\\,p.  199.  tell when there is a foot missing in a line of poetry?^^ This position has interesting implications for the make-up of music criticism's intended readership, as illustrated in Suard's further comments on the varieties of critical judgements which it is possible to make. While defending the right of the generahst, the "man of taste," to judge the "effects" of art — i.e., to view the work as a cultivated audience member might view it — he draws the line at searching for the "causes" of these effects in the artistic medium itself, i.e., in giving advice to the artist about how well he has manipulated his materials. ... si, non content déjuger des effets, il veut en chercher les causes dans les moyens de l'art; s'il va jusqu'à vouloir indiquer à l'artiste la route qu'il doit suivre pour obtenir certains effets; s'il prétend apprécier le style; comparer les différens genres de mérite, etc. il tombera dans d'étemelles méprises, ou, lorsqu'il ne se trompera pas, il ne dira inévitablement que des choses communes, aussi peu instructives pour le public que pour les artistes.23  Castil-Blaze's own feuilletons give ample evidence of the use of the specialized terminology of the musician, and it was for this characteristic that they were noticed as being clearly different from other critical writings of the period. Especially alert to this difference were his littérateur collègues at the Débats, François-Benoît Hoffman and Pierre Duvicquet. In the newspaper where writers were used to describing the productions of the lyric theatre in a vo-  22. "Disciples et imitateurs de Marmontel, les gens de lettres nous rappellent avec exactitude tout ce que l'on a écrit sur la période : c'était la marotte de leur patron. Des raisonnemens justes seront la conséquence d'une théorie claire et précise. Essayez de les prier d'en faire l'application à la musique exécutée, et qu'en practiciens exercés, ils vous signalent à l'instant de l'exécution, en les saisissant au passage, la période incomplète et celle dont on admirera l'élégante rondeur, la phrase boiteuse ou carrée, les demandes et les réponses, les imitations symétriques. Demandezleur pourquoi M . Steibelt a commencé l'allégro de son ouverture de Roméo et Juliette par une phrase de six mesures, au lieu de lui en donner huit; demandez- leur encore si le début de celle des Noces de Figaro Qsi carré pour l'oreille et pour l'œil? ce qu'un périodiste rigoureux peut remarquer dans le duo des Horaces de Cimarosa, Se tomi vincitor, l'allégro de l'ouverture de Pierre-ieGrand et dans le solo de hautbois de celle de la Caravane : vaines questions, soins inutiles, on ne vous répondra pas, et il y a de bonnes raison pour cela. Le livre ne l'a pas dit." De l'Opéra, II, pp. 222-23. 23.  DeVOpéra,  II, p. 202.  cabulary that displayed their literary education, there suddenly appeared a type of criticism that spoke in terms of "la tonique, la dominante, l'enharmonique," and of "modulations, blanches et noires"  or in terms of "basses continues, quintes, sixtes, transpositions, disso-  nances, accords enharmoniques, etc. etc." '^^ The freedom which Castil-Blaze felt to speak in the technical language of the practising musician is one of the most noticeable aspects of his writing style. This trait not only agrees with his stated belief that technical terminology is appropriate in music criticism, but has particular significance to Castil-Blaze as a writer, given that he also made his name during the 1820s as a lexicographer, publishing the Dictionnaire de musique moderne in 1821,^^ which he most modestly recommends to those of his readers as follows: Tonique, dominante, strette, enharmonique, voilà des mots passablement barbares; j'allois m'excuser sur l'emploi de ces termes techniques, et je comptois les remplacer à l'avenir par le longues périphrases. Mais heureusement pour moi, M . Castil-Blaze, auteur de l'ouvrage sur l'opéra, vient de publier un Dictionnaire de Musique moderne, dans lequel on trouvera l'explication de tous ces mots, et de bien d'autres encore.2^  24. As complained about by Hoffmann in his article "Variétés. Considérations sur la Musique dramatique, et non pas sur la Musique technique," Débats{5 February 1821): 3 25. As complained about by Duvicquet in his feuilleton "Théâtre Royal de l'Opéra-Comique. Début d'Alexis Dupont dans le rôle d'Azor, de Zémire etAzor," Débats {\ 1 January 1821): 3. CastilBlaze replies to the criticisms of Duvicquet in his feuilleton of 14 January 1821, and to a further article by Hoffman entitled "Variétés. Des disputes sur la musique," [£>ébats (6 April 1821): 3-4] in his feuilleton of 21 April 1821. It should be noted that the debate between Castil-Blaze and these littérateurs was always gentlemanly, despite the firm convictions of the writers on both sides. Duvicquet even ends a discussion of the singer Martin in a production of LuJJiet Quinault with the following comment: "Martin mérite bien un article à part; je laisse avec plaisir ce soin à mon collègue et mon contradicteur musical. Quelque jugement qu'il porte sur Martin, quelques éloges qu'il lui donne, je promets qu'en ce point du moins je serai parfaitement de son avis." Débats (26 March 1821): 4. 26. Castil-Blaze's Dictionnaire de musique moderne (Paris: Janet et Cotelle, 1821), which went through a second edition in 1825 and a third in 1828, was a "lexicographical pastiche" of established eighteenth-century works such as Rosseau's DicUonnaire de musique and treatises by Albrechtsberger, and of portions of more recent didactic works such as Choron's Principes de Composition de l'école d'Italie. 27. Débats (26 January 1821): 2-3. Castil-Blaze includes a footnote giving the price of the work and an indication of where it can be purchased.  His concern for the proper use of terminology is part of his larger concern for linguistic precision in general. Not only is he careful to use the proper technical vocabulary for the formal procedures and harmonic patterns used in musical composition, but it almost appears to be a mannerism in his writing that he is fond of defining technical terms for his readers, as a means of contributing to their ongoing education. The various terms used for describing and cataloguing the voice types used in the lyric theatre are a favourite subject of discussion.  He also sought to clarify for his readers the meaning of certain Italian indications  such as andantincP and his interest extended as well to more general linguistic usages in the French language which he wished to influence. He takes credit for making popular the French word livret to replace poëme^htn  referring to the libretto, for example,  and even  concerns himself with the correct usage of verbs and prepositions, e.g., toucher l'orgue anà phicer la harpe vs. toucher de l'orgue and pincer de la harpe. His suggestions on the proper use of these expressions, discussed in his feuilletons of 13 September 1823 and 4 September 1827, were not borne out by subsequent usage, but his claim to have popularized the term /yVref when referring to the libretto, however, may be true: the Petit Robert (s.v. "livret") gives the date 1867 for this word in the sense of "text for musical setting."^^ His concern for 28. E.g., he explains the words fausset, basse-taille, the differences between the tenor sérieux and the ténor de demi-caractère. As will be discussed in Chapter 6, his definidon of voice types is extremely precise, defined in terms of exact pitches that represent the outer limits of the range, and extensive descriptions of the quality of tone and roles suitable to each voice type. 29. Débats  (7 September 1824): 2.  30. Débats  (20 March 1831): 2.  31. Castil-Blaze's interest in technical vocabulary remained strong for the rest of his life. In one of his last works, the Théâtres lyriques de Paris: Théâtre Impérial de l'Opéra (Paris: Castil-Blaze, 1855) he devotes several pages to the question of vocabulary. His side-by-side listing of old and new usages on pp. 374-76 of Vol. 2 of this work (in which one finds livret as the replacement for Poème d'opéra) is prefaced with the following remarks: "Les musiciens doivent avoir sans cesse l'oreille et l'oeil ouverts pour se garantir du mauvais langage, de l'orthographe vicieuse que notre Académie française autorise et prescrit. Ce n'est qu'après trente-quatre ans de persévérance et la publication d'une cinquantaine de volumes de prose que j'ai pu réformer en partie le langage du théâtre lyrique. Voici l'état comparatif des mots dont l'usage était général en avril 1820, avant la publication de mon livre intitulé: De l'Opéra en France, de mon Dictionnaire de Musique, avant mon entrée au Journal des Débats, et des mots que je leur ai substitutes. Je n'aurai pas besoin de vous indiquer ceux qui sont définitivement adoptés, les autres le seront."  precision extended even so far as to the publication of Errata, in his feuilletons of 2 August 1827, 4 September 1827, 15 October 1830 and 25 May 1831, alerting his readers to the problems which he faced in dealing with the printshop at the Débats. Typographical errors were of particular concern to him since they reflected on his scholarly credentials, and because he himself was very careful to point out the spelling inaccuracies which he found in the work of others.^^ Terminology, then, for Castil-Blaze had great significance. It was at once the basis for meaningful communication about music, and as well an indication of careful thinking and a scholarly approach to subject matter.  Style Analysis. The third major skill which a music critic must have is to be able to use the two skills discussed above — the ability to read scores and the ability to use terminology with precision — in order to create an accurate and convincing verbal description of the overall style of the music being examined. Furthermore, he must be able to extract the mannerisms and identifying characteristics of each composer and be able to use the comparative method to distinguish him from his predecessors and from his contemporaries. These skills in stylistic description and comparison are the fundamental intellectual tools of the critic, as Castil-Blaze sees him, in any field whatsoever. Again, it is by analogy with critics of literature and the visual arts that Castil-Blaze brings this point home. He asks rhetorically what kind of critic of painting would be trusted by his public if he could not tell Titian from Rembrandt? What literary critic — what mere schoolboy, even — would not be able to distinguish Pascal from Montesquieu? The average music critic of the literary  32. E.g., on Mme Bawr's Histoire de la musique. "Je voudrois encore, et j'ai souvent exprimé mon voeu à ce sujet, que dans un livre sur la musique on eût soin de présenter les noms des musiciens avec la plus grande exactitude." Débats (13 September 1823): 3. This feuilleton lists a number of inaccuracies contained in Mme Bawr's work.  school, Castil-Blaze insists, one who must even look at the playbill to find out if he is listening to French, Italian or German music, is simply not intellectually equipped to practice music criticism. In De l'Opéra en France, Castil-Blaze poses the following hypothetical dialogue with a supposed music critic: Quand vous entendez exécuter un opéra au théâtre, à quoi connaissez-vous que la musique en appartient à l'école allemande, italienne ou française, et qu'elle a été composé par tel ou tel maître? — Belle question! l'affiche ne nous l'a-t-elle pas déjà dit?33  After questioning his interlocutor further, he provides the following commentary: Que dirait-on d'un homme qui, se présentant comme connaisseur en tableaux, ne saurait distinguer les têtes de Rubens de celles de Raphaël, les héros de Poussin de ceux de Lebrun, le coloris du Titien de celui de Rembrant, qu'à l'aide d'un livret bien exactement numéroté? Quel est, je ne dira pas le savant, mais l'écolier de troisième qui ne sent pas l'énorme différence qui existe entre Virgile et Perse, Tacite et QuinteCurce, Corneille et D u Belloy, Pascal et Montesquieu? Certes, on ne dira pas qu'il soit possible de confondre la manière d'écrire de ces auteurs, leur caractère est fortement prononcé et diamétralement opposé si on les met en regard l'un de l'autre.^* The conclusion which he draws, is that just as every writer and every painter has his own unique style, so, II en est de même des musiciens : chacun a son génie, son style, sa manière, son faire particuliers, ses phrases, ses périodes, ses transitions, ses cadences favorites. Il éprouve une prédilection pour tel instrument, telle marche de basse, tel rhythme d'accompagnement, tel groupe d'arpèges, telle suite d'harmonie, tel tour, tel accord, tel ton.35  The degree of style-analytical skill that Castil-Blaze expects is remarkable when compared with previous critical writing. His standards for musical criticism are high indeed, and in the examples which he provides in De l'Opéra en France describing the distinguishing sty-  33. De l'Opéra,  II, p. 203.  34.  H , p. 204.  De l'Opéra,  35. Ibid.  listic features of such composers as Cimarosa, Gluck, Piccinni, Méhul and Berton, one can see already the premises underlying the twentieth-century approach to this problem oudined by Jan LaRue in his Guidelmes for Style Analysis?^ The following excerpt, illustrated by 16 musical examples from the planches 2X the back of the volume, gives an idea of the detailed nature of his understanding of these composers' works: Les gammes diatoniques descendantes portant harmonie sur chaque note, se rencontrent souvent dans les basses de Méhul {Fig. 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, et 65); il paraît avoir une prédilection pour les accords de septième diminuée et de neuvième et quarte. Ses instrumens à vent sont groupés avec art; la dernière quinte du basson lui plaît singulièrement; le rhythme de ses accompagnemens est réglé, le plus souvent, dans la mesure à deux temps par quatre croches, une noire et un temps vide, que la basse rempUt, pour préparer la chute sur le temps fort de la mesure suivante. Le cor, la clarinette, le basson, placent de temps en temps une ronde, pour compléter l'accord soutenu par les violons, ou doubler la note de la viole.^7 These diagnostiques, as he refers to them in De l'Opéra,  also inform the stylistic de-  scriptions that are a regular feature of his feuilletons. Observe how in the following discussion of a duo from Spontini's Fernand Cortez clear stylistic description mixes with a cross-composer comparison tracing some of Rossini's orchestrational style to Spontini: L'accompagnement de cette partie du duo est soutenu en accords plaqués, frappés sur chaque temps par les hautbois, les cors et les bassons, tandis que la viole s'agite et murmure avec Télasco. C'est la première fois que ce jeu d'orchestre a été employé dans les opéras français; Rossini s'en est servi ensuite avec succès dans toutes ses pièces. On voit que M . Spontini a donné des soins particuliers à ce duo.... L'auteur sépare souvent les basses pour faire jouer les violoncelles à l'octave haute; cette disposition ne me paroît pas heureuse, la contrebasse sonnant l'octave grave des notes que l'on écrit sur une même clef pour le violoncelle et le basson; si vous la séparez encore de ces instrumens par un intervalle d'octave, la contrebasse jouera deux octaves plus bas que les violoncelles, et cet écart est trop grand.^^  36. Jan LaRue, Guidelines for Style Analysis (New York: W.W. Norton, 1970). 37. De l'Opéra, n, p. 2\^. 38. Ibid, pp. 219-20. 39. Débats  (30 October 1827): 3.  Pure stylistic description, then, is a strong component in Castil-Blaze's writing. It forms, so as to speak, the foundation of his analysis of any music under consideration. In an age of increasingly complex scoring and where advances in instrumental technique were occurring rapidly, this skill makes him a valuable source of infomiation. Paganini is a case in point. Castil-Blaze's description gives us a much more concrete idea of his actual playing style than we would get from reading the astonished gasps of most of his fellow journalists of the time: Le pizzicato, les sons harmoniques, forment des contrastes piquans avec les sons attaqués avec l'archet. Paganini fait marcher ensemble ces trois jeux. Il attaque une roulade avec une grande prestesse, et l'archet et le pizzicato se la partagent sans en ralentir le mouvement. Ce n'est point assez déjouer un chant, un trait en sons harmoniques, il le fait entendre en double corde avec une vigueur, une agilité qui tiennent du prodige. Il jette les sons harmoniques au milieu d'un trait, et reprend aussitôt la position naturelle. Il exécute une trille double, tandis que son pouce fait entendre une basse travaillée en pizzicato sur la quatrième corde. Il fait même le trille double en pizzicato. Il joue des morceaux entiers sur la quatrième corde avec plus de perfection qu'on ne pourrait le faire en employant tous les moyens du violon. Il rend ainsi la prière de Mosè, et fait chanter alternativement la basse, le ténor, le dessus, en ayant recours aux sons harmoniques.40  Memory and Experience. The fourth prerequisite of the music critic is a prodigious memory, exercised in the recall of an enormous repertoire of scores which the critic must have studied and analyzed for style. Such memory and experience with scores is required, in Castil-Blaze's view, if the critic is to write confidently of the characteristics of a composer's complete œuvre, if he is to compare it with that of other composers and identify influences and trends over whole schools of composition. The best music critics, he notes, might have whole scores by heart and be able to play them at the piano, much as some Uterary critics are able to recite vast stretches of Virgil or Horace."*' It is this immense amount of study, Castil40.  IDébats (9 February 1830): 2.  41. "11 est de même des musiciens qui possèdent certaines partitions au point de pouvoir les noter de mémoire. Cette érudition, fruit d'un long exercice, n'a rien de plus étonnant que celle du littéra-  Blaze believes, which gives the critic's judgements their value, and music criticism, like the best literary and art criticism, is a concentrated reduction of an immense amount of intellectual experience. Geoffroy is singled out as both a good and bad example of the direct relationship between study and critical value. Castil-Blaze notes that Geoffroy is well worth consulting, when dealing with literature, due to his immense learning. In music, however, he is correspondingly valueless because of his profound ignorance in matters musical: C'est avec six mille volmnes dans la tête que Geoffroi composait ses articles sur Iphigénie, Rodogune, Zaïre, Rhadamiste, Manlius, les TemplierPCette page que le journaliste vous donne chaque jour, cette seule page demande un savoir aussi étendu qu'un grand ouvrage. Recueillez avec soin les feuilles de Geoffroi, [sic] parmi quelques erreurs, vous trouverez d'excellentes choses sur la littérature théâtrale. Parcourez ses écrits sur la musique, la même stérilité règne partout. Ce sont d'insignifiantes formules, des lieux commims rebattus, un radotage insipide et dégoûtant qui, produit par un cerveau vide, ne peuvent rien apprendre à personne.'*^ And such a vast memory is of course part of Castil-Blaze's own intellectual eqmpment. He refers to this ability in recounting an anecdote in De l'Opéra en France. When entertaining groups of music lovers, he would draw mischievous delight in mixing up the words and music of various pieces, putting Italian music to non-Italian words, and vice versa, in order to expose the superficial nature of his audience's understanding of the Italian musical style that they believed themselves to be so thoroughly immersed in: Je me suis amusé quelquefois à les mystifier devant un cercle nombreux, et qui y prenait un vif intérêt. Ces prétendus connaisseurs sont, pour l'ordinaire et par ton, enthousiastes des Italiens; il y a vraiment conscience de les tromper, il donnent trop aisément dans le panneau. Mozart, Hummel, avec les vers de Métastase, étaient pour eux du Paisiello: Vo soltando un mar crudele, ajusté tant bien que mal sur im teur qui récite à volonté les poésies d'Homère, de Virgile, d'Anacréon, de Tibulle, d'Ovide." De l'Opéra, II, p. 206. 42. De l'Opéra,  43.  Ibid,p.m.  II, p. 206.  air de Phrosine et Mélidore, avait la suavité de Cimarosa; que dis-je? les chansons des nourrices, les noëls provençaux, les refrains gothiques du roi René, habillés à l'italienne, passaient aussi sur le compte des virtuoses ultramontains: c'étaient des villanelles, des barcaroles vénitiennes. Pour compléter l'œuvre, je ne manquais jamais de chanter des fragmens de M M . Paër, Pavesi, Rossini, avec des paroles françaises; et nos fins connaisseurs de hausser les épaules et de répéter tous les vieux dictons sur notre musique.'*'^ His control over vast stretches of repertoire is demonstrated as well by the many broad comparisons which he is able to make across the work of such a fecund composer as Rossini, and in his series of articles on the complete operatic output of Grétry and Méhul."*^  Plagiarism and Originality. The value of such accumulated knowledge, and the whole point behind acquiring it, according to Castil-Blaze, is to be able to focus on that portion of a musical work in which the imaginative creative achievement of the composer resides, that which principally represents its aesthetic worth. This component must be distinguished from those elements which are derivative. Je demanderai donc à ces messieurs, [i.e., journalists] si leurs connaissances musicales, si leur érudition harmonique peuvent les conduire jusqu'à distinguer les idées créées, les phrases filles de l'imagination et qu'on ne saurait s'approprier sous aucun prétexte, d'avec les lieux communs de l'école, les marches de septièmes, de quinte et quarte, les motifs obtenus par les diverses combinaisons des trois notes de l'accord parfait, les phrases faites qui appartiennent à tout le monde.'*^  44.  Ibid.,p.lU.  45. He undertakes a detailed comparison, for example, oî II Barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola in his feuilleton of 26 January 1828. A n overview of the major works of Grétry is undertaken in four feuilletons (9 June, 23 July and 14 September 1825, and 22 August 1827). Méhul's works are treated in overview in his feuilletons of 3 September 1828 and 2 October 1829. 46. De l'Opéra, II, p. 224. An example of this distinction is noticeable in the quoted passage on p. 69 concerning the overture to Manuel Garcia's La Mort du Tasse: "Si quelques critiques prétendoient que le premier motif de l'ouverture de M . Garcia est le même que celui de l'ouverture de Gulnare, je répondrois que ce trait étant formé des notes de l'accord parfait appartient à tout le monde, il est pourtant placé plus heureusement dans ce dernier opéra." Débats (19 February 1821): 2.  In writing of this ability, Castil-Blaze refers to the fifth quality of the music critic: the ability to use his acquired knowledge to identify originality in musical composition. Castil-Blaze's ideal music critic is called upon to adjudicate a wide range of similarities, on a scale from the accidental to the deliberate: from simple commonplaces that belong to every composer, to individual mannerisms of a single composer, to self-borrowing by a single composer, thence to involuntary "reminiscences" of material between composers (obvious to the ear of the listener, but not of sufficient integrity to constitute theft), and finally outright plagiarism. With fulsome reference to the musical examples at the back of the volume, Castil-Blaze explains in De l'Opéra en France the nature of the musical parameters that the critic must be able to distinguish: from micro-patterns of harmonic movement that all are free to use to large-scale formal patterns of scene lay-out and design.'^^ These large-scale patterns might include the formal construction of overtures; Delia Maria's overture to L'Opéra-Comique is patterned after that of Le Prisonnier, for example. Or they might refer to the construction of ensembles; e.g., the quartet from Marsolier's L'Irato is cited as establishing the pattern subsequently used in the quartets from Ma Tante Aurore, Le Trésor supposé, and in trios from Une heure de mariage, Picaros et Diego and La Fête du village voisin!^^ The application of this principle in Castil-Blaze's own critical writing in the Débats is everywhere evident in his habit of pointing out reminiscences and various shades of borrowing in the works that he discusses. No one who reads Castil-Blaze's articles can fail to notice this characteristic. It was one of the "piquant" features of De l'Opéra en France that attracted the attention of the critic of Le Constitutionnel ané it runs like a leitmotif throughout his writings for the Débats. The success of the works of Rossini gives him ample room to exercise his skill in recognizing re-used material, and he often displays his knowledge of this  47. "Quelquefois le plagiat ne portera pas sur les idées, mais seulement sur l'arrangement c'est le plan, la marche, le cadre d'un morceau que l'on aura imité." De l'Opéra., II, p. 229. 48. Ibid  composer's works with enormous flair. He describes an aria from the second act of Cenerentola, for example in the following terms: ... air d'une foiblesse extrême, espèce de pot-pourri fabriqué avec le trio d'Otello, le quatuor de Mosè, la cavatine de la Gazza, Se per voi pupille amate, l'air du même opéra, O colpo impensato, etc. etc.'^^ The first actfinaleof Semiramide is similarly laid out for the reader, section by section, in tenus of the individual works after which it is patterned: Le finale du premier acte a le même tort; le quintette qui lui sert d'introduction est accompagné comme le quintette d'Otello, et cette imitation se prolonge jusqu'au moment où l'ombre de Ninus paroît : c'est une pale copie du beau finale d'Otello. A partir de ce point, le musicien a cessé de se répéter lui-même, et nous a donné une nouvelle édition du magnifique duo de l'Olympiade de Paësiello, Negiorni tuoi felici, dont l'orchestre redit le sublime accompagnement sous le chant de Semiramide : D'un semi-dior'^ The identification of reminiscences and borrowed material seems almost to have acquired the status of a parlour game amongst certain members of the opera-going public, a game to which Castil-Blaze often makes reference in refuting the assertions of overzealous audience members who wish to suggest similarities of melody and construction where he believes there to be none. His identification of similarities in musical material is an essential component of his view of the music critic as an intellectual who is competently grounded in the fundamentals of his art. The range of similarities that he is able to point out in the following passage from a review of Rossini's La Donna del lago — including not only melodies, but also formal pat-  49. Z^/f)a/*(8 October 1825): 1. 50. i^6a^5(10 December 1825): 2. 51. Apart from the adjudication of the first theme in Garcia's overture to La Mort du Tasse (see previous note 46), he defends, for example, a duo from La Cenerentola against the charge of being patterned after one in IIMatrinionio segreto in his feuilleton of 8 October 1825. He equally defends Auber's La Muette dePorticiand La Fiancéeîxom similar accusations in his feuilletons of 3 March 1828 and 19 January 1829.  terns, modulations, orchestral accompaniments — demonstrates the extraordinarily high standards that Castil-Blaze sets for the music critic. Le quatuor est d'une longeur démesurée, il rappelle trop le trio de Zoraïde, le quintette de la Gazza ladra; il a néanmoins produit de l'effet. Quant à l'air de Malcolm : Ah!sipera, je conseille à Mlle Schiassetti d'en faire le sacrifice; il arrive trop tard, et n'est qu'une foible contre-épreuve de l'air sublime de Fernando, dans la Gazza ladra. Les traits d'orchestre qui soutiennent le choeur, la Cabaletta, le dessin, les modulations, tout est emprunté à cette première composition. Castil-Blaze's ideal critic, then, is no less than a kind of expert musical wine-taster who when blindfolded can imbibe a swig of aural elixir and give forth instantaneously with the musical equivalent of the château and year of bottling, telling, if necessary, when the label is lying and the vintage has been re-bottled. Lorsque l'érudition, l'expérience, et surtout une mémoire heureuse, servent de guide et de soutien à l'harmoniste, rien ne lui échappe: il n'a pas besoin de recourir à l'affiche pour faire connaissance avec le compositeur. Il perce le voile de l'anonyme, rend à Mozart le duo faussement attribué à Cimarosa, signale le plagiat, les réminiscences, les négligences, les défauts, dans le cours d'un morceau rapide, applaudit un trait d'une piquante originalité, un accord bien choisi, un tour élégant, goûte la musique en amateur, et la juge en homme éclairé; ses éloges annoncent un triomphe complet, et sa critique n'offense point: l'un et l'autre sont motivés.^^  Objectivity and Practicality in Castil-Blaze's Feuilletons It should be clear from the above discussion of Castil-Blaze's requirements of the music critic that a substantial portion of the core subject matter of his critical writing consists of details of the written score. The evidence from which he argues in making his judgements is heavily supported with analytical descriptions or quotations from the score itself. Such a style is clearly distinguishable from the more poetical, personally referential rhetorical style of Romantic criticism, typified by the writings of E.T.A. Hoffmann and Berlioz. In such crit52. Débats  (9 September 1824): 4.  53. De l'Opéra, II, pp. 211-12.  icism, though in the case of Hoffmann and Berlioz superbly technically informed, the rhetorical centre of gravity lies in the analysis and description of the sympathetic movements of the soul of the critic himself when confronted with music which he considers to be of surpassing greatness. While enthusiasm and heated conviction are also important qualities of CastilBlaze's style, they are presented in a completely different fashion: not as self-confession, but as cogent argument, as the passionate conviction of an aesthetic "legal counsel," as it were (and it should be remembered that Castil-Blaze was a lawyer by training), arguing heatedly the merits of a case of which he is intellectually convinced, rather than by which he is merely personally moved. His appeal is more that of a defence lawyer or prosecuting attorney attempting to convince a jury than of a demagogue attempting to stir up a revolutionary mob. Castil-Blaze's style of reasoned argiunent and pose of cold objectivity are, like many other characteristics of his writing, self-consciously adopted and deliberate, and he even mentions them as such. For example, in devoting his entire feuilleton of 10 September 1822 to Giuditta Pasta, the singer who was stunning all of Paris with her dramatic performances of Rossini, he justifies the length of his discussion of this singer in the following terms: ... le journaliste, séduit par l'ensemble de la représentation, ou peut-être par de beaux yeux, attribue quelquefois à la voix des effets qui lui sont étrangers. C'est pour me prémunir contre cette espèce d'enthousiasme, que j'écris cet article après une superbe représentation de la Gazza ladra, opéra dans lequel Mme Pasta ne joue pas. Je vetxx raisonner sur son talent, et je ne réponds pas que cela fût possible immédiatement après l'avoir entendue.^"*^ He is equally punctilious in writing about subjects to which he has a strong antipathy. In discussing the scandalous arrangement of Mozart's Zauberflote as Les Mystères d'Isis, he insists that where others may have raged, it is for him to speak cahnly, and without rancour: Mes confrères ont parlé les premiers : pleins d'une sainte indignation, ils ont fait éclater les foudres de leur éloquence; j'arrive trop tard pour continuer sur le même  54. Débats (10 September 1822): 1.  ton. Je laisserai donc Vallegro furioso, et j'attaquerai moderato, afin d'examiner s ans colère une oeuvre tout au plus digne de pitié.^^ Castil-Blaze believes himself to be addressing the musical connoisseur who recognizes both the genius and the faults in great artists, and can point out where these two separate aspects co-exist; indeed he believes that the ability to distinguish them is what separates the connoisseur from the crowd that searches for simple "yes" or "no" answers and loves to engage in endless and pointless polemical arguments.  This pose of impartiality, of judging a  work or a performance more on the type of merits and evidence approved by musical professionals and connoisseurs than by the whims of audience coteries, produces some rather jarring juxtapositions of approval and disapproval in his writing. Consider the following passages on Grétry: Le trio de la Fausse Mag/eest foible; il est noté pour être chanté faux par Mme SaintClair qui se conforme toujours aux intentions de l'auteur. Le quatuor ne vaut guère mieux : l'espèce de finale des Bohémiens est au dessous de la critique. L'effet d'orchestre qui accompagne l'opération magique dans la scène du miroir est excellent." L'ouverture de Pan urge est la meilleure symphonie de Grétry. Les mélodies en sont belles et mal ajustées. L'auteur n'a pas su tirer parti de son début dont le rhythme est brillant et fier. Il néglige de le rappeler dans la période exécutée par les basses.  55. Débats (8 January 1823): 1 This unusual adaptation, and the reacdon of the Parisian and foreign press to it, are discussed in Jean Mongrédien, "Les Mystères d'IsJs{lSOl) and Reflections on Mozart from the Parisian Press at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century," in Music in the Classic Period: Essays in Honor of Barry S. Brook, ed. by Allan W. Atlas (New York: Pendragon Press, 1985). 56. "Si l'invention qui brille dans un ouvrage est entachée de défauts opposés aux qualités que je viens de signaler, le connoisseur y est toujours sensible, mais son plaisir n'est point sans mélange. Il applaudit aux beautés qui étincellent, et gémit sur les fautes qui déparent; enfin, distinguant l'homme de génie du musicien ignorant, il applaudit l'un et blâme l'autre. Or ces distinctions déplaisent toujours aux gens du monde. Inexorables pour tout ce qui ne flatte pas leur fantaisie du moment, ils ne souffrent pas qu'on touche à l'objet de leur culte. Examiner ce qu'ils admirent leur paroît un outrage, et les éloges disparoissent à leurs yeux pour ne laisser apercevoir que les critiques. De là les discussions, les écrits polémiques, la guerre de journaux, et tout cela dure jusqu'à ce que quelque nouveauté fasse oublier la querelle et son objet." Débats (12 August 1825): 3. 57. Z¥6a/5 (23 July 1825): 2. 58. Débats{ll  August 1826): 4.  Yet Castil-Blaze's reasoned presentation of evidence drawn from the musical score did not make him a "bookish" critic of merely theoretical conviction but little practical experience. He was as well an equally perceptive observer of the details of stage performance, and from various hints one has the impression that he attended the rehearsals as well as the per59  formances of the operas that he reviewed.  His attention to the details of stage perfor-  mance is as focused as his discussion of the score, as evidenced by the following description of a scrambled performance of the quintet from Rossini's Otello: Le quintette n'a pas été sans reproche: Derosa a manqué son entrée pour les deux gammes descendantes, et, dans la crainte d'arriver après les autres, il a supprimé ce trait, le seul qui donne du mouvement à cette cadence. L a seconde fois il s'est ravisé; les gammes ont été entamées et finies assez bien sous le rapport vocal; mais au lieu de dire si, sol, fa, mi, ainsi qu'il est écrit, il a chanté la, sol, fa, mi Ce si, note essentielle qui détermine l'accord de dominante, étant remplacé par un la, change la face de l'harmonie; l'impatient Elmiro s'empare de la tonique deux temps avant les autres chanteurs, et l'orchestre n'y arrive pas. J'imagine que c'est une erreur du moment; si c'était une habitude, il faudrait s'en corriger.^o Likewise, his interest in staging details extends even as far as timing and comparing performances — down to the minute.^' There is, then, in Castil-Blaze's criticism a practical bent that counterbalances his theoretical and "score-intensive" orientation. He has a genuine admiration for "what works" on the stage, for what is dramatically effective in live performance as well as what is intellectually ingenious on paper. His concerns extend from the perspective of the set décor  to the  59.  E.g., "J'avais entendu Davide à la répétition, et sa cavatine, admirablement exécutée, avait électrisé tous les assistans." Débats (25 October 1830): 1.  60.  Débats ( 15 November 1830): 2,  61.  For example, the quintet from La Gazza ladra is indicated as taking 27 minutes in Débats (21 August 1825): 2; the quartet from La Donna del Lago as taking 11 minutes in Débats (23 June 1826): 2; the "grande scène d'Anna" from Anna Bolena as taking 19 minutes in Débats { 5 September 1831): 2; and we are informed in Débats (11 January 1827): 2, that the finale of 77 Barbiere di Siviglia takes 20 minutes at Favart (i.e., Théâtre-Italien) and at the Odéon, but is performed 2 minutes faster in the provinces — and this despite the fact that the adagio takes 3 1/2 minutes less!  62. E.g., "Les décorations sont d'un bon effet au premier aspect, mais leur illusion est détruite par la présence des acteurs. En observant les lois de la perspective, le peintre réussit à nous montrer une  quality of the costuming^^ and even the arrangement of furniture on s t a g e . O n e can tell that even his analysis of the score itself is not simply abstract and intellectual. As will be discussed in later chapters, one of his ideals for dramatic music is that it be idiomatically written for a specific voice type and performed by the voice type for which it was composed.  Range o f Subject Matter The music critic, then, as Castil-Blaze envisages and embodies him, is a resource of encyclopedic intellectual dimensions. He is a writer who offers his readers the opportunity to hone their own skills in judgement as connoisseurs of fine music in the manner in which the readers of competent literary or art criticism might expect to have their minds engaged by specialists in these respective fields. Like the specialized writers in these fields, the range of topics which he considered to be within his purview was wide indeed. In his first feuilleton for the Débatshe indicates the breadth of subject matter which he intends to treat as follows: Je ne me bornerai pas aux compositions théâtrales, je parlerai aussi des messes, des motets, des oratorios, des symphonies publiées ou exécutées dans les églises et les concerts. La musique de chambre fixera mon attention, et je m'empresserai de signaler une bonne romance quand elle paroîtra au milieu du déluge de rapsodies dont les petits faiseurs nous inondent.  montagne qui se perd dans les nues. Je me livre au prestige de l'art, je me complais dans mon erreur, quand tout à coup un solitaire gigantesque se poste sur le roc inaccessible et le change à l'instant en tertre de jardin anglais. Huet a cinq pied six pouces : sans être géomètre, tout le monde voit que la hauteur du Mont-Sauvage égale quatre fois la taille du Solitaire, ce qui fait vingt-deux pieds, hauteur du rocher des Bains-Chinois." Débats (20 August 1822): 4. 63. E.g., "On ne sait pas pourquoi les frères de Joseph sont introduits dans le palais de Pharaon par un soldat vêtu à la grecque, tandis que les gardes du ministre sont habillés à peu près en égyptiens. On croiroit voir un compagnon de Miltiade à la cour de Xercès." Débats (11 September 1828): 3. 64.  E.g., "Je ne sais pas pourquoi on a changé la mise en scène du finale [of Rossini's IIBarbiere di Siviglià]; les acteurs entrent maintenant sur l'avant-scène, et sont obligés de tourner autour de la table avant d'arriver au milieu du théâtre. Ce changement n'est pas heureux, il embarrasse inutilement la scène : toutes les entrées sont gauches, le départ de Basile et son retour surtout ne produisent plus le même effet. Quelle nécessité d'établir au milieu de la scène cette caisse de sapin qui figure un piano?" Débats (3 Febniary 1828): 2.  Je ferai connoître les nouvelles découvertes et les perfectionnemens apportés dans l'enseignement de l'art et la facture des instrumens, ainsi que les succès obtenus sur les théâtres des départemens, toutes les fois qu'ils donneront des preuves de leur existence, en représentant quelque nouveauté musicale non encore jouée dans Paris. These were new topics in the popular press. No other newspaper before the arrival of Fétis' Revue musicale in 1827 treated the range of topics featured in Castil-Blaze's feuilletons in the Journal des débats^^ His intention to enlarge the field of coverage of musical topics was largely successful, as a review of the topics covered in his feuilletons shows. His treatment of religious music includes performances and publications of major religious works such as Mozart's Requiem (1 December 1824 and 10 October 1826), Handel's J[fessiah(29 July 1821), the Fsaumesof Marcello (11 March 1822) and masses by Cherubini (11 May 1830) and Lesueur (3 February 1828). He attempted to cotmter the neglect of the music of Lalande, Louis XIV's maître de chapelle, in a long biographical article about this composer (25 July 1827), and he deplored the plight of the organ in French cathedrals (2 January 1822). His reviews of instrumental music included not only the major established events of the Paris social season, such as the Concerts spirituels, the newly founded Concerts du Conservatoire and the first concerts of Paganini in Paris, but also smaller concerts by the young Liszt, numerous chamber music concerts by the string quartet of Pierre Baillot, and a wide range of published instrumental music.^^ 65. Débats  (7 December 1820): 1.  66. A cursory review of Le ConsUtutionnel, Paris's leading daily newspaper, reveals little but theatre reviews for the whole period during which Castil-Blaze wrote for the Débats. Coverage of music in La Quotidienne, next behind the Journal des débats in readership, was restricted in issues consulted between 1820 and 1825 almost entirely to music in the theatres, apart from one or two very short and superficial notices per year on concerts. Coverage in issues consulted for 1825 and 1826 in Le Globe, a smaller circulation but intellectually prestigious publication, also featured few departures from the treatment of theatrical music. 67. The Concerts spirituels are covered in his feuilletons of 30 April 1821, 14 April 1822, 30 March 1823, 21 April 1824, 1 June 1827, and 17 April 1828; the Concerts du Conservatoire in those of 19 and 29 March 1828, 18 February, 9 March, 24 March and 9 May 1829, 30 March, 7 April and 11 April 1830 and 2 February 1831. Paganini is treated in the feuilletons of 13 March, 23 March 1831 and 4 May 1832; and Liszt in his feuilleton of 24 March 1824. Baillot's concerts are dealt  His interest in music education was keen, as evidenced by his coverage of the Concours du Conservatoire and the Prix de Rome competition, as well as in his articles of various pub68  lished pedagogical materials.  His feuilletons contain not only a running commentary on  the way in which the major musical institutions of the capital were being managed, but also news from the provinces and from foreign capitals, gleaned from a reading of newspapers from London, Milan, Naples, Vienna, Berlin and Leipzig. He kept Parisians informed as well about new technological advances in instrument manufacture.^^ Indeed the only topic on which he seems to have laid emphasis in the intital prospectus of his first feuilleton, but which he did not follow through with consistently, is that of romances?'^  withinarticlesof 14 April 1822, 18 May 1831 and 20 March 1831. Published music reviewed includes the Boccherini string quintets (5 January and 25 September 1821, 15 January 1823) and Fétis's edition of Bach's keyboard works (24 July 1821). 68. The Concours du Conservatoire are treated in this feuilletons of 4 September 1821, 7 September 1824,14 August 1827, 28 August 1828, 5 September 1829 and 29 August 1831; the Prix de Rome in those of 31 October 1821, 17 September 1822 and 10 August 1828. His reviews of published educational materials include méthodes for violin by Mazas (4 May 1832), for clarinet by Muller (4 September 1821), and for violoncello by Hus-Desforges (12 October 1828); pedagogical materials for voice by Rodolphe (25 September 1821), Pastou (14 October 1822), and Panseron and Fétis (9 November 1821); Mme de Bawr's Histoire de la musique(l3 September 1823), Hédouin's Notice historique sur Monsigny{\3 October 1821), Kandler's Mémoires sur Jean AdopheHasse(lS November 1821), and Fétis's Traité de contrepoint (12 August 1825), Solfèges progressifs (I I June 1827) and Galerie des musiciens célèbres (IS December 1827). 69. His coverage of instrument manufacture embraced not only the traditional instruments such as the pianos of Dietz (9 March 1829), Erard (24 March 1824 and 28 August 1828) and Pape (28 February 1832), the clarinets of Iwan Muller (4 September 1821), the trumpets of Legram (5 August 1821), and the Industrial Exposition of 1827 (23 September 1827); but also more exotic and ephemeral species of inventions such as Roller's transposing piano (7 December 1820), Salomon's harpolyre(2S December 1828), Trentin's violicembaJo (2 January 1822), Dietz and Bodin-Lagrange's cJaviharpe(2S September 1821), Erard's orgue expressif(16 September 1829), Matrot's diapasorama (17 December 1825), and Winkel's Componium musical improvising machine (15 January 1824). 70. Among published works in this form, he offers only two mentions, and these merely in the nature of publicity announcements: the Souvenirs des ménestrels in 5 January 1821 and Carat's Romances in 13 October 1821. This may reflect his view that the "déluge de rapsodies dont les petits faiseurs nous inondent" had produced few works worthy of comment. Ralph Locke describes the romance as "simple in melody and accompaniment, unambitious in harmony, strophic in form and anodyne in text." "Paris," in The Early Romantic Era, p. 57. A more sympathetic view is contained in Austin B. Caswell, "Lo'isa Puget and die French Romance." in Music in Paris in the Eighteen-Thirties, pp. 97-115.  Despite this interest in a wide range of musical subject matter, it remains true that the majority of Castil-Blaze's feuilletons in the Journal des débats — more than 80 percent, in fact — deal with opera or the lyric theatre in some way. It was in the field of opera that his ideas for the progress of musical life in France were most fertile and his polemical commentary most pointed and direct. The central theme of this commentary is that opera is a musical and not a dramatic literary art form. His overriding belief was that the construction of an opera by its collaborating librettists and composers, its performance by singers, and its reception by audiences must all be conditioned by the desire to create, convey or appreciatively receive its musical content rather than its literary content. The way in which this belief marked his critical approach to the opera libretto, the dramatic score and the singer's performance will form the subject of the following three chapters.  CHAPTER 4 T H E OPERA LIBRETTO  ... la musique est l'objet principal d'un opéra sans doute, mais dans un feuilleton elle doit céder le pas au livret, il faut d'abord faire connaître le cadre qui l'a reçue, et désigner avec clarté les situations qui ont varié ses couleurs. ^  When Castil-Blaze began his career as a music journalist, the libretto was still the dominant topic in French critical discussion of opera. The traditional French emphasis placed on text and action in opera, derived perhaps from its continuing close connection with French tragedy and ballet, had encouraged writers on the theatre to apply a single critical perspective to both the spoken and lyric theatres alike. Thus in the feuilletons of Geoffroy, CastilBlaze's predecessor at the Débats, and of Duvicquet, his colleague there, an opera might well be judged largely on the basis of the libretto alone. Castil-Blaze's quarrel with these littérateur critics was essentially a quarrel with this type of libretto-centred criticism, and with the view of French opera that was implicit in it. Yet despite this polemical stance, Castil-Blaze's attention to the libretto in his own writings was extensive. In fact, his music-centred style of criticism is nowhere more conspicuous than in his approach to the opera libretto. For far from attempting to de-emphasize the libretto in his writings, or to minimize its importance as a subject of critical discussion, Castil-Blaze analyzed opera libretti in detail, often devoting a large part of his feuilletons to lengthy plot summaries and to assessments of the quality of the drama and the text. He did so, however, from the perspective of the composing musician, not that of the littérateur  Virtually ignor-  1. Débats (23 November 1831 ): 1. 2. His attention to the libretto is of such expansiveness that he occasionally feels obliged to ask his readers' forebearance for the amount of space which he devotes to the plot summary of a new opera, assuring them that it forms an integral part of his examination of the music: "Mes lecteurs trouveront pcut-ctrc que l'analyse que je donne de la pièce est trop détaillée et trop méthodique; je  ing the libretto as literature, he emphasized instead in his writings the musical rewards to be reaped when a composer works with a libretto that has been tailored to his needs, i.e., one in which dramatic scenes are conceived from the outset as vehicles for musical expression, and in which dramatic text is composed expressly for musical setting. Such a libretto is referred to by Castil-Blaze as bien disposé pour la musique, ("well laid out for music"), an expression which reflects his underlying view that the libretto is primary a musical structure, in that its value and worth are directly proportional to the value and worth of the music which can be set to it. Castil-Blaze judged the opera libretto both for its conceptual and for its practical "musicality," i.e., both for its very conception as a story to be told in music, and for the way in which its detailed layout facilitated the composer's task in realizing this musico-dramatic conception. Absent from his judgments are any comments on the ingenuity of plot structure conceived independent of musical content, or on the polish and refinement of language independent of its use in a musical setting. Rather, he assesses dramatic action and language for their direct contributions to musical expression: dramatic action for the motivation which it provides for intensifying musical involvement in telling the story; language for its rhythmic patterning as raw sound and its plastic adaptabiUty to musical phrase structure. By placing action and language in a subordinate position with respect to music — by asserting that the libretto was a dramatic structure forrauûc, rather than simply with muûc — he set himself in opposition to the traditional view of opera in France. The French were not used to seeing opera in this light, judged principally for its musical content, for the musicality of its dramatic and linguistic structure, in short, for its musical intentions. In De  suis obligé de suivre cette marche afin que dans l'examen que je ferai de la musique on ne puisse jamais perdre de vue les situations et les scènes où chaque morceau se trouve placé." Débats (2 March 1828): 3. "Cette analyse est un peu longue, mais il était difficile d'être plus bref sans devenir obscur; il convient d'ailleurs de détailler les scènes d'un opéra afin de préparer ainsi l'examen de la musique." Débats{\2 January 1829): 2.  l'Opéra en France and in his feuilletons for the Journal des débats Castil-Blaze set out to teach the French public just how to do this. This was his principal challenge to the view of opera prevalent in France in his day. What Castil-Blaze was proposing involved a major change of emphasis, a major shift in the foreground-background relationship between libretto and music that had subsisted in the French view of opera since its inception in the seventeenth century. The relationship of hbretto to music proposed by Castil-Blaze was that of intention to realization, and it is meant to replace the previous relationship of realization to ornament. Instead of conceiving of opera as a sub-genre of the spoken theatre, i.e., as a fully realized independent dramatic work to which a degree of musical "ornament" was merely added in a second stage, he propagated the notion that an opera was from its very conception a stage work whose principal characteristics were defined and determined by the medium of music in which it was written. Opera was not, in his view, a stage work independently conceived in action and language, to which music was then "fitted" as best could be done, but rather a close collaboration between two kinds of "musicians." The first of these, the librettist, maps out his vision of the kinds of scenes, and the kinds of language, in which the musical potential of the story to be told might be structured. The second, the composer, attempts to realize this musical potential in a score based on the outline of actions and words given him by the Ubrettist. Both collaborators are working in the medium of music, but at different levels of detail, and at different times. It is for this reason that Castil-Blaze considers the librettist's work so very important, since "c'est au poète à tracer les premiers contours du dessin musical."^ In this regard it is instructive to note that Castil-Blaze most often refers to an opera's libretto as its cadre ("frame" or "framework"), a metaphor which conveys a sense of its struc3. De rOpéra,l, p. 55.  tural importance, while yet conceding its background relationship to the musical interest in the foreground of opera. Just as a frame defines the outer boimdaries of a painting, so too, he implies, does the libretto delimit the outer bounds of the drama in opera, but without usurping music's central position in communicating its inner content. Virtually without content by itself, filled only with its potential for musical expression, the libretto, Castil-Blaze insists, is not a literary artifact, and ought not to be judged by literary standards. The libretto is a kind of half-structure, one which has been left incomplete by design, awaiting and indeed requiring embodiment in musical form for its full meaning to be established. Je ne ferai point une critique raisonnée de cette pièce : on ne doit pas faire une guerre littéraire à un libretto; rien de si facile que de le tourner en ridicule et d'en démontrer même l'abstirdité. Le poëte a-t-il fourni un cadre au musicien? Voilà ce qu'il importe d'examiner; en remphssant cette condition, il a atteint son but.'* Implicit in the view that opera must be judged according to separate criteria is the parallel view that opera is an entirely separate and independent genre of dramatic narrative, defined by its own use of artistic resources. For Castil-Blaze, music was the very medium in which opera was to be conceived and written, by the librettist no less than by the composer, just as tragedy was conceived in language and verse, and as ballet was conceived in gesture and movement. This view of opera as a distinct genre with its own distinct means of expression is highlighted in a passage quoted from Marmontel's Delà poésie française, which Castil-Blaze includes in his chapter entitled "De la musique" in De l'Opéra en France? Using the story of Armide and Renaud as an example, Marmontel explains that the way in which an individual story is told depends entirely upon the genre of narrative in which it is conveyed. In tragedy, this story might tell of a queen who had attracted to her court the disgraced hero Renaud, 4. Débats  (16 January 1823): 2.  5. This passage, identified as deriving from Chap. XIV of Marmontel's work, is cited on pp. 90-92 OÏ De rOpéra,\.  and had fallen in love with him only to see him leave to follow the path of his glory. The same legend treated in an epic poem would emphasize Renaud's travels and his heroic adventures; Armide, instead of a queen, would be an enchantress, and Renaud's love for her the result of a magic spell. Treated in the operatic genre, these fantastical elements of the story would be made powerfully appealing to the sense by means of magical music and set décor depicting vividly the enchanted garden. Each of these three tellings of the same story would be different, because each genre has its own unique procedures, devices, and resources for constructing a vivid narrative. What a libretto should reflect, Castil-Blaze believes, is the unique nature of the operatic genre. The librettist should bear in mind what can be accomplished in an operatic setting that cannot be accomplished in other forms of narrative, and should emphasize the strengths of the operatic genre, which are essentially different from those of other genres. Among these Castil-Blaze includes the use of choruses to convey the emotional reaction of crowds to the events on stage,^ and especially the use of ensembles to incorporate ironic reflections or to express simultaneous conflicting emotions within the binding force of a single harmonic texture. In this, he believed, opera far surpasses in dramatic flexibility and emotional range the equivalent technique in the spoken theatre of using the aparté, or spoken "aside."^ Another of opera's advantages is the musical portrayal of character. He counts the buffo bass as one of the most valuable roles of the Italian repertoire, one which he wished to 6. On the impotence of the spoken stage to convey the emotions of the masses, Castil-Blaze writes: "On ne parle dans les récits que des transports d'un peuple qui prend part à l'action. Ses cris séditieux ont éclaté, il assiège les portes du palais, tout cède à sa fureur : il entre; mais trop respectueux pour élever la voix, il reste muet et se range paisiblement sur deux files. L'ombre de Ninus sort du tombeau, et cet événement surnaturel autant que terrible ne cause pas la moindre surprise aux assistans; toujours le même repos et le même silence. Les acteurs ont l'air de dire : ce n'est pas notre affaire, cela ne regarde que Sémiramis." De l'Opéra, I, p. 100. In the passage immediately following he compares in weakness of the tirades in a climactic scene from the spoken tragedy oï La Vestale io the vehement choral outbursts of its operatic treatment. 7. This advantage is discussed in De l'Opéra en France in a passage where Castil-Blaze demonstrates how a scene ïvora. L'Ecole des maris coula, be much more effective if arranged for the lyric stage as an ensemble. De l'Opéra, I, pp. 104ff.  see develop in the French repertoire. What appealed to him about this role was that it was a vehicle for creating comedy that was more deeply rooted in its distinctly musical realization of character— i.e., in large melodic leaps and in rapid declamation of patter — than in any linguistic cleverness and wit in the lines given this caricature to deliver.^ It is such resources as these, Castil-Blaze emphasizes, that define opera as a unique theatrical genre, and he believed that it was the obligation of the skilled librettist to take as his principal aim the exploitation of resources of this kind. When opera is conceived in other than musical terms, he warned — in terms of pure dramatic action, for example, or elegant use of language — then opera loses something at the level of its very definition as a genre: it becomes debased. It is interesting to note that this argmnent about the purity of the genre has come full circle when it issues from the mouth of Castil-Blaze, having first been uttered by opera critics in the late seventeenth century on the subject of opera's threat to the purity of French tragedy, as mentioned in Chapter 1. The danger to opera as an independent genre which Castil-Blaze was proclaiming derived largely from the French concern for the quality of the libretto text at the expense of the score. Some traditional aspects of production practice in both the serious and comic repertoires represent well how institutionalized the emphasis on the text had remained in the French lyric theatre. In the serious French theatre there was the institution known as the "literary jury," which screened libretti for the Académie royale de musique (the Opéra). This body was the successor to the Académie des inscriptions et des belles-lettres which approved the libretti of Quinault during the reign of Louis XIV. The high standard expected of this august body es-  8.  Why, Castil-Blaze asks, is the bouffe d'opéra really funny? "C'est que la musique vient unir tous ses charmes aux situations comiques, au jeu spirituel des comédiens. C'est que cet acteur bouffe dont les charges et joyeusetés font pleurer à force de rire, nous jette avec prodigalité les trésors de sa voix puissante, mélodieuse, tonnante, expressive et dont les inflexions ont une justesse dramatique aussi parfaite que leur justesse musicale." Débats (A March 1832): 1.  tablished the Ubretti of Quinault as a benchmark for future screening committees. Later libretti were accepted at the Opéra, for example, on the basis of a reading of the text by the librettist before a Hterary jury. Only after a favourable decision by this body on the merits of the work, independent of any musical setting, was the decision taken concerning who might set the accepted work.^ This institutionalized two stage-system of conceiving of opera composition, which saw the work first as an independent dramatic work and secondly as a text that needed setting, was antithetical to Castil-Blaze's entire approach to what opera should be. Consequentiy, he campaigned hard to discredit the literary jury as an institution, and its continued admiration for libretti in the style of Quinault.  He laid at its door the mangled  production of Mozart's Die Zauberflote in 1801 as Les Mystères d'lsis}^ and the continuing presence in the repertoire of works of only slightiy higher merit.  He urged that the jury  system be disbanded, like the former costume and décor juries, which had kept powdered wigs and ridiculous bowers on the lyric stage long past their time.  9. Gabriele Buschmeier describes this process in Die Entwicklung von Arte undSzene in der franzosischen Opera von Gluck bis Spontini (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1991), p.21 n.66. 10. "Nos faiseurs de livrets marchent sur les traces de Quinault, c'est le modèle que le jury de l'Académie royale de musique leur propose encore; il s'évertuent depuis cent cinquante ans à conquérir les palmes de l'auteur à'Armide, ils ne doivent pas s'offenser si on leur donne la qualification [i.e., parolier] que leur maître a portée." Débats (27 May 1830): 1. 11. He expresses astonishment "qu'une partition divine, grotesquement diaprée de fautes que l'indulgence la plus excessive ne sauroit pardonner; de ces belles, bonnes, grosses sottises, qu'un enfant de douze ans ne fait plus après sa troisième leçon, ait été admise solennellement par le jury redoutable et suprême de l'Académie royale, pour être exécutée sur ce théâtre, c'est ce que je ne saurois m'expHquer!" Débats(\ August 1823): 3. He alsoridiculesthe jury's approval of Fin chhan dal v//2omade into a trio, in Débats (6 December 1823): 2. 12. "Ces operas ont obtenu pourtant les suffrages du jury de l'Académie royale; le bonnet doctoral s'est incliné devant ces chefs-d'oeuvre de stupidité musicale; l'aréopage suprême a prononcé le Dgnus est inlrare. [...] À Dieu ne plaise que je veuille accuser le j ury d'ignorance; mais il est permis de dire que sa complaisance est sans bornes. L'inutilité de ce jury est donc démontrée par les faits." Débats (16 October 1825): 1-2. 13. "Le jury de l'Opéra a déjà donné plus de cent fois des preuves de son inexpérience ou de sa complaisance extrême; il est donc inutile.... Si l'on parvient à mettre à la retraite le jury littéraire, il sera permis d'espérer que le véritable style lyrique cessera d'être méconnu. Lorsqu'il s'agit de musique et surtout d'opéra, on ne sauroit trop attaquer les vieilles routines." Débats (2 March 1828): 1.  The status of music as a secondary component in opera production was even more deeply ingrained in the repertoire and traditions of the Opéra-Comique which, although in the process of becoming more thoroughly musical in intention, still maintained a number of works in its repertoire that continued the tradition of borrowing or adapting music from other sources in the style of the vaudeville. An important resource for writers of vaudeville comedies, for lesser opera-comique librettists and for other theatrical poets whose muse needed just that extra push to reach the top of Parnassus was the reference text known as La Clef du Caveau.^^ This work was a godsend for the Ubrettist who wished to insert a simple strophic ditty into his stage play but had perhaps neither the time nor the inclination to compose it himself. By means of an indexed catalogue of model examples. La Clef du Caveau offered the aspiring stage poet a comprehensive taxonomy of sample verses in every conceivable syllabic, prosodie and stanzaic configuration. These he could either imitate, adapt or steal outright, matching them with the cross-referenced appendix of well-known or traditional tunes at the back of the book. By indicating a timbre for each, i.e., the identifying refrain line of the tune to which the verses were to be sung, a librettist unable to distinguish a whole note from a treble clef could himself "compose" a complete stage work with music. This way of composing musical numbers in regular stanzaic couplets represented the loosest possible connection between music and drama, and Castil-Blaze continually pointed out when these compositional short-cuts found their way into the scores of the works performed in Paris. Castil-Blaze believed that opera libretto writing in France was in a state of genre confusion. He found that the very definition of an opera, as he himself conceived it, was not a  14. This work was published in several editions in the early nineteenth century. Its third edition was published by Janet et Cotelle, Castil-Blaze's first publishers, and thus must post-date the founding of this company in 1810. The edition consulted in preparing the following description was published as La Clefdu caveau; à l'usage de tous les chansonniers français, des amateurs, auteurs, acteurs de vaudeville et de tous les amis de la chanson. 4th ed. (Brussels: A. Weissenbruch, n.d.).  well-understood concept in France, and that French librettists had no real notion of the way in which an opera obtained its effects, nor of the librettist's task in producing them.^^ He compared them unfavorably to their Italian counterparts who, while not as skillful in many aspects of dramatic construction, were at least clearly aware of the basic principles of the genre: what they created, whether good or bad, was at least opera, and not some other theatrical genre masquerading as opera under a mask of musical dressing.  Castil-Blaze was  quick to point out this masquerade of genres in works that he reviewed. In his vision of opera, the way in which a libretto is constructed is of crucial importance, and his criticism of the libretto has but one aim: to point out how a well-made or poorly-made libretto either widens or narrows the range of musical resources and procedures left open for the composer, and thus affects the ultimate musical character of a work. In his criticism he links each element of Ubretto construction to the musical result that it produces, or which it at least heavily conditions. While theorists and composers have at all times in history described their aesthetic aims in terms of a 'perfect union of words or drama with music,' Castil-Blaze must be said to stand out for the precision of his analysis of these rela15. "J'ai dit plusieurs fois que les littérateurs français étaient fort inhabile dans la fabrication des livrets d'opéras: notre répertoire lyrique atteste chaque jour leur maladresse, et prouve qu'ils ignorent encore la fm du métier. [...] Nos auteurs ont excellé dans tous les genres en travaillant pour la scène; mais comme ils ne connaissent ni le mécanisme d'un opéra, ni la mesure, la cadence, le rhythme des vers, ni le champ qu'il faut ouvrir au musicien pour qu'il y déploie les ressources de son art, ils ont presque toujours manqué le but. Us travaillent au hasard, et le hasard les a trop rarement servis ..." Débats (17 October 1829): 1-2. 16. "Les littérateurs italiens se trompent quelquefois, j'en conviens; leur erreur ne peut du moins avoir aucune conséquence funeste pour l'art. Ils vouloient faire un bon opéra, ils le font mauvais; c'est un malheur, mais leur pièce est toujours un opéra. Nos auteurs dramatiques, au contraire, choisissent un sujet, le divisent en scènes, l'écrivent en vers ou en prose, et croient avoir fait un opéra bon ou mauvais : point du tout, c'est un vaudeville, un drame languissant, ou ce qui est encore pire, une comédie spirituelle et sans action." Débats (16 January 1823): 2. 17. He writes, for example: "Quoique la pièce de M . Scribe fLeiœsterJprésente un grand nombre de morceaux de musique, on ne peut pas lui donner le titre d'opéra : c'est une comédie à ariettes." Débats (5 March 1823): 2. "Les Petits Appartemens semblaient destinés au [Théâtre du] Vaudeville." Débatsin July 1827): 2. He indicates that "La Maison isolée n'est point un opéra, c'est une sorte de mélodrame en deux actes" Débats (29 August 1827): 2; and that the long scenes of somnambulism in Scribe's libretto for Bellini's La Sonnambula "conviennent mieux à la pantomime qu'à l'Opéra." Débats (28 October 1831): 2.  tionships. Defining his standard in libretto construction as that which offers the greatest scope for developing the drama in purely musical terms, he established in De l'Opéra en France and developed further in the feuilletons a comprehensive, multi-dimensional model of the ideal libretto, conceived musically both in terms of its dramatic action and its use of language. In a revealing passage from Chapter 2 ("Des Paroles" ) in De l'Opéra en France CastilBlaze points to what he considers to be the three most important issues to be considered when deciding whether a libretto's dramatic action is suitable for musical treatment: Les administrations de l'Opéra et de Feydeau, en examinant le poëme qui leur est offert, devraient observer d'abord s'il est propre à recevoir de la musique; si la coupe en est heureuse; s'il présente des effets pittoresques et contrastés, des scènes passionnées; et surtout si le nombre des personnages et leur caractère permettent d'employer les forces hamioniques, et de varier le coloris. These three categories — the formal division into acts and scenes (referred to as la coupe); the inherent interest and quality of its dramatic setting and intrigue; and the distribution of musical interest among its principal characters — describe well the benchmarks by which Castil-Blaze judges the "musicality" of a libretto. In his critical writing he analyses in detail the effect that the librettist's decisions in these three areas of dramaturgical construction have on the music. He explains how the disposition of a work into a particular pattern of scenes and acts determines the degree of contrast in melodic styles (air and recitative) and in textures (solo or ensemble) that will mark its musical character. He explains how the choice of setting and the range of human emotions portrayed affects the range of musical expression possible. Furthermore, he shows how the number, sex and age of the characters portrayed translates in turn into the musical forces, vocal ranges and palette of tone colours which the composer will have available to him. Castil-Blaze's analysis of the impact of the  De l'Opéra,!,  p. 54.  librettist's use of language on the composer's score — relating the librettist's patterns of syllables, lines and stanzas to the composer's melodic motives, phrases and periods — may be said to represent a fourth category of critical commentary. The remainder of this chapter will discuss Castil-Blaze's critical views on the opera libretto in the four categories of discussion mentioned above, in the following order: setting and dramatic interest; the distribution of music among the roles created; act and scene structure ; and finally, the prosodie aspects of the libretto text itself  Setting and Dramatic Interest It is Castil-Blaze's belief that the librettist establishes the basic character of a lyric stage work by his choice of subject matter, and in a meaningful way it is he who establishes the first details of the musical score by determining the emotional range and intensity of the subject matter to be presented. He points to this close connection between librettist and composer in an early review of Hérold's L'Auteur mort et vivant, in which he asserts that the imdistinguished nature of the score merely reflects the undistinguished nature of the libretto which the composer was given to set: Quelques censeurs prétendent que cette composition manque de mélodie et d'invention. Nous n'adresserons pas ce reproche à M . Hérold; il a fait ce que l'on fera toujours quand on travaillera sur im poëme gracieux, léger, mais futile, peu propre à la musique, sans images, sans couleur prononcée, ne présentant aucune situation qui puisse inspirer, point de développemens, point d'efforts. Le musicien suit son guide, et s'il parvient à être aimable et léger comme lui, sa tâche est remplie. In this regard three aspects of concern are evident in his writings. First of all, a story which is to be made into an opera must start from a dramatic premise and in a setting that is  19. Débats  (30 December 1820): 3.  admirably suited to musical setting: it must be a story that is conceived for its musical possibilities. In Castil-Blaze's terminology, it must have a definite couleur musicale about it. Secondly, its action must have force dramatique, i.e., strong forward momentum, and move convincingly from musical scene to musical scene, portraying its principal characters in moments of crisis, i.e., in situations fortes. Thirdly, in the course of its development it must offer the composer the opportunity to use music in a wide variety of ways, so that the overall pattern is one of contrasting scenes, each of which presents a particular type of musical interest. Castil-Blaze stresses that the quality of la couleur musicale demanded of an operatic plot is quite distinct from the qualities that would normally be looked for in the spoken theatre. In an operatic work, offering resources to the composer is more important than providing skillfully constructed stage action and dialogue for the audience. Une pièce peut être conduite avec art et purement écrite, sans offrir cependant des ressources au compositeur: c'est une bonne comédie, dont on aura fait un mauvais opéra. L'Ami de la Maison, les Prétendus, les Dettes, n'ont point la couleur musicale. Il est aussi des opéras qvd par leur intrigue divertissante et les agrémens d'im dialogue spirituel, pourraient peut-être se passer de musique.-^ Castil-Blaze associates much of what a story "offers the musician" vrith setting, mood and atmosphere. The story of Romeo and Juliet, for example, with its masked ball, wedding, and bxirial scene, is a classic example of the type of musically advantageous plotline for which Castil-Blaze is looking: Le sujet de Roméo et Juliette comenoit cependant beaucoup mieux à l'opéra qu'à la tragédie; il offre au musicien des tableaux variés, un bal, un rendez-vous nocturne, une noce, un enterrement, etc.: voilà un champ vaste pour déployer les puissances musicales, et produire de grands effets avec de grands contrastes.^^  20. De l'Opéra, I, p. 50. 21. Débatsd  September 1821): l.  But equal in importance to the range of scenic backdrops in which music can serve as "sonic set décor," as it were, is the type and range of human emotions being portrayed. Here too he cautions that opera and the spoken theatre are separate genres, and that the range of subject matter which can be successfully treated in the spoken theatre is much wider than that which is stiitable for treatment in music. This difference is especially evident in comedy. Castil-Blaze points out that Molière's Don Juan, for example, provided an admirable canvas for Mozart's Don Giovanni, but that it is unlikely that Za Misanthrope would have offered a subject equally uispiring.^^ He thus expresses surprise, and some disapproval, at what he considers the "anti-musical" subject matter in such works as Rossini's La Gazza ladra, of which the second act is largely concerned with courtroom procedure, and Kreutzer's Le Négociant à Hambourg, which centers on financial speculation in imported goods. La Gazza ladra nous a présenté le jargon du Palais figurant sous les périodes badines de Rossini, le Négociant de Hambourg nom offre l'argot de la Bourse uni aux mélodies de M . Kreutzer; tout cela n'est pas très musical. On a été surpris d'entendre les soupirs du basson, les tendres roucoulemens du cor accompagner des vers fort durs, exprimant les désirs avides de l'ambition mercantile : sentiment qui n'inspire aucun intérêt au théâtre, où l'on est accoutiuné à voir traiter avec mépris ceux qui cherchent avec trop d'ardeur à satisfaire la soif du lucre qui les dévore.^^ His point here is not that legal or commercial subject matter cannot form part of a legitimate opera plot, but that the overall driving force in the plot must not center on a legal or  22. "Une comédie peut être fort jolie et ne fournir aucune inspiration au compositeur. Il faut qu'un sujet ait la couleur musicale; le Festin de Pierre de Molière est devenu le plus beau des opéras; le Misanthropen'mroit certainement pas donné de semblables résultats." Débats(31 October 1822): 2. 23. Débats(n October 1821): 3. It should be noted that although Castil-Blaze objected to the subject matter of La Gazza ladra, his objections were not strong enough to overcome his admiration for its convincing quality as musical theatre. In his first review of this work he notes that "Casti avait supprimé la scène du procès dans les Noces de Figaro, comme étant peu propre à recevoir les accords du musicien , et je crois qu'il avait raison. Il signor Gherardini [Rossini's librettist] en a pensé autrement, et c'est dans le tribunal même qu'il établit un morceau d'ensemble à grand fracas, dont l'effet fait pardonner en quelque sorte l'invraisemblance." Débats^lQ September 1821): 2. He subsequently adapted La Gazza ladra for the French stage. La Pie voleuse was first performed at the Odéon on 8 August 1824 and was given 51 peformances at this theatre between 1824 and 1828, according to the daily theatre listings of the Débats.  financial outcome, since these types of subject matter do not lend themselves to the type of expansion in music on v^fhich opera is based. It would be hard, Castil-Blaze believes, to develop out of such a subject matter the concentrated nuggets of dramatic intensity with which a good opera must be studded, i.e., its situations fortes. These situations must be rooted in the conflict of basic human passions, and not merely in themes of danger or of innocence persecuted, the major dramatic content of the melodrama^"^ — and still less in commodities futures. The force dramatique which fixes audience attention upon the unfolding of the plot must be both of hxmian interest and well-suited to musical treatment. Such driving force he finds in the scenario for Berton's Virginie, for example, of which he praises not only the intensity of the drama itself, but also its potential for expression in music that sets it apart from the spoken theatre. Virginie réclamée comme esclave au moment où son cortège nuptial s'avance vers le temple, Virginie immolée par im père désespéré qui n'a que ce moyen terrible pour la soustraire aux criminelles entreprises d'Appius, voilà dexix belles scènes d'opéras. La musique s'unit admirablement à ces grandes catastrophes. Le privilège qu'elle a de faire parler tous les personnages à la fois et même un peuple entier, lui permet de tenter des effets qui passent les bornes fixées à la simple déclamation. Une mauvaise tragédie peut devenir un excellent opéra si elle offre au musicien l'occasion de déployer la magie de son art.25 While the intensity of emotion may not be the same between serious and comic opera, Castil-Blaze insisted that the connection between the dramatic action and the music should be equally strong in both. He complained frequently that many libretti in the repertoire of the Opéra-Comique lacked sufficient motivation for the music which they present. Regardless of the amount of music feat\rred, he remained firm in his principle that opera is a genre 24. It is interesting to note, in this connection, that Castil-Blaze's first review of La Gazza ladra in Débats (20 September 1821) describes this work in its titling as an opéra de Rossini, whereas his second review in Débats (28 September 1821 ) the titling refers to it as the mélodrame de Rossini. 25. Débatsiieiune  1823): 3.  that develops a story m music, not simply with music and he stressed that comic opera was more than simply spoken comedy with "applied" music. Ce n'est pas l'abondance de la musique, c'est la manière dont elle se lie à l'action théâtrale qui constitue l'opéra. A toutes les qualités que l'on exige dans une bonne comédie, un opéra doit réunir encore des tableaux, des situations, des scènes propres à la musique; il faut qu'un air, un duo, soient amenés par l'action théâtrale, et non pas ajoutés et plaqués maladroitement pour satisfaire, en quelque façon, à l'obligation de produire du chant. The ways in which music was introduced into opéra comique scenes without really being warranted by the plot were many and varied, but one which attracted Castil-Blaze's particular attention was that of portraying principal characters as singers in their on-stage lives. Le Dilettante d'A vignon, for example, features opera performers who sing samples from their repertoire in the course of a plot which largely revolves around the thoroughly undramatic subject of the relative merits of Italian and French musical styles. While the work is veritably swimming in music, it is, as Castil-Blaze points out, "musique exécutée sans raison et au repos," since there is really nothing at stake during the musical numbers.^^ In a similar vein, he points out that the opéra comique La Table et le Logement seems peopled with a vast assortment of innkeepers, scullery maids and guests all of whom just happen to be amateur musicians, and all of whom are willing to give throat to their personal musical ambitions by singing chansons, cavatinas and even arie di bravura for the benefit of any other character on stage, while the audience sits observing this series of improvised concerts. But none of this is dramatic in the slightest, since "la musique veut de l'action et des situations. "29 26. Débats {S March 1823): 2. 27. De l'Opéra, I, pp. 48-49. 28. Débats (9 November 1829): 2. 29. Débats{2% December 1829): 2.  Castil-Blaze finds diluted dramatic force to be most systematically in evidence when the principal characters are not even human, as in the older generation of opera plots that revolved around the amatory and career activities of deities,  and in the more recent fashion  for operas based on féeriep\ots such as Aladrn, ou la Lampe merveilleuse?^ Dramatic interest, then, must be strong, but it must not merely be presented in isolated scenes, it must be maintained between them, and in this regard Castil-Blaze notes that many a Ubrettist who can invent good musical scenes for inclusion in an opera cannot find a way of "sewing them together" in a way that provides force dramatique to the whole. The libretto for ZingarelU's Romeo e Giulietta, for example, despite the considerable scenic potential in the story line described above, disintegrates into a series of disjointed scenes with only their function as occasions for music to recommend them. Ce libretto appartient à l'ancienne école, et n'est qu'une série de scènes décousues, dans lesquelles on retrouve néanmoins la danse, la noce, le rendez-vous, le double empoisonnement, et la scène des tombeaux.... La musique de ZingarelU est belle; mais comme le poëme a été disposé seulement pour amener des airs et des duo, [sic] l'intérêt dramatique est absoliunent nul, et ce défaut influe singulièrement sur les résultats musicaux.^^ 30. "Le spectateur est toujours tranquille sur le sort d'une divinité; il compte sur sa toute-puissance: on ne s'attache point à un être qui ne peut jamais se trouver en danger, et qui, d'un coup de baguette, change un cachot affreux en un jardin délicieux, en un palais étincelant d'or et de pierreries." De l'Opéra,!, p. 9A. 31. "L'intérêt des situations ne peut marcher de front avec la magie, dès qu'un héros de roman ou d'opéra se montre armé d'une baguette, d'un anneau, d'une clochette, d'une lampe, d'un pied de mouton, ou même d'une queue de lapin : on est tranquille sur son sort. Il peut bravement exposer sa vie, prodiguer ses trésors, défier les enfers, pourfendre ses rivaux, faire la cour aux beautés les plus inhumaines. La queue de lapin est là, et l'on sait que son heureux possesseur ne mourra pas, que ses rivaux auront un pied de nez, que les belles s'apprivoiseront, que de nouveaux sequins de cuivre succéderont à ceux qu'il a jetés par les fenêtres, que l'enfer en sera pour ses frais d'esprit et de gaz, et qu'au dénoûment le cachot affreux qui rembrunit la scène sera changé en un palais resplendissant d'or et de diamans. Tel est à peu près le cadre de toutes nos féeries; beaucoup d'auteurs ont réussi dans ce genre facile que le machiniste et le décorateur soutiennent." Débats (16 May 1822): 1-2. Nicolo Isouard's Aladin, ou la Lampe merveilleuse déhuted at the Opéra on 2 June 1822, and featured many new innovations in set décor, including the first theatrical use of gas lighting in France. 32. Débats{\ September 1821): 1, 2. Similarly, the libretto for Meyerbeer's Medea in Corinto exploits well the couleur musicale OÎ the subject, but at the expense of the strong dramatic material inherent in the story: "Le sujet de Méc/eeconvient admirablement à la scène lyrique; l'expression des  The question raised here is not just that of scattered scene structure disorienting the audience, but also that of the very important concept oi invraisemblance. As energetic a proponent of Italian operatic practice as he was, and despite the allowances he was willing to grant the libretto for the sake of creating musical interest, he remained doggedly French in his insistence on veracity of presentation. The most forceful of plots is undercut immediately when the characters begin to act illogically or appear to be the mere puppets of a complacent librettist cynically .setting up his series of required musical numbers. The third quality of the libretto plot, apart from its general suitability for musical setting and the dramatic force linking its scenes, is an overall pattern of contrast and variety that characterizes its musical shape as a whole. Once again, Castil-Blaze stresses the link that he believes to exist between the libretto and the score: contrasts of mood, tone and rhythm on the aural surface of a work all have their origins in the librettist's conception at the structural level, where scenic action must be planned in such a way as to imply varied and contrasting realization in music. ... cet art si puissant et si séducteur ne sauroit se passer de contrastes. Il faut que le poète prépare des situations et les combine assez adroitement pour que le dessin musical ait cette variété de couleurs, de rhythmes, d'effets, qui soutient l'intérêt, éveille l'attention et attache l'auditeur.^'* sentimens tendres et des passions exaspérées, des mystères magiques, une cérémonie nuptiale, tout cela porte un grand caractère et présente des contrastes bien favorables pour l'art musical. Le poëte italien n'a pourtant pas fait une bonne pièce; les situations fortes et dramatiques s'y trouvent, mais elles sont amenées par des scènes décousues. On nous fait passer d'un palais dans un temple, pour nous conduire ensuite au fond d'un souterrain, dans une prison, dans un palais, et nous laisser ensuite sur le bord de la mer. On auroit pu nous épargner une partie de ces voyages. " Débats{\b January 1823): 2. 33. Romeo's random promenades on and off the stage in the first act of the Zingarelli work is a good example: "On se demande pourquoi le jeune Montaigu brave mille morts en revenant dans les lieux où il a couru tant de dangers. Est-ce pour voir Juliette? Il vient de la quitter. Est-ce pour défier Capulet? Us se sont rencontrés tout à l'heure, et ils ont eu assez de philosophie pour contenir leur ressentiment. Est-ce pour combattre et vaincre son rival que le chevalier Roméo entre si fièrement sur la scène? Non, sans doute, c'e.st tout bonnement pour chanter un air de Ro.ssini en sol majeur: cela fait, il se retire, comme si personne ne l'avoit vu ni entendu." Débats (1 September 1821): 2.  What this means concretely is that the librettist must be able to think through his sequence of scenes in terms of the taxonomy of stage emotions long sanctioned in the lyric theatre — prayer scenes, scenes of terror, of tenderness, of despair, etc. — so that the composer will be stimulated to create deep and moving instances of these stereotypes in his own mould. The librettist must imagine himself to be working for a composer eager to display the full range of his art, a composer such as Dalayrac who, Castil-Blaze imagines, when told he is to set the story of Camille, can already imagine what he will do when the librettist gives him the varied scenes that will be chosen for setting: A merveille! s'écrie Dalayrac, c'est ce que je vous demandois depuis long-temps, je voulois un cadre propre à recevoir des tableaux nombreux et variés, voilà ce qu'il me faut. Les prières, les craintes, la tendresse maternelle, le désespoir de Camille vont m'inspirer des airs grandioses et touchans. Je pourrai composer im beau cantabile, un largo plein de candeur et de suavité ...^^ Castil-Blaze warns that if a librettist fails to achieve this overview of the work in his planning, if he fails to consider the relationship between pressing dramatic action and varied musical expression, then regardless of the inherent strength of the individual scenes that he might have chosen, his work will risk an overall uniformity that will eventually wear on his audience, and work to the detriment of whatever dramatic interest he might create. The libretto of Berton's Virginie, mentioned above for its enormous dramatic potential, stands as an example of just this sort of danger. Given the types of emotions that the librettist is asking the compo.ser to set in music, he ought to realize that in the dramatic structure he is creating, an overly uniform musical surface will result: II faut faire en sorte qu'un air de désespoir ne succède point à un air de fureur, et qu'un duo fortement agité ne soit point précédé et suivi par un morceau du même caractère. L'uniformité de sentiment se fait trop remarquer dans Virginie, presque tous les airs de cet opéra sont consacrés à l'expression de la menace, de la colère ou du désespoir. On sait que les cadres de 1'agitato sont peu variés, le mode en est le 35. Débats(30 October 1821): 2. As we shall see in the following chapter, Dalayrac does not get his wish in this regard. He has yet to meet up with the trammelling traditions of the Opéra-Comique.  plus souvent mineur, les tours, les formes, les figures de ces sortes de morceaux ont toujours un air de famille avec tout ce que l'on connoît en ce genre. Plusieurs airs de ce genre placés à la file doivent se nuire mutuellement.^^ The problem of uniformity of musical character is one to which Castil-Blaze is very alive, and one which he points out frequently, in both serious works such as Bellini's IJ Pirata,^'' and in comic works such as Auber's Le Dieu et la Bayadère^^ and Prosper's François 1er à Chambord?'^ It represents to him still another way in which French librettists are not yet considering opera seriously from the point of view of the composing musician; or if so, have not filled out their vision of it to encompass its full range of expressive possibilities. The criteria by which Castil-Blaze judges works for the lyric stage — the musicality of its setting and general theme, the directness and momentum of its action, and the variety of musical expression to which it gives rise — each reflect in some way how the musical surface of an opera is rooted in the c/îû?n? provided by the librettist. By applying them to opera in the way in which he did, he contributed to defining opera as a separate genre with a separate range of subject matter appropriate to it, and a separate set of criteria forjudging that subject matter.  36. Z ¥ t o 5 ( 1 6 J u n e 1823): 3. 37. "Le drame du Pirata est sérieux d'un bout à l'autre. Le choeur bachique présente seul un contraste sur cette couleur sombre adoptée par l'auteur du livret qui aurait pu donner plus de variété aux scènes de sa pièce sans abandonner le caractère de son sujet." Débats(5 February 1832): 2. 38. "Le sujet de l'opéra nouveau était difficile à traiter pour le musicien, l'uniformité des sentimens, du caractère des airs de chant et de danse, la couleur orientale qu'il fallait leur donner, le retour forcé des mêmes rhythmes, l'emploi des mêmes moyens ont enfermé M . Auber dans un cercle dont il ne pouvait guère se tirer sans se faire quelques empnmts." Oébats (15 October 1830): 2. 39. "Les défauts du livret ont porté leur funeste influence sur la musique. M . Prosper nous a donné des mélodies agréables, traitées avec talent; son style a de la facilité, de la grâce, mais l'uniformité du sujet lui a fait employer trop souvent les mêmes ressources musicales." Débats(l9 March 1830): 2.  Distribution of Roles and Music Castil-Blaze indicates that with a musical setting in place, a dramatic action pressing ever onward, and a variety of hiraian emotions unfolding upon the stage, the librettist can still create a highly defective cadre ïor the composer if musical interest is spread thinly or awkwardly over the dramatic material created. Grétry's La Caravaneg^ves an example of how this is possible: La Caravane est tme assez mauvaise pièce, dont on auroit pu faire un excellent livret d'opéra. Tableaux superbes et variés, agrémens de la danse, éclat des costumes, décorations pittoresques, situations dramatiques et musicales, l'auteur a su réunir sans effort tous ces divers moyens dans un même cadre. Ce n'est pourtant qu'une ébauche sous le rapport de l'intérêt et des effets de la musique ... L'ensemble de la Caravane est excellent, mais l'intérêt musical est trop divisé. Sur dix rôles on n'en trouve pas un qui soit réellement bon.^ The distribution of music over the dramatic canvases drawn up by librettists was not a matter that had been given systematic attention in France. Castil-Blaze suggested that it was time for that to change. He urged Ubrettists to use the variables available to them — the amount of music given to each character role, the munber of available vocal timbres, and the different compositional textures available (solo vs ensemble) — to create a musical structure that parallels the dramatic structure in its pattern of interest and intensity. In so doing, he was extending the principle of variety in subject matter to include the larger dimension of character portrayal and scene complexity. The parallel structure that he envisaged would tend to be characterized by the following relationships between dramatic elements and musical resources: 1) the characters of greatest dramatic interest would receive the most important and demanding musical roles, with the greatest amount of material to sing;  40, Z¥/7a/5(14 September 1827): 1, 3.  2) the pattern of contrasting dramatic roles in the drama would be matched by a parallel pattern of contrasting vocal timbres; 3) the headlong thrust of the work's force dramatjque should be matched by a corresponding gathering of intensity in each act, progressing from solos, to duos, to larger ensembles, with each act crowned by an elaborate ensemble finale. The problem of the distribution of interest between roles was a difficult one in French opera. This was so in part because in the early part of the nineteenth century solo singers of quality were rare in France, and thus there came little pressure from this quarter for musical roles of real substance to be created; and in part because many older works, with their irregular musical casts and motley of musical dressing were still in the repertoire setting an example by their prestige. Older works such as Grétry's La Caravane, mentioned above, and Méhul's L^e Fo/Ze displayed the inherent problems of much of this repertoire: many important dramatic characters did not have sufficiently important amounts of material to sing, and often musical interest was divided between too many characters, creating no major roles for any one of them.'*' But Castil-Blaze criticized many newer works as well for the skimpy musical dressing which they attached to their principal characters, e.g., Boieldieu's Les Deux NuJt^^ and Weber's Oberon.^^ Equally lopsided and harmful to the overall pattern was the occasional practice of concentrating musical interest in too few characters. Conradin  41. "La musique de ce maître [i.e., Méhul] commence à n'être plus en rapport avec le nouveau style; les scènes de dialogue sont d'une longueur démesurée, dans Une Folie; quatre rôles, ceux de Cerberti, de Francisque, de Jaquinet, d'Armantine, sont tout à fait nuls sous le rapport musical. Florival et Carlin ont chacun un air à chanter, et prennent leur part de l'unique duo que l'on rencontre dans cet opéra." Débats{21 September 1828): 2. 42. Concerning Boieldieu's Les Deux Nuits, he writes: "Mais comment peut-on s'intéresser à une héroïne qui ne paraît que dans deux scènes, parmi lesquelles il faut compter celle du dénoûment, où son rôle se borne à quelques mots? [...] Je voudrais seulement que la partie du dialogue fût considérablement abrégée et que l'on eût donné plus d'importance musicale aux rôles principaux. Malvina devrait chanter au moins un air." Débats{22 May 1829): 2. 43. "Comme beaucoup de livrets allemands, Obéron a le défaut d'employer un trop grand nombre d'acteurs pour remplir des rôles secondaires qui occupent la scène en pure perte, dégarnissent les rangs des choristes, et portent un préjudice notable aux principaux personnages que l'on ne voit pas assez souvent. Cette abondance d'acteurs est plus que stérile, elle nuit à l'ensemble d'un ouvrage." Débats{21 May 1830): 2.  Kreutzer's Cordeha, for example, is a strong performance vehicle for the principal character of the same name. But this too, Castil-Blaze warns, brings its own dangers: the audience will soon tire of continually hearing the same vocal colour, and the singer herself will soon tire from the strain of so much singing.'^^ What Castil-Blaze wishes to see in the distribution of music throughout the cast, is a degree of musical interest given to the principal characters that matches their dramatic interest. Most frustrating to him was the iocreasing occurrence in opera libretti of characters for whom no music was written at all, who filled merely acting roles. In the past, this practice had been adopted by complacent composers to deal with the situation where a leading actress possessed of good looks and superior acting ability — and therefore indispensable for attracting audiences — was either ill-inclined or perhaps not even able to sing. In such cases composers would simply create a non-singing role. With the advances in professional music education that were occiuring in France in the early nineteenth century, this problem might well have solved itself over time were it not for a new and, from Castil-Blaze's point of view, more pernicious problem that had recently arisen. There emerged on the French stage of the Restoration a strong vogue for mute characters, characters whose entire role was confined to animated gesturing. The interpretation of this gesturing would be parroted to the audience by other characters on stage musing aloud on what the mute character in their midst must be trying to say. Among the best known of these was Fenella, in Auber's La Muette dePortici (1828).  44. "Telle est l'action de ce mélodrame, où la scène est sans cesse occupée par un seul personnage et le chœur. Ce genre de composition a besoin d'être soutenu par un talent supérieur d'exécution : c'est l'acteur qui fait la pièce; et, malgré ce précieux, cet indispensable secours, il est bien difficile qu'un seul personnage intéresse toujours, et qu'une situation si long-temps prolongée ne fatigue pas l'acteur et l'auditoire. Les meilleurs efforts se détruisent les uns les autres, les sensations deviennent moins vives à mesure que l'on approche du dénouement, et la force physique du comédien et du chanteur n'est pas telle qu'il puisse conduire son cre«3t?/7c/<7 ju.squ'à la fin, sans employer des moyens déjà employés, et sans nous faire entendre ce que nous avons déjà entendu." Débats (10 June 1830): 1.  Such characters, invariably young women, were strong centres of attraction for the audience's sympathy, and their presence on stage is a natural outgrowth of the development and increasing influence of the mélodrame in French theatre. What concerned Castil-Blaze about this trend was that their incorporation into the dramatic fabric of an opera was directly at odds with the defined strength of the genre to convey dramatic expression by musical means. By incorporating a character of some dramatic weight whose only means of communication is visual rather than musical, the Ubrettist creates a small mime show in the middle of an opera. This obviously removes one character from potential involvement in the ensembles, depleting the musical drama of precious harmonic resources and inevitably blunting its impact as music. As he points out, with much irony, but not much real understatement: De toutes les infirmités humaines, la moins favorable pour un oeuvre de chant est sans contredit le mutisme. Il semble que nos faiseurs de livrets auraient dû penser à la nulUté d'un semblable personnage figurant parmi des chanteurs; ils auraient dû prévoir que ce mime devait porter le désordre et, ce qui est encore pire, la langueur dans tous les morceaux d'ensemble exécutés en sa présence; qu'il devait désorganiser un quatuor, faire boiter un trio, éborgner tous les duos.... mais nos auteurs, charmés de leur trouvaille, ont pensé que le public s'amuserait beaucoup du silence d'une actrice et des interprétations, des commentaires obligés que les acteurs parlant sont forcés d'adresser au public pour l'intelligence du drame."*^ The warmth of his language on this subject, with its images of incapacity and mutilation ("faire boiter un trio, éborgner tous les duos"), indicates just how strongly felt are his views. A deaf mute in an opera was for Castil-Blaze like a large patch of bare canvas in the middle of a painting where the artist had refused to paint — and what is worse, a spot to which all the characters portrayed in the rest of the painting seem to be pointing and addressing their attention. It represents to him the worst abdication of artistic responsibility — the responsibility to create drama in music and not in another meditun — and it represents to  him a threat to the operatic genre itself. In ridiculing this practice, he indicates that this type of genre-destroying procedure would never even have been considered by so musical a people as the Italians: Jamais un hnpressario de Naples ou de Milan s'est-il avisé de dire à ses abonnés : « Messieurs, pour vous offrir une chose nouvelle et digne de votre suffrage, j'aurai cette année une prhna donna qui ne dira rien; aucun son mélodieux, énergique ou badin ne sortira de sa bouche, non clamabjt in gutture suo; tWe sera sans reproche sous le rapport de l'intonation. Cette honnête et discrète personne sera secondée par des acteurs subalternes que vous n'écoutez jamais; veuillez bien leur prêter une oreille attentive et déroger ainsi à l'usage établi, si vous êtes curieux d'apprendre ce que notre muette ne saurait vous expliquer."*^ Castil-Blaze was hardly more indulgent towards the fashion, appearing just shortly afterwards, for sleepwalking characters. These quasi-pantomime roles were only slightly more adapted to opera, in that they were indeed singing parts, but parts which could not be both dramatic and musical to the same degree. On the spoken stages these types of roles might be characterized by means of altering the voice to create a different quality of sound, but this technique cotxld not work while singing. The result is that the character of sorruiambulism impUcit in the role could not be conveyed musically, and thus Castil-Blaze concluded that sleepwalking disorders were entirely inappropriate for characters in an opera. The quaUty and number of major roles created by the Ubrettist is of concern to CastilBlaze because of its implications for the composer's ability to create large-scale patterns of musical contrast and momentum. The decision as to which exact voice type is to be assigned to which role is ultimately up to the composer (as will be discussed in the following chapter), but the broad pattern — the number of characters, the proportion of women's voices to 46. Ibid 47. "Cette somnambule ne devrait pas chanter pendant son sommeil comme elle chante quand elle est éveillée. On se souvient que Mme Perrin parlait d'une manière mystérieuse dans les scènes de sommeil d'une autre somnambule; mais ces modifications de la voix parlante ne peuvent pas être employées et pratiquées dans le chant. Mme Pasta prend l'attitude et la démarche d'une dormeuse, son oeil est fixe, mais sa voix est aussi éveillée que celle du pinçon ou de la linotte qui voltigent dans les bosquets au lever du soleil." Débats(2% October 1831): 2.  men's voices — is determined by the Hbrettist, and this pattern itself, broad as it is, has important ramifications for the abihty of the composer to give an interesting overall musical shape to an opera.'*^ At a broader level of regularity, even supposing that sufficiently musical roles were provided by the librettist, Castil-Blaze makes clear that the librettist must still take care that the vocal timbres likely to be used are well spread out, and that solo numbers alternate effectively with ensembles. Ensembles were an extremely important part of opera to Castil-Blaze. They represented a way for the composer to add variety to his overall musical design in the opera while still following closely the direction of the drama.^^ A n important guiding principle in his thinking was that each act should develop from a series of solos through an increasingly frequent occurrence of ensembles in a pattern of continuously motmting musical excitement that parallels the dramatic excitement of the plot. Each act, apart from the last, should cubninate in a finale ensemble of unresolved conflict where the drama is at its most multi-dimensional state: Un drame lyrique doit être conçu et disposé de manière que les effets de la musique soient contrastés et ménagés avec artifice afin que leur progression soit toujours croissante jusqu'à la fin.^^ In the passage which follows, he indicates just what kinds of adjustments the librettist must be prepared to make in order to assure that this large-scale pattern occurs: II faut songer à réunir trois acteurs pour former un trio, renoncer à une scène de comédie si elle devoit se terminer par un air de tenor comme celle qui l'a précédée. Il 48. "Je n'hésiterais point à refuser de mettre en musique un opéra dont l'intrigue roulerait sur deux ou trois personnages seulement... Le moyen de composer un quatuor, si l'on n'a que deux ou trois acteurs à faire chanter? Comment introduire de beaux contrastes dans un ensemble où vous ne pouvez employer que des voix de femme?" De l'Opéra, I, pp. 54-55. 49. "Les morceaux d'ensemble, les finales habilement dessinés, donnent plus de force à l'action sans retarder sa marche : c'est là surtout que le compositeur peut varier ses couleurs, suivant le caractère des personnages introduits sur la scène, ou la diversité des événemens." De l'Opéra, I, p. 49.  faut nécessairement que la princesse donne un rendez-vous à son chevalier, si le duo favori, le duo obligé entre le dessus et le tenor, ne peut avoir lieu d'une autre manière. Tout cela se conciliera avec la marche de l'intrigue d'un opéra, si l'auteur du poëme a quelques connoissances ou seulement quelques intentions musicales. L'opposition des masses d'harmonie vocale, le rassemblement progressif des personnages pour le finale, un chœur d'hommes accompagnant un solo de contralte ou de dessus, un air de basse coupé par un chœur de femmes, sont des choses nécessaires pour le succès d'un opéra, nos poètes ne s'en occupent point du tout et montrent peu de sollicitude pour le résultat de l'œuvre du musicien, But none of this is possible if the librettist does not try consciously to create it. The librettist is thus, in Castil-Blaze's view, a dramatist who thinks not just dramatically, but musico-dramatically. He must be able to manipulate both dramatic and musical variables simultaneously to ensure the composer the widest possible freedom in exploiting the resources of music. The librettist's aim is to help the composer to create a brillant and varied aural surface, while still creating an underlying dramatic structure that justifies and necessitates the use of these musical resources. This is a delicate balancing act for the writer, but an extraordinarily important one, since, in Castil-Blaze's view, it is this multi-dimen.sional structure that defines opera as a distinct genre, and his defence of the operatic genre so-defined is a central recurring theme in his criticism. This music-biased criterion for excellence in libretto construction collided most heavily and most frequently with the repertoire of the Opéra-Comique, where the precedence of the writer's dialogue or the performer's acting over the composer's score had long been an accepted traditional characteristic of the repertoire. The type of musical apparatus needed to shape this large-scale momentum, biiilding from small to larger musical resoxxrces, was often little in evidence in most opéras comiques, where simple hummable ditties were the order of the day, and few ensembles of much sophistication could be heard. Castil-Blaze therefore easily waxed impatient over the dearth of musical resources that precluded any attempt at large-scale shaping in works such as La Maison isolée: 51. Ibid  La musique n'est introduite dans cette pièce que pour le from, from, les brr d'usage pour l'entrée des voleurs: deux chansons, un air, un fragment de duo, im simulacre de quatuor, du reste point de rôle saillant.-''^ But at the same time, he distributed lavish praise when he found real operatic thinking on the part of a comic librettist, as he did when reviewing Prosper's L'Hôtel des Princesr. Airs, duos, trio, morceau d'ensemble concerté; choeurs, tout cela se rencontre dans XHôtel des Princes, ce n'est point une comédie à chansons, im vaudeville du genre de ceux de Feydeau, mais un opéra complet.^^ Many of the works of the older serious repertoire still playing in Paris, were considered by Castil-Blaze to show as few signs of the large-scale disposition of musical resources as they showed concentration m solo roles. Beaumarchais & Salieri's Tarare, which debuted in 1787, for example, and was still performed until 1826, represents an example of the type of "cadre trop rétréci" (overly cramped frame) in the operas that still found a place on the major lyric stages of Paris during the Restoration.  C'est une longue et monotone déclamation coupée par des airs brillans et pompeux, mais d'un cadre trop rétréci. U n duo fort court, quelques phrases en quatuor : voilà tous les groupes musicaux que l'on rencontre dans l'œuvre de Salieri.... Le chœur offre des masses imposantes et de grands effets, il ne peut cependant suppléer le morceau d'ensemble et encore moins le finale.^'* Even large modem works, representing m other ways the most modern advances in opera production, are also criticized by Castil-Blaze for not using the largeness of their scale to full musical advantage, for being large-scale and modem in set décor and length only, not in full52. Débats (29 August 1827): 2. Castil-Blaze's references to "le from, from, les ôrrd'usage" are meant to point out the roots of this music in the vaudeville, where onomatopoeic imitations of drums and trumpet fanfares were common stylistic traits of the refrain (see Chapter 1, p. 19). This is but one instance of the general irritability which he displayed in the face of what he believed to be the continuing vaudevillisation of the opéra comique genre. 53. Débats  (25 April 1831): 2.  ness of musical realization. Nicolo's Aladin, ou la Lampe merveilleuse (1^22) is but one example: Castil-Blaze complains that it offers little more than a succession of solos and choruses, without any concern for building up musical interest by means of increasingly complex ensemble groupings.^^ On the other hand, Scribe's libretto for Meyerbeer's Robert-leDiable offers an example of the successful application of the principle of steadily mounting excitement in libretto design. It is noteworthy that a purposeful variety of textures is the aim, according to CastilBlaze, not simply a maximum of ensembles. Indeed it was certainly possible to have too many ensembles, as Castil-Blaze finds in many operas and opéras comiques produced during the 1790s, when the revolutionary fervour of the times tended to encourage scenes of group action and de-emphasized somewhat the prominence of solo roles. Cherubini's Les Deux Journées {\191) is an example of this tendency, a work just as "unbalanced" in its use of ensembles as an opera consisting of solo arias only. Castil-Blaze complains that the flaws in its musical character are fundamental, and directly traceable to the hbrettist's preoccupation with grouping characters dramatically instead of separating them musically. Quant au deuxième acte, il étoit impossible de le rendre plus régulier sous le rapport musical, l'action dramatique s'y oppose. La scène est trop long-temps et trop souvent occupée par des personnages subalternes, tels que les officiers et les soldats, c'est un défaut essentiel dans une pièce.  55, "La Lampe merveilleuse est un beau sujet pour le compositeur, mais il est mal disposé pour la musique : on n'y trouve qu'un seul trio, l'ébauche de deux duos, et point de finales. Quatorze airs et quatorze chœurs forment la chaîne trop uniforme des morceaux de chant. Au lieu de ces ensembles intrigués, de ces débats d'une gradation croissante que nous offre le finale; au lieu de ces groupes harmonieux diversement caractérisés qui précèdent un brillante péroraison, notre oreille est sans cesse battue par le piano des solos ou le fortissimo du chœur : point de demi-teintes. Une telle uniformité de cadres est désagréable pour l'auditoire : elle a dû nécessairement enchaîner le talent du musicien." Débats (16 May 1822): 2. 56, "Si les situations ne sont pas toutes également favorables, elles offrent du moins une gradation croissante, et qui donne à la musique un crescendo àe vigueur et de vivacité qui entraine, à partir du troisième acte jusqu'à la fin," Débats (23 November 1831):3,  Castil-Blaze's view of the distribution of musical resources throughout the libretto quite naturally parallels his view of the ideal type and disposition of subject matter within it, since these two dimensions of libretto construction are regarded by him as complementary. The requirement that an opera have a subject matter suitable for musical setting presupposes that it will also have a sufficient number of major roles to tell the story fxilly in music. The variety in emotions to be built into the dramatic structure is matched by the variety in vocal timbres and textures that will communicate these emotions musically. The driving dramatic force of the plot itself is parallelled at the level of musical structure in the increasing musical complexity of the scenes as the work approaches the end of each act. There remains as well one further level of large-scale libretto construction that CastilBlaze considered an important consideration in judging an opera libretto: that of its act and scene structure and the implications that this structure has for the patterns of variety and driving dramatic force already discussed.  Division into Acts and Scenes Castil-Blaze's critical writing shows his awareness that the formal disposition of the l i bretto into acts and scenes, referred to as its coupe ("cut"), has hnplications as well for the musical character of the resulting work. A coupe heureuse, or favourable disposition into scenes and acts, in his view would involve two characteristics: 1) a regularly proportioned alternation of lyrical and plot-advancing scenes as the structural basis for each act; and 2) a multi-act, (i.e., not single-act) structure for the work as a whole. The clean division into lyrical sections of chant Figuré ané plot-advancing sections of recitative was hardly a new or progressive idea in libretto construction. It had been the latent or explicit pattern in Italian opera virtually since its inception in the early seventeenth  century. But newness was not the issue for Castil-Blaze: he was not concerned with revolutionizing the dramatic structure in opera in all its particulars, but rather in stabilizing it in the proper form, in order that the composer might have a recognizable and workable framework into which to integrate his musical score. Castil-Blaze considered that the regularity of this "stop-and-start" structure of aria-recitative alternation provided a useful structural underpinning for opera for three reasons, which he explained in his review of Nicolo Isouard's Aladin, ou la Lampe merveilleuse m 1822.^^ First of all, he approves of the way in which this structure contributes to creating an overall pattern of musical variety while providing a well-defined place for the composer's best efforts. The intervention of recitative has the musical function of isolating and setting off each lyric section, whetting the audience's appetite for the next aria or ensemble. Operas in which either of these two elements occupy the stage for too long a stretch of time he considers to be unbalanced and unmusical. His objection to the traditional French tragédie lyrique is, rooted in the excessively long stretches of recitative that destroy its musical balance. Quinault might have been a great poet and dramatist, he concedes, but he had very little to offer the composer, and thus could not be classed as a great librettist. Cet auteur s'est montré poëte, il est vrai, mais les beautés de son style sont toutes étrangères au genre qu'il avoit adopté. Armide, Proserpine, Roland renferment de magnifiques dithyrambes; la grande scène é'Atysesi un chef-d'œuvre sous le rapport de la conduite, de l'exécution et des pensées. Toutes ces belles choses sont parfaitement inutiles pour le musicien qui ne peut les employer qu'en récitatif toujours trop long pour les acteurs qu'il fatigue en pure perte, et surtout pour le public condamné à les entendre.59  58. The following comments are taken from Castil-Blaze's review of this opera in Débats(\6 1822): 1-4. 59. Débals (14 September 1825): 3.  May  Nicolo, the composer of Aladin, is criticized as well for weakening the built-in contrast which the clean aria-recitative alternation provides. Nicolo's fault lies in making the recitative, normally the least interesting section of a work, far too interesting by introducing une infinité de petites cavatines, des phrases mesurées, des traits de chant soutenus par l'orchestre soumis aux figures d'un accompagnement régulier which only serve to blunt the contrast with the more strictly regular musical numbers.^^ But Castil-Blaze's objection to this procedure is motivated by a second reason, one which is central to his view of the value of recitative in general. He argues that given the musical intensity of the lyric sections, with their word-distorting melismas, a section of musical texture suitable for declaiming the explanatory details of the plot is absolutely necessary if the opera is to be intelligible, and this texture must be as clean and transparent to the meaning of the words as the lyrical sections are coloured and impenetrable. Les choses d'action et de récit doivent être saisies sans peine par tous les spectateurs; les ornemens du chant, la lenteur du mouvement, exciteront leur impatience en mettant un obstacle au désir qu'ils ont d'être instruits de ce qui s'est passé et de ce qui se prépare... Mon cœur palpite, de crainte il s'agite, je le sais, je le vois, allez votre train; je serai toujours assez instruit sur ce point. Mais parlez clairement, sans lenteur, sans précipitation, parlez seul et sans accompagnement, quand vous me direz qu'un homme prêt à périr dans les eaux vous a donné ime lampe, et que vous me ferez connoître les vertus de ce talisman et les circonstances qui peuvent vous l'enlever. Il ne faut ici ni roulades, ni sons filés, ni accompagnement figuré : mais un récitatif bien simple, bien clair, bien dégradé, qu'on me permette ce mot. Cette simplicité nécessaire pour mettre les paroles à découvert devient indispensable sous le rapport de l'effet musical, afin de produire des contrastes et de ménager adroitement l'arrivée d'un air  60, Débats (16 May 1822): 3. Unbalanced lyrical excess is found to be a problem in Prosper's François 1er à Cliambord as well: "La plus grande partie des airs et des chœurs de François 1er à Chambord, se chantent au repos, et comme l'action n'avance pas, la partie active de la musique, le récitatif, ne s'y montre presque point. Deux, trois et même quatre morceaux de musique s'enchaînent l'un à l'autre sans l'intervention du récitatif. Cette suite de chants mesurés fait que ces morceaux se nuisent mutuellement. La déclamation lyrique est parfois ennuyeuse, je le sais, mais sa monotonie ajoute au charme de l'air qu'elle précède, c'est la bordure du tableau." Débats (19 March 1830): 2.  pathétique ou d'un chœur brillant de grâce et de mélodie dont le résultat harmonieux sera bien senti après l'aridité du récitatif.^' Implicit in his reasoning is his often stated principle that an audience cannot be expected to concentrate on two things at the same time, and that in structuring an opera one must take into account the difference between an audience's emotional response to music and its intellectual response to the semantic content of the words.^^ As we will see in the following section of this chapter, this principle has important implications for the nature of the lyric text in general. Castil-Blaze's third reason for favouring the regular alteration of lyrical and recitative sections is unabashedly practical: the consideration that the singers need some time to rest their voices from the labours of expressive singing.  A n example of this problem is found in  the second act of Rossini's Otello, which Castil-Blaze criticizes for its succession of lyrically intense scenes without intervening recitative. The problem that he sees with this section of the opera relates not only to its overly rich uniformity of intensity, but principally because it gives the singers little chance to catch their breath.^"*  61. IMbats (16 May 1822): 3-4. 62. "L'attention ne peut se fixer en même temps sur deux objets également intéressans : après la musique, on écoute les paroles, pour revenir ensuite à la musique. S'il n'y a ni paroles ni musique pour rendre une pièce attachante, on a recours alors aux décorations, et l'œil se promène avec agrément sur les tableaux de ce panorama dramatique, jusqu'au moment où le tourment qu'éprouve l'oreille ne peut plus être supporté." Débats (2 May 1822): 4 Also: "L'attention ne peut se fixer en même temps sur deux objets également intéressans : après la musique, on écoute les paroles, pour revenir ensuite à la musique." Débats (2 May 1823): 4. 63. "D'ailleurs il faut songer aux chanteurs : s'ilsfilentles notes et posent la voix quand ils devroient se borner à la simple déclamation, leur organe s'en ressentira pendant l'air ou le duo d'apparat; s'ils ont chanté le récitatif, ils seront forcés de déclamer le chant : les amateurs n'admettront jamais cette compensation." Débats(16 May 1822): 4. 64. "Le second acte d'O/eZfoest disposé d'une manière peu favorable pour les deux principaux rôles; les scènes fortes s'y trouvent enchaînées, et les morceaux d'une expression outrée arrivent l'un sur l'autre sans que l'acteur ait le temps de se reconnoitre ... Une succession si rapide ajoute à nos plaisirs sans doute; mais elle augmente prodigieusement les difficultés que les chanteurs ont à vaincre avec des moyens que la fatigue a pu affoiblir." Débats (19 April 1828): 1.  For Castil-Blaze then, there was no question of continuous drama. The stop-and-start pattern accepted in the eighteenth century is merely adapted for use in the early nineteenth century without objection to its basic premise of a clear division between sections that advance the plot and those that express emotional reaction to it. While a third type of scene, in which stage action occurs in tandem with musical interest — i.e., in declamation-style delivery in the voices against musical interest in the orchestra — is well recognized by him, and indeed described in detail in his chapter entitled "Du chant instrumental" in De l'Opéra en France, it does not seem to figure strongly in his criticism of the libretto. This is very likely because the relationship between the libretto and music in such scenes is not one in which the Ubrettist's decisions affect the composer's range of options. At the act-level division of the libretto structure, Castil-Blaze's concern for creating a cadre large enough for the composer to display the full range of his powers leads him to insist that an opera must have at least two acts, preferably three, and no more than four. C'est la coupe la plus favorable pour l'opéra sérieux et l'opéra comique. Le premier acte sert à l'exposition et aux développemens; l'action se lie fortement au second, et se dénoue au troisième. Si des raisons puissantes obligent le poëte à agrandir ou a resserrer son dessin, il peut ajouter ou supprimer un acte: je voudrais, cependant, qu'il s'en tint là. U n opéra en quatre actes est déjà trop long; conmient soutenir l'intérêt, alimenter la curiosité, et prévenir l'ennui, si on étend l'ouvrage jusqu'à cinq'.^^ The dramatic pattern presented by the one-act opera, especially common in the repertoire of the Opéra-Comique,^^ was repeatedly characterized by Castil-Blaze as "essentiellement vicieux sous le rapport musical" because it does not allow enough scope to create the large-scale patterns of contrast and variety that he believes are the property of the operatic 65. De l'Opéra, I, p. 52. 66. This theatre regularly featured three one-act opéra comiques per evening. Gabriele Buschmeier indicates that the majority of opéras comiques in the repertoire up to 1813 were in one act, and that the percentage was only slightly less in the Restoration period. Gabriele Buschmeier, op. at.. p. 167.  genre.^' He believes that there is simply not enough time to get to know the characters, and to delineate their personalities in music, and that the relationship between music and storyline cannot have the proper relative proportions.^^ Most important of all, the one-act coupe does not allow the composer to write the crowning piece of any opera, its first-act finale, where the power of music to coordinate conflicting dramatic emotions into a single musical texture gives the most impressive evidence for opera's uniqueness as a genre. His review of the one-act opéra comique Les Petits Appartemens occasions the following comments which summarize his views in this regard. Une pièce en un acte ne peut jamais devenir un bon opéra: le cadre est trop petit, pour que l'auteur ait le temps et les moyens de rassembler et de séparer ses personnages, afin de former des groupes musicaux variés, sous le rapport du nombre des voix et du caractère de la mélodie. Un acte ne peut donner qu'un vaudeville ou une comédie à ariettes, ces deux genres sont aussi pauvres l'un que l'autre.... n est bien plus agréable d'entendre un bel et bon opéra en trois actes que trois pièces qui n'ont qu'un .seul acte chacune. Une exposition suffit pour la grande pièce; l'action marche, et devient plus intéressante; les scènes, les morceaux de musique sont bien étabhs, et suffisamment développés; un dénoûment avec art préparé termine cet oeuvre musical et dramatique. Le public a fait connoissance avec les personnages; il sait de quoi il s'agit; il les suit avec plaisir, et son divertissement n'est point une fatigue. Mais si, à chaque acte, on voit paroître de nouveaux venus, s'il faut subir le triple ennui de trois expositions et de trois dénoûmens, s'il faut voir 67. This theme is struck in De l'Opéra en France: "Nous avons beaucoup de drames lyriques en un seul acte : cette coupe peut convenir à l'action scénique, et la faire marcher avec plus de rapidité; mais elle est essentiellement vicieuse sous le rapport musical, en ce qu'elle ne fournit jamais de grands tableux et rarement des morceaux de facture. Presque tous les opéras italiens sont en deux actes : le premier se termine par un finale du plus bel effet. Nos petits actes, binettes, scintillantes d'esprit et pleines d'agrément, sont d'une trop grande frivolité : des airs, des couplets, une romance, un duo, un trio, voilà tout ce qu'ils peuvent nous offrir; et il a fallu tout le génie de Méhul pour donner deux quatuors importans dans ces miniatures musicales, véritables colifichets." (Vol. I, pp. 52-53) The same theme is continued in one of his early feuilletons: "Nous avons trop de pièces en un acte. Cette coupe, bonne pour la comédie, est essentiellement vicieuse pour l'opéra, en ce qu'elle ne présente pas de ressources au musicien. Point de groupe, point de finale; c'est un poëme stérile dont le compositeur ne peut tirer parti. Il n'y a presque pas de musique, et celle qu'il fera ne pourra être jugée qu'avec les yeux.... On a pu en faire l'observation à la première représentation de Auteur mort et vivant : la musique de M . Hérold n'a point produit l'effet qu'on devoit en attendre." Débats (30 December 1820): 3. 68. "Mais depuis l'époque du Consulat une pièce en un acte ne peut plus devenir un opéra ; la musique est un continuel accroc qui dérange tout, ralentit l'action, et ne saurait ouvrir le drame et le conclure sans en envahir au moins les deux tiers." Débats (28 December 1829): 2.  tronquer les scènes les plus intéressantes par l'obligation où l'auteur se trouve d'être bref, et dégarnir de musique un opéra pour le réduire au temps donné pour l'exécution de ces abrégés, on aura raison de dédaigner xme variété frivole pour revenir à des tableaux plus grands, mieux travaillés, et par conséquent plus dignes de la faveur du public.^^ The principles of scene and act construction which Castil-Blaze is proposing for the libretto are consistent with aesthetic concerns stated previously. The variety within regular proportions that he demands in subject matter and ia the pattern of vocal timbres and textures is echoed at the level of scene construction by the variety provided by the alternation of lyrical and recitative melodic styles. The maintenance of an overall pattern of musical momentum in the force dramatique oî the. plot, and in the pattern of mounting musical tension in larger ensemble niunbers towards the end of each act, is accomodated at the level of act construction by an insistence upon a multi-act structure. Throughout the full range of options exercised by the librettist in constructing his drama, Castil-Blaze consistently emphasizes those which maximize the composer's freedom to create mixsical interest on a large scale. His view of the libretto, however, extends beyond the mere manipulation of the large-scale effects of operatic dramaturgy, as we shall see in the following section.  Operatic Prosody Castil-Blaze elaborates the generic characteristics of the libretto not only in its dramaturgical outline and internal arrangement of parts, as discussed so far, but also at a finer level of detail in its use of language. His views at this finer level of detail echo many of the same principles that animate his conception of the larger dramatic structure. He stresses at  69. mbats (12 July 1827): 3.  this level as well the deference owed by the libretto to the aims of the composer, and the need for regularity in patterning. The extension of his principles down to this level of detail demonstrates how multi-dimensional is his vision of the Ubretto as a musical structure. As in his approach to the Ubretto, Castil-Blaze is at pains to separate literature or spoken drama from opera, and to distinguish between the literary use of language and its operatic use. He stresses that creating a text for singing is a very different matter from creating a text meant to be read alone, since the rhythmic and prosodie patterns of spoken verse may not be preserved in musical setting. Un livret d'opéra n'est pas fait pour être lu : les fautes de versification que le traducteur a bien voulu faire sont-elles réellement des fautes si le livret seul a pu les révéler, et si la structure de la partition les fait disparoître ou prévient l'effet désagréable qu'elles auroient produit? Deux vers rimes d'une manière insuffisante seront-ils remarqués par l'oreille la plus exercée si ces deux vers se trouvent séparés par une marche miUtaire? ... Placez xm solo de hautbois, un roulement de timbales, une fanfare de trompettes entre deux voyelles prêtes à s'entrechoquer, il n'y aura point d'hiatus, puisque la liaison des deux mots, leur rapprochement même est impossible.7l  A related concept involved in his approach to language use in opera is that of the strict foreground-background relationship between words and music mentioned above.^^ Because Castil-Blaze believes that the unique advantage of opera, and what defines it as a separate genre, is its ability to convey dramatic emotion musically, his comments are largely restricted to the use of language in lyrical sections, where dramatic musical expression is the deliberate aim. The language of recitative, where he believes conveying information, rather than emo-  70. Castil-Blaze's most extensive discussions of opera prosody are to be found in De l'Opéra, Chap. 1 ("Des Paroles"), pp.64ff., and in comments made in the following feuilletons: 25 January 1823, 2 May 1823, 23 August 1824, 19 October 1824,2 August 1825 and 14 December 1827. He also wrote a monograph on this subject, posthumously published as L'Art des vers lynques (Paris: H. Delahays, 1858). 71. Débats(2  August 1825): 3,  72. See previous note 62.  tion, to be the only goal, is largely ignored, because its influence on the music — CastilBlaze's reason for discussing language at all — is not an important consideration. The most important characteristic of the text in lyric sections is one which would shock the French littérateur: their semantic neutrality. Castil-Blaze is quite categorical on this point, and references to the dominance of the music over the demands of the text are clear and unequivocal in his many references to the subject both in De l'Opéra en France and in his feuilletons: En exceptant, toutefois, les fragmens de dialogue et ce qui, dans un morceau d'ensemble, se rapporte directement à l'action théâtrale, les paroles ne sont rien et ne doivent rien être ..J'^ Les paroles sont les très humbles servantes de la musique, des esclaves qu'il lui est permis de fouler et d'écraser même si cela lui convient.^'* Such opinions as these could not be more radically distinct from the attachment of French traditionalists, and French opera juries in particular, for the care which had always been lavished upon the libretto texts as literary utterances.  They highlight the very strong  assertion on his part that music, and music alone, should be given the responsibility of projecting the most powerful and memorable aspects of the drama to its audience. His position is justified, in his view, by the belief that music's power is so strong, and its command over  13. De l'Opéra, I, p. 72, 74. Débats  (4 December 1831): 2,  75, Tlie following notes concerning the libretto prize competition of 1785, in which Suard, the Secretary of the Selection Committee indicates the criteria for the competition, make clear that CasdlBlaze's criteria were not generally accepted in the Opéra administration of the ancien régime: "Celui qui réuniroit à la forme du poëme lyrique un dialogue ingénieux & vrai, & une poésie élégante et harmonieuse, obtiendroit la préférence sur le poëme qui, par sa coupe par l'intérêt même de l'action, seroit susceptible de produire de plus grand effets dramatiques & de plus grandes beautés musicales si le style en étoit incorrect & commun. Quinault & Métastase ont prouvé que la tragédie même n'avoit point d'effet qui ne pût se transporter avec succès sur le théâtre de l'Opéra & qu'une belle poésie pouvoit s'unir à la plus belle musique." Gabriclc Buschmeier, op. cit., pp. 51-52.  the audience's attention so complete, that any care given to poetic craft in passages wellcomposed by the musician is utterly wasted. Qu'un poëte exprime en beaux vers le trouble d'un amant, ses craintes, ses soupirs, ses regrets, ses alarmes, ce tableau, plein de sentiment et de vérité, sera justement admiré. Mais, s'il s'avise de l'associer aux accords d'un habile musicien, toutes les beautés de la poésie s'évanouiront devant le charme d'un magicien plus puissant. Le tremolo des violes, une tenue de cor, les soupirs des hautbois et des bassons, les traits agités des violons en diront plus aux écoutans en une seconde, ils feront une impression plus forte et plus vive sur leur âme que toutes les fleurs de rhétorique du poëte, et celui-ci aura épuisé toutes les ressources de son art pour ne dire réellement que ces mots indicateurs : C'est un amant, il est malheureux; la musique aura exprimé tout le reste. In Castil-Blaze's analysis this intensity of expressive power comes at the expense of agility and precision. He believes that music, while more powerful an aesthetic stimulus, is slower than language as a communicative medium, and more vague, a quality particularly apparent in comedy, where wit conceived in linguistic terms can quickly outpace music's limited speed of delivery.^'' Castil-Blaze thus stresses that "too many words" will inevitably encumber the composer.^^ Furthermore, a certain dilution in meaning is required, even of the few words used, in order that the music be assured its leading place, and that it not have to compete with ideas of any consequence in the text. It is for this reason that he consistently warns against using language of any degree of semantic density in lyric verse, e.g.,  76. Débats(2  May 1823): 3.  77. "L'opéra demande beaucoup plus d'images que la comédie, et exige moins de développemens dans les scènes: le poëte se contente quelquefois d'indiquer une intendon, ou d'esquisser un tableau, laissant au musicien le soin de terminer ses ébauches." De l'Opéra, I, p. 51. 78. Castil-Blaze finds this problem, for example, in the opera comique Les Petits Appartemens: "Le rondeau récité par Lemoimier n'a qu'une petite plirase; les deux autres reprises contiennent trop de paroles qu'il falloit nécessairement faire filer; elles ont embarassé le compositeur qui n'a pu établir aucune mélodie gracieuse sur un discours trop long et trop irrégulier." Débats (12 July 1827): 2. And the air Sur ces bords écartés îrom Gluck's Annideas well: "Comme tous les airs français, elle renferme beaucoup trop de mots. "Débats (19 August 1826): 4.  narrations''^ or philosophical maxims,  since they encourage the audience to listen to the  words and distract them from the music. For the same reason he anathematized the use of 81  elaborate similes and metaphors such as were frequent in the libretti of Metastasio,  or par-  82  allel constructions common in the libretti of Quinault.  Vagueness and a studied avoidance  oflntellectual effort are thus important characteristics of the libretto text, in Castil-Blaze's view, at least insofar as it is to serve as the basis for a lyric scene. He finds the types of semantic and rhetorical structures itemized above objectionable because they rival, and thus weaken, music's singxilar foreground hold on the audience's attention. In place of semantic content, Castil-Blaze proposes that good lyric operatic verse be conceived merely as syllables for singing. He conceives of the text not in terms of a relationship of music to meaning, but rather as a relationship between sound structures that must be made to run in parallel.  79. "Les narrations ne doivent pas être chantées; et, dans Je Solitaire, nous avons cinq récits en musique et cinq expositions en prose; l'auteur des paroles a fait assez pour notre instruction." Débats (20 August 1822): 3. 80. Castil-Blaze warns that "encadrer des maximes philosophiques, de vieux dictons, de pitoyables quolibets dans des stances symétriques, destinées à être chantées sur le même couplet musical, et placer ensuite de pareilles chansons dans un opéra, c'est abuser de la patience des gens de goût et déshonorer la scène lyrique. Le retour des mêmes périodes fatigue l'oreille par une insipide monotonie, que l'exiguité du cadre, les formes étroites de la chanson rendent inévitable." Débats (5 March 1823): 1. 81. "... Métastase fait toujoursfigurerdeux couples d'amans qui débitent force madrigaux, et finissent toujours par se comparer au vaisseau battu par la tempête, au nocher privé de son gouvernail, à la barqueflottantau gré des ondes. Cela peut être fort poétique, mais le musicien sera rarement inspiré par de semblables couplets." Débats(l4 July 1825): 3. "Les livrets d'Apostolo Zcno, de Calzabigi, de Metastasio, tant de fois reproduits, ont été bannis de la scène italienne. Les productions de ces auteurs sont toujours estimées, admirées, même sous le rapport de l'invention et de la poésie; mais leurs longs discours, qu'il fallait mettre en récitatif, leurs airs bâtis sur des lieux communs de rhétorique ou de philosophie, leurs comparaisons étemelles et leurs fastidieuses similitudes ne pouvaient se maintenir sur une scène que l'on voulait rendre dramatique." Débats{\l October 1829): 1. 82. In an article on Gluck's Armide îvom 1831, he voices his objection to the repetition of words such as in the following verses: "Et pour l'avoir trouvé sans peine, / Nous ne l'en trouvons pas moins doux;" "La Gloire à qui tu l'arraches, / Doit bientôt te l'arracher;" "Vous m'apprenez à connaître l'amour; L'amour m'apprend à connaître la crainte." Débats ( 13 September 1831 ): 12.  Critiquer les pensées et les tours, peu importe; la musique ne veut que des mots sonores, symétriquement arrangés. By deliberately curbing the potential for language to occupy the attention of the listener, and by stressing the harmonious relationship that should exist between the syllables of the libretto text and the notes of the composer's melody, Castil-Blaœ asserts the librettist's primary role in assuring that music take control of the dramatic expression of the work. His role at this level parallels that of his role at the level of dramatic construction: he must create empty syllables for singing in the same way that he is to create empty occasions for singing. Writing undistinguished verse of this sort was not natural to the French, and the very principles of this type of writing seemed unknown in France except to a very few.^^ As with his views on other aspects of libretto construction, his approach at the level of language usage is systematic and comprehensive, being elaborated on three levels of poetic construction: 1) at the level of the individual syllables to be sung; 2) at the level of the poetic line and its rhythm; and 3) at the level of the poetic stanza and its rhyme pattern. In each of these he seeks to demonstrate how literary decisions made by the librettist affected the choices available to the composing musician. His concern with the sung text at the syllable level of its construction is centred on the practical demands which these syllables make upon the singers who must deliver them. Syllables for singing, he insists, should above all be easily pronounceable. They should not pres83. Débats(2 August 1825): 4. Many of his strongest comments in this regard occur in discussions of French translations of foreign texts, a subject close to his heart since he himself had much experience in this area, e.g.: "Le Montées Oliviers a été traduit de l'allemand en français; cette traduction est excellente pour un littérateur qui a fait ce qu'il pouvoit faire; on lira ses vers avec plaisir, on applaudira à la fidélité de la version, à l'harmonie des vers. Mais ces vers, pourra-t-on les chanter? C'est de quoi les poètes s'embarrassent fort peu. Ils croient que les vers d'un traducteur musical se composent avec des mots; point du tout, c'est avec des .syllables qu'il faut les construire." Débats{lAKpn\ 1822): 2. 84. Jean-François Marmontel, the librettist who revised Quinault's Armideïov Gluck, and FrançoisBenoît Hoffman, the librettist of Spontini's La Vestale, were among few French writers whom Castil-Blaze believed capable of putting themselves intelligently in the service of the composer with whom they were working.  ent an obstacle course for the performing musician trying simply to offload them from his tongue. One example which he frequently cites in this regard is drawn from Rossini's Le Siège de Corinthe, in which the clear open vowels of the original Italian phrase Duce di tanti, di tanti eroi are transformed into the tongue-twisting "paroles anti-musicales et durement torturées" of the French translation as Chef d'un peuple, d'un peuple indomptable.^^ Vowels are as much a problem in this regard as consonants, due to the phonetic makeup of the French language with its numerous nasal and closed front vowel sounds. He points out, for example, that the French translator of Gossec's O saJutaris hostia was obviously not thinking of effectiveness in performance when he devised rhymes ending in dark '"-eux" sounds: ... les mots hébreux, lieux, dieux, arrivent sans cesse pour éteindre les bonnes notes de Gossec et voiler les cadences.^^ Worse still was the Comte de Ségur's French translation of Haydn's The Creation, which, at the climactic moment where light first appears in the world, features the phrase — impeccably literary and faithful to the original, but totally unmu-sical — et la lumière fut.  85. Débats(A February 1828): 4. Castil-Blaze considered the translation of this phrase, which he discusses in several articles, to be emblematic of the lack of sympathy for the performing singer in French theatrical circles. He notes in a later feuilleton how one singer was unable to ornament this passage in the same style as the Italian original because of the difficulty of the French text : "Dérivis a voulu restaurer l'air, chefd'un peuple indomptable, en lui rendant les ornemens que Rossini a donnés à l'original, duœ di tanti eroi, mais il a été obligé d'y renoncer." Débats (29 September 1831): 1. Similarly difficult words are pointed to in a duo from Carafa's Le Solitaire: "Les paroles de ce duo sont anti-musicales: le compositeur n'a pas pu s'en rendre maître, et l'acteur ne réussit pas toujours à les prononcer." Débats (20 August 1822): 3. 86. Débats  (11 April 1830): 2.  Par une fatalité singulière, fatalité qui certes n'auroit point imposé ses lois au musicien le moins habile, le mot fut, mot le plus sourd et le plus sifflant de notre langue, arrive a punto sur la tenue la plus éclatante de Haydn. Les cent voix, dont l'accord harmonieusement bruyant, est destiné à donner une image musicale de l'explosion de la lumière, se trouvent contrariées de la manière la plus désagréable. A u lieu de frapper un coup de tonnerre en déployant la puissance de leur moyens sur un A, tous les chanteurs font la moue sur l ' U de fut, et semblent répéter la leçon du Bourgeois gentilhomme. Arnold's impassioned, but inevitably muffled outcry in Rossini's Guillaume Tell Mon père! — tu m'a dû mau — dire! is similarly cited for the lack of connection between the open emotion to be displayed and 88  the closed up vowels to be sung. Such negligences on the part of the librettist were only symptomatic, however, of much larger problems which Castil-Blaze noticed at the verse and stanza level of poetical construction, problems which had severe implications for the composer at the phrase and period level of musical construction, where unmusical prosodie practices make musical setting difficult. The problem, bluntly put, is that: n est impossible de joindre une mélodie élégante et régulière à des vers durs et boiteux.^9  The origin of these problems Castil-Blaze believed to lie with the changeover from the ancient system of classical prosody based on syllable length, used by Horace and Vergil, to the later developed system of end rhyme. This change in prosodie principles, he believed, brought with it the separation of music from poetry by eliminating the element of rhythm which had always linked these two arts together.  87. Débats  (14 April 1822): 3.  88. Débats  (20 August 1829): 2.  89. Débats  (25 January 1823): 1-2.  Après la chute de l'empire romain, les indignes successeurs de Virgile et d'Horace, privés de génie et de talent, cherchant à s'éloigner d'une route qu'ils ne pouvoient suivre avec honneur, écrivirent des vers rimes, et ces chutes unissonnes, que l'on regardoit auparavant comme un défaut, devinrent une des qualités principales de cette poésie dégénérée.... Le divorce est déclaré entre la musique et la poésie, du moment que celle-ci est privé du rythme et de la mesure, qualités constitutives et communes entre ces deux sœurs. La rime, invention gothique et barbare, ne sauroit offir une compensation, puisque la musique la repousse comme inutile et nuisible même.^^ The resuit, he insisted, was not poetry at all — or at least not poetry worth setting to music — but mere prose rimée (rhymed prose), a phrase which he used often in referring to operatic verse. Castil-Blaze considered most libretto verse to be mere prose iimée because it was constructed with regard only for the arrangement of its ideas, like prose, and for the similarity of sound patterning at the ends of its lines, i.e., its rhyme. But what the composer needed, he emphasized, was language constructed with regard to the internal arrangement of rhythmic stresses in each line, not with respect to the arrangement of ideas; and with regard to the masculine or feminine rhythmic pattern at the ends of each line — its cadence — and not merely the similarity of sound, the phonetic identity of these line endings. C'est la cadence et non la rime qui caractérise le vers lyrique; il faut qu'une exacte symétrie dans les temps et les césures offre des repos aux mêmes lieux et une égale distribution des longues et des brèves.... La rime peut n'être pas nécessaire pour les vers d'opéra, la cadence intérieure est toujotirs indispensable. Comme tm peloton de soldats, une strophe doit se diviser dans tous les sens par égales portions, et tomber d'aplomb de manière à présenter sans cesse un front régulier.^' Castil-Blaze found cadence to be a particularly overlooked aspect of lyric verse construction.^2 j^e pointed out, however, that it is an extremely important one, since it is the 90. Débats  (19 October 1824); 1, 2.  91. Débats  (2 May 1823): 2.  92. Castil-believed that cadence and rhythm are what distinguish Italian music from French: "Voilà ce qui constitue réellement la prééminence des airs italiens sur les airs français, c'est le rhythme et la cadence.... Ce sont les vers des poètes français qui gâtent notre musique de chant, c'est ce texte bi-  rhythm of the line ending which determines the length of the phrases that the composer will be able to create and the type of melodic pattern that he will have to use to end his phrases. Since the composer will want to end his phrases on a strong beat, masculine endings should be reserved for tho.se lines which are intended to arrive at the ends of musical phrases. Using masculine cadences before this point will break up the continuity of the musical texture, forcing the composer to write small fragmentary phrase units in the the style of Je suis sergeant. Brave et galant .^3 This is a style typical of the vaudeville and other lower forms of musical entertainment of which Castil-Blaze disapproved.^"^ Feminine endings should be used, he insists, to maintain continuity of rhythm between lines. They should, for the same reason, be avoided where a musical phrase is expected to end. Otherwise the phrase will end with a bâillement (yawn), i.e., a long appoggiatura on the strong beat, followed by the weak feminine ending on a following weak beat.^s Castilzarre, ce canevas bossu et tortu qui communique ses infirmités à la mélodie française, et lui donne cette allure incertaine qui nuit si souvent aux effets du compositeur." Débats (10 March 1828): 1. 93. "Je connais des romances composées alternativement d'une mesure de bavardage musical, et d'une mesure de repos complet, rien n'est si désagréable à entendre qu'une semblable psalmodie, mais comme on est accoutumé à bâiller quand on écoute des romances, les dilettanti An petit genre ne remarquent pas de semblables défauts. Cette alternative de silence et de caquetage a pour cause le trop grand nombre de vers masculins. Les vers n'étant pas mesurés, il faut que le musicien ait recours à la déclamation, et pose ses lignes rimées en observant la valeur des points et des virgules, c'est une véritable psalmodie d'asthmatique. Je suis sergent. / Brave et galant." Débats (3 August 1831): 1. 94. Reference to this "choppy" style of verse is found as well in De l'Opéra en France: "La prose brillante de Montesquieu offrirait plus de ressources au musicien que des vers tel que ceux-ci : Voici des dieux / L'asile aimable. / Goûtez des deux / La paix durable. / Plus de plaisirs / Que de désirs; / Des chaînes / Sans peines; / Et de beaux jours / Comptes toujours / Par les Amours." De l'Opéra, L p. 66. 95. He finds, for example, that despite Prosper's attempts to write in the Italian style in his François 1er à Chambord, this French mannerism of using feminine endings at musical cadence points betrays his nationality, especially when setting lines ending in patrie, folie, maîtresse: "Comment voulez-vous que le musicien ferme sa phrase sur un mot qui ne conclut pas? Il faut alors avoir recours aux bâillemens qui terminent la plupart des airs français. Quand un danseur a fini son entrée, on trouve tout naturel qu'il retombe sur ses pieds; le chanteur suit la même marche lorsqu'il n'est pas contrarié par des mots qui le forcent à mâcher à vide une longue tenue, languissante préparation de la syllabe muette qu'd faut bien laisser échapper ensuite sur les bruyans accords de  Blaze believes that librettists who fail to structure their verse according to the musical principles of cadence and rhythm will inevitably create "misshapen" forms for the composer, who consequently will be responsible for the defects of the setting that results. La plus grande partie de la gloire d'un opéra est attribuée au musicien; mais, par une juste compensation, on le rend responsable des fautes du poëte. Tel air, tel duo, tel chœur sont critiqués avec raison : leur coupe est-elle vicieuse, leur marche irrégulière, leurs contours estropiés, leur rhythme faux ou boiteux, leur effet nul, on dit aussitôt la musique est mauvaise.... Si le type est difforme, l'épreuve reproduira les mêmes défauts. L'habit d'un bossu est tel qu'il doit être : croyez-vous que le tailleur n'auroit pas préféré l'adjuster sur une taille droite et bien prise?^^ Similarly, when the librettist has done his work well, the composer can hardly be given all the credit: II ne faut jamais faire compliment à un musicien de ce qu'il a bien distribué ses phrases et ses fragmens de mélodie; le compositeur exercé remplit toujours cette condition quand il lui est permis de le faire. Le rhythme de cet air a été marqué par Hoffman, et ce rhythme aurait retenu dans la bonne voie un musicien très inférieur à Méhul.97 One resuit of the traditional French emphasis on sense and rhyme, instead of on rhythm and cadence, is that French librettists have always felt free to shorten or lengthen their lines at will, so long as they rhyme properly. Castil-Blaze points out, however, that lines of varying length, such as those found in the libretti of Quinault, for example, and in more modem Ubretti as well, are a major impediment to the composer, who is not as free as his literary colleague to shorten or lengthen the phrases to which these lines must be set.^** A la ritournelle. Cesfinalesen baîllemens dégradent l'air le plus élégant, et comme elles la terminent, l'effet en est toujours funeste." Débats (19 March 1830): 2. 96. Débats  (2 May 1823): 2.  97. Débats  (2 October 1828): 2.  98. "Le langage vulgaire de Sédaine est bien préférable aux vers longs et courts de Zémire etAzoret de Sylvain. Cette irrégularité œncerté, ce désordre étranger à l'art embarrassent les comédiens qui sont obligés de réciter de semblables scènes, en s'efîorçant de leur donner l'élégance et la facilité de la prose." Débats(23 July 1825): 1. "Nos poètes croient avoir fait un chef-d'ocuvrc, lorsqu'à  typical example cited by Castil-Blaze is a passage from the libretto to Spontini's Fernand Cortez: Les paroles de Fernand Cortez peuvent paroître excellentes à des littérateurs, il y a peut-être quelque élévation dans le style de cet opéra, mais on y chercheroit vainement la moindre intention musicale.... Les cruels Mexicains ferment tous les passages : Ces tristes rivages Ne nous présentent plus que les fers ou la mort. Voilà ce que nos poètes appellent des vers lyriques. Je demanderai à nos musiciens de me citer une phrase musicale qui puisse s'adapter régulièrement à ce triolet, dont le premier et le dernier vers sont exclus du chant figuré, pour être trop longs, et qui se trouvent séparés par un vers de deux pieds et demi, dont la mesure rompt tout à fait la cadence et l'harmonie du triolet.^^ He points out that even lines with a constant niunber of syllables can be troubling if they are not divided internally in a regular way. The regular distribution of strong accents in a Une that scans regularly, such as the following from Guillaume TeU: Ces jours — qu'ils ont — osé — proscrire facilitates the composer's task, because its rhythmic divisions make it easily adaptable to mu1 fy\  sical setting.  But Castil-Blaze points out that the line which follows it, though equal in  the number of syllables, is much more difficdt. With its "runaway" first hémistiche. l'imitation de Panard, ils offrent au musicien des vers de huit ou de dix pieds accolés à des vers de deux ou de quatre. Ces vers bizarres doivent nécessaire- ment forcer le compositeur à écrire une phrase irrégulière : chaque vers poétique produit un vers musical, inégal en notes comme l'autre l'est en pieds; de sorte que le premier membre de la période galoppe, tandis que le second se traîne avec lenteur. 11 n'y a plus de symétrie et d'unité." Débats (31 October 1822): 2. 99. Débats (30 October 1827): 3. And further: "Il n'y a plus de vers, ni derimes;mais il y a de la cadence, et c'est ce que la musique veut. Si les poètes deviennent un jour musiciens, s'il se trouve en leur cœur le moindre sentiment de l'harmonie et du rhythme, ils se hâteront de proscrire cette rime, ornement gothique, inutile et barbare, qu'ils défendent aujourd'hui avec tant d'opiniâtreté. Vous rimez sur le papier, et le premier soin du musicien est de détruire votre ouvrage. Pourquoi ne chercheriez-vous pas à le lui présenter d'abord tel qu'il doit être rendu? Les livrets d'opéra n'arrivent pas dans les bibliothèques; c'est pour le théâtre qu'ils sont faits; c'est là que l'on va les entendre réciter. Visitez toutes les galeries de tableaux : vous ne recontrerez nulle part une de ces immenses peintures que les Cicéri, les Gué brossent à grands traits pour couvrir les parois de l'Académie royale ou de l'Odéon." Ibid., p.4.  Je ne les ai pas — défendus it presents the composer with the thorny task of finding a second phrase that will smoothly match the first which began so regularly. Few librettists, Castil-Blaze laments, think through their task far enough to consider how the composer and the singer will be affected by their work. At the line level, then, the librettist's task is to deliver as much symmetry to the composer as possible.'^' Among the many patterns discussed by Castil-Blaze in De l'Opéra en France md the feuilletons, that which he considers ideal, and which he most often recommends for creating stanzas suited to musical setting, is a verse of four lines consisting of threefive-syllablelines with feminine endings, followed by a four-syllable line with a masculine ending. 102 The search for lines written according to this pattern is a theme in his feuilletons, and points them out with some ceremony when he finds them, as he did in Scribe's libretto for Auber's La Fiancée: Les vers de M . Scribe sont en général bien coupés : on y remarque des stances parfaitement rhythmées, et que l'auteur de notre poétique musicale ne désavouerait pas : Douce espérance! Ah! quand j'y pense. Que la vengeance A de plaisirs! Voilà cette triple rime tant sollicitée par le musicien; voilà des vers tels qu'il les demande, leur cadence régulière appelle les mélodies, et le compositeur n'a que l'embarras du choix. 100. Débats  (20 August 1829): 2.  101. He recommends creating equal symmetrical hemistiches, as a way of doing this. He notes, for example, that Guillard, in his libretto for Sacchini's OFdipe à Colone, might well have avoided the succession of hissing "s" sounds and created an easier line for musical setting if he had replaced the hobbling line "Le fUs des Dieux — le successeur d'Alcide" with the more symmetrical line "Le fils des Dieux —- l'ami d'Alcide." Débats (10 March 1828): 2. 102. "Faites des vers, si telle est votre envie, mais qu'ils offrent à la mélodie une triple rime féminine suivie d'un repos ..." Débats (23 June 1824): 1.  At all three levels of construction, then — syllable, line and stanza — Castil-Blaze estabhshes a connection between the raw sounds and rhythms which are the poet's contribution and the musical units (motives, phrases and periods) which the musician must compose from them. The close relationship between librettist and musician established in his comments on operatic prosody strongly parallels his view of operatic dramaturgy outlined in the first part of this chapter. In each the librettist's role is to indicate a musical intention in the material that he manipulates — be it dramatic action or the use of language — in .such a way that the composer realizing that intention will be permitted to take advantage of the unique characteristics of the operatic genre. In each it is the librettist who, in creating his cadre for the musician, estabhshes the basic musical character of the stage work and "traces the first contours of the musical design." In Castil-Blaze's conception of opera, as conveyed through his critical writings, the librettist's every move is thus shadowed by musical consequences for the composer. And it is in this sense that his new critical perspective on the role of music in French opera may well be said to stand in highest relief when he writes not about the music itself, but about the l i bretto.  *  *  *  103. Débats (19 January 1829): 2. He finds them as well in Seribe and Delavigne's verses for Meyerbeer's Robert-le-Diable: "Le petit chœur de femmes est d'une mélodie charmante, et son rhythme régulier frappe agréablement l'oreille. Honneur à M . Meyerbeer, honneur surtout à M M . Scribe et De Lavigne! En effet, comment faire de la musique médiocre sur des vers aussi bien mesurés et qui présentent avec une parfaite exactitude la coupe des strophes de Tancredi, Piru dolce e placide. À la souffrance Donne assistance, La bienfaisance Est dans ton cœur. Vous chanterez ce couplet sur l'air du chœur de Tancredi, sans être obligé de déranger une syllabe, une lettre; vous le chanterez encore sur l'air Di tantipalpiti, sur soixante airs du même mètre, avec une exactitude égale, une semblable facilité." Débats (4 December 1831): 1.  Castil-Blaze's critical perspective on the opera libretto is an important part of his perspective on the lyric theatre in general. It exemplifies his view that opera, as a genre, is essentially a systematic and rationally organized exploitation of musical resources in the service of dramatic narrative. This view differed from French national tendencies by giving a higher priority to music than to dramatic action and the literary qualities of the text. It differed from Italian practice in its insistence upon dramatic verisimilitude and momentum, and in its systematic rigour, which .stood in opposition to the traditional capriciousne.ss of ItaUan libretto design. The persuasive force of Castil-Blaze's position with regard to the libretto may perhaps be attributed to the Frençhness of its appeal, despite the largely Italian origin of much of its content. His emphasis upon rational principles of construction in opera would have attracted the admiration of the French, offering them a paradigm of rigour and sophistication of patterning, of matched dramatic and musical momentum, that parallelled the qualities which they so admired in their own classic theatre. By explaining to them in terms of clear overriding principles the relationship between the librettist's activity and that of the composer, he established a series of règles classiques for the lyric theatre — based not on the unities of time, place and action, but upon the "regularities" of role, verse, and varied distribution of rnusiçal interest — within which they could ujiderstand opera to be a separate and unique dramatic genre, written in music, and not just with music. In his metaphors of deformity — describing ensembles featuring mute characters as éborgnés, and rhythmically irreg^llar poetical lines as bossus or boiteux—he adopted the excoriating tone, and laid claim to the authority and prestige, of the critic of classical tragedy who founded the feuilleton genre — Geoffroy. With his lawyer's skills in argumentation, and the clarity of his focus on the concrete details of operatic construction, he articulated a compelling vision of opera that attempted to shift French critical attention away from the concept of music as illustration, dependent upon action or language, and stressed instead its 138  independence as an artistic medium, to be judged by the standards of regularity, proportion and fullness of effect that governed critical reception in the other arts. The application of these standards to the musical score itself will form the subject of the following chapter.  CHAPTER 5 T H E DRAMATIC SCORE  Castil-Blaze's Aesthetics The new view of opera which Castil-Blaze proposed to the French in De l'Opéra en France and in his feuilletons for the Journal des débats identified music as the leading aesthetic parameter in opera. Castil-Blaze believed that it was the music in opera, rather than its text or its dramatic action, that should be the center of the creative activity of the librettist, composer and performer. It was by its music that opera shottld make its most immediate impact on its audiences, and for its music that it was most appropriately to be judged by its critics. This music-centred perspective seems modern and forward-looking, given both the timing of its appearance at the dawn of the Romantic movement (a movement which also accorded a privileged status to music within the arts) and given the banners of reform and progress under which Castil-Blaze proclaimed it with such polemical zeal. Yet he asserts his position from within a traditional eighteenth-century aesthetic framework and the philosophical underpinnings of that position are conservative, rather than revolutionary. Citing such classic eighteenth-century sources as the Abbé Batteux's Les Beaux Arts réduits à un même principe (1746) and Rousseau's Dictionnaire de musique (1769), CastilBlaze wrote about music as an art conceived in typically eighteenth-century terms, i.e., as "embelHshment" and as "imitation of nature": Les arts prennent pour règle la nature, ils l'embellissent en l'imitant ^ 1. De l'Opéra, I, p. 88. This same vocabulary is used in nurne