Jean Delville (b Leuven, 19
Jan 1867; d Brussels, 19 Jan 1953).
Belgian painter, decorative
artist and writer. He studied at the Académie Royale des
Beaux-Arts, Brussels, with Jean-François Portaels and the
Belgian painter Joseph Stallaert (1825–1903).
Among his fellow students were Eugène Laermans, Victor
Rousseau and Victor Horta.
From 1887 he exhibited at L’Essor,
where in 1888 Mother (untraced), which depicts a woman
writhing in labour, caused a scandal.
Although his drawings of the metallurgists working in the
Cockerill factories near Charleroi were naturalistic, from
1887 he veered towards Symbolism: the drawing of Tristan and
Isolde (1887; Brussels, Musées Royaux B.-A.), in its lyrical
fusion of the two bodies, reveals the influence of Richard
Circle of the Passions (1889), inspired by Dante Alighieri’s
Divina commedia, was burnt c. 1914; only drawings remain
(Brussels, Musées Royaux B.-A.). Jef Lambeaux copied it for
his relief Human Passions (1890–1900; Brussels, Parc
Delville became associated with Joséphin Péladan, went to
live in Paris and exhibited at the Salons de la Rose+Croix,
created there by Péladan (1892–5). A devoted disciple of
Péladan, he had his tragedies performed in Brussels and in
1895 painted his portrait (untraced).
He exhibited Dead Orpheus (1893; Brussels, Gillion-Crowet
priv. col.), an idealized head, floating on his lyre towards
reincarnation, and Angel of Splendour (1894; Brussels,
Gillion-Crowet priv. col.), a painting of great subtlety.
original name Käthe Schmidt (born July 8, 1867,
Königsberg, East Prussia [now Kaliningrad, Russia]—died
April 22, 1945, near Dresden, Germany), German graphic
artist and sculptor who was an eloquent advocate for
victims of social injustice, war, and inhumanity.
The artist grew up in
a liberal middle-class family and studied painting
in Berlin (1884–85) and Munich (1888–89). Impressed
by the prints of fellow artist Max Klinger, she
devoted herself primarily to graphic art after 1890,
producing etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, and
drawings. In 1891 she married Karl Kollwitz, a
doctor who opened a clinic in a working-class
section of Berlin. There she gained firsthand
insight into the miserable conditions of the urban
important works were two separate series of prints,
respectively entitled Weavers’ Revolt (c. 1894–98)
and Peasants’ War (1902–08). In those works she
portrayed the plight of the poor and oppressed with
the powerfully simplified, boldly accentuated forms
that became her trademark. The death of her youngest
son in battle in 1914 profoundly affected her, and
she expressed her grief in another cycle of prints
that treat the themes of a mother protecting her
children and of a mother with a dead child. From
1924 to 1932 Kollwitz also worked on a granite
monument for her son, which depicted her husband and
herself as grieving parents. In 1932 it was erected
as a memorial in a cemetery near Ypres, Belgium.
the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the German
revolution of 1918 with hope, but she eventually
became disillusioned with Soviet communism. During
the years of the Weimar Republic, she became the
first woman to be elected a member of the Prussian
Academy of Arts, where from 1928 to 1933 she was
head of the Master Studio for Graphic Arts.
Kollwitz continued to devote
herself to socially effective, easily understood art. The
Nazis’ rise to power in Germany in 1933 led to her forced
resignation from the academy.
Kollwitz’s last great
series of lithographs, Death (1934–36), treats that tragic
theme with stark and monumental forms that convey a sense of
drama. In 1940 her husband died, and in 1942 her grandson
was killed in action during World War II. The bombing of
Kollwitz’s home and studio in 1943 destroyed much of her
life’s work. She died a few weeks before the end of the war
Kollwitz was the last great
practitioner of German Expressionism and is often considered
to be the foremost artist of social protest in the 20th
century. A museum dedicated to Kollwitz’s work opened in
Cologne, Germany, in 1985, and a second museum opened in
Berlin one year later. The Diary and Letters of Kaethe
Kollwitz was published in 1988.
Emil Nolde, original
name Emil Hansen (born Aug. 7, 1867, Nolde, near Bocholt,
Ger.—died April 15, 1956, Seebüll, near Niebüll, W.Ger.),
German Expressionist painter, printmaker, and
watercolourist known for his violent religious works and
his foreboding landscapes.
Born of a peasant
family, the youthful Nolde made his living as a
wood-carver. He was able to study art formally only
when some of his early works were reproduced and
sold as postcards.
In Paris Nolde began to paint works that bear a
superficial affinity to Impressionistic painting. In
1906 he was invited to join Die Brücke, an
association of Dresden-based Expressionist artists
who admired his “storm of colour.” But Nolde, a
solitary and intuitive painter, dissociated himself
from that tightly knit group after a year and a
“Dance Around the
Golden Calf” [Credit: Courtesy of the Nolde-Foundation;
photograph, Bayerische Staatsgemaldesammlungen,
Munich]Fervently religious and racked by a sense of
sin, Nolde created such works as Dance Around the
Golden Calf (1910) and In the Port of Alexandria
from the series depicting The Legend of St. Maria
Aegyptica (1912), in which the erotic frenzy of the
figures and the demonic, masklike faces are rendered
with deliberately crude draftsmanship and dissonant
In the Doubting Thomas from the nine-part polyptych
The Life of Christ (1911–12), the relief of Nolde’s
own religious doubts may be seen in the quiet awe of
St. Thomas as he is confronted with Jesus’ wounds.
During 1913 and 1914 Nolde was a member of an
ethnological expedition that reached the East
Indies. There he was impressed with the power of
unsophisticated belief, as is evident in his
lithograph Dancer (1913).
Back in Europe, Nolde led an
increasingly reclusive life on the Baltic coast of Germany.
His almost mystical affinity for the brooding terrain led to
such works as his Marsh Landscape (1916), in which the low
horizon, dominated by dark clouds, creates a majestic sense
of space. Landscapes done after 1916 were generally of a
cooler tonality than his early works. But his masterful
realizations of flowers retain the brilliant colours of his
earlier works. He was a prolific graphic artist especially
noted for the stark black-and-white effect that he employed
in crudely incised woodcuts.
Nolde was an early advocate
of Germany’s National Socialist Party, but, when the Nazis
came to power, they declared his work “decadent” and forbade
him to paint. After World War II he resumed painting but
often merely reworked older themes. His last self-portrait
(1947) retains his vigorous brushwork but reveals the
disillusioned withdrawal of the artist in his 80th year.
(born October 3, 1867, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France—died
January 23, 1947, Le Cannet), French painter and
printmaker, member of the group of artists called the
Nabis and afterward a leader of the Intimists; he is
generally regarded as one of the greatest colourists of
modern art. His characteristically intimate, sunlit
domestic interiors and still lifes include The Dining
Room (1913) and Bowl of Fruit (c. 1933).
Pierre Bonnard. Self-portrait (c. 1889)
After taking his
baccalaureate, in which he distinguished himself in
classics, Bonnard studied law at the insistence of
his father, and for a short time in 1888 he worked
in a government office.
In the meantime he attended the École des
Beaux-Arts, but, failing to win the Prix de Rome (a
prize to study at the French Academy in Rome), he
transferred to the Académie Julian, where he came
into contact with some of the major figures of the
new artistic generation—Maurice Denis, Ker-Xavier
Roussel, Paul Sérusier, Édouard Vuillard, and Félix
In 1890, after a year’s military service, he shared
a studio in Montmartre with Denis and Vuillard.
Later they were joined by the theatrical producer
Aurélien Lugné-Poë, with whom Bonnard collaborated
on productions for the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre, in
Paris. At this time he became influenced by Japanese
prints, which had earlier attracted the
During the 1890s
Bonnard became one of the leading members of the
Nabis, a group of artists who specialized in
painting intimate domestic scenes as well as
decorative curvilinear compositions akin to those
produced by painters of the contemporary Art Nouveau
Bonnard’s pictures of charming interiors lighted by
oil lamps, nudes on voluptuous beds, and Montmartre
scenes made him a recorder of France’s Belle Époque.
It was typical of his humour
and taste for urban life at the time that he illustrated
Petites scènes familières and Petit solfège illustré (1893),
written by his brother-in-law Claude Terrasse, and executed
the lithograph series Quelques aspects de la vie de Paris
(“Aspects of Paris Life”), which was issued by the art
dealer Ambroise Vollard in 1899. He also contributed
illustrations to the celebrated avant-garde review La Revue
blanche. A new phase in book illustration was inaugurated
with Bonnard’s decoration of the pages in Paul Verlaine’s
book of Symbolist poetry, Parallèlement, published by
Vollard in 1900. He undertook the illustration of other
books during the 1900s.
Bonnard’s ability as a
large-scale decorator is sometimes overlooked, in view of
his more quiet, domestic paintings in the Intimist style.
But about 1906 he painted Pleasure, Study, Play, and the
Voyage, a series of four decorations made to resemble
tapestries, for the salon of Misia Natanson, the wife of one
of the editors of La Revue blanche. These pictures show that
he was an heir to the French grand tradition of pictorial
design that may be traced to Charles Le Brun, the director
of all artistic activity under Louis XIV, and François
Boucher, the most fashionable painter in the mid-18th
By about 1908 Bonnard’s
Intimist period had concluded. A picture such as Nude
Against the Light (1908) was painted not only on a bigger
scale but also with broader and more colouristic effects.
Because of his increasing interest in landscape painting, he
had begun painting scenes in northern France. In 1910 he
discovered the south of France, and he became the magical
painter of this region. The Mediterranean was considered by
many of the period to be a source of French civilization.
Bonnard was eager to emphasize the connections between his
art and France’s classical heritage. This was evident in the
pose of certain of his figures, which hark back to ancient
Hellenistic sculpture. He was also enamoured of the
colouristic tradition of the 16th-century Venetian school.
The Abduction of Europa (1919), for example, is in a direct
line of descent from the work of Titian.
The subjects of
Bonnard’s pictures are simple, but the means by
which he rendered such familiar themes as a table
laden with fruit or a sun-drenched landscape show
that he was one of the most subtle masters of his
day; he was particularly fascinated with tricks of
perspective, as the Post-Impressionist painter Paul
Cézanne had been. In The Dining Room (1913), for
example, he employed different levels of perspective
and varied the transitions of tone, from warm to
By about 1915
Bonnard realized that he had tended to sacrifice
form for colour, so from that point until the late
1920s he painted nudes that reflect a new concern
for structure without losing their strong colour
values. In the 1920s he undertook a series of
paintings on one of his most famous themes—a nude in
a bath. From the end of the 1920s onward, the
subject matter of his pictures hardly varied—still
lifes, searching self-portraits, seascapes at
Saint-Tropez on the Riviera, and views of his garden
at Le Cannet, near Cannes, where he had moved in
1925 after marrying his model and companion of 30
years, Maria Boursin. These are paintings intense
order of Bonnard’s paintings is difficult to
determine, for he would make sketches in pencil or
colour and then use them as the basis for several
pictures on which he would work simultaneously.
Woman with Dog. 1891
When working in the studio, he
would rely on his memory of the subject and constantly
retouch the surface, building up a mosaic of colours. It is
impossible, therefore, to give more than approximate dates
for many of his works. In 1944 Bonnard illustrated a group
of early letters, which were published in facsimile under
the appropriate title of Correspondances. Formes et couleurs.
Capitalizing on the vast number of people expected to
visit the Universal Exhibition, Manet and Courbet each
erect a pavilion in the Place de l'Alma, near one of the
entrances, in order to display their own work. Despite
widespread publicity and the amount of money lavished on
the pavilions, both exhibitions are no more than a
partial success and neither receive much critical
Bazille and Renoir rent a studio together at 20 rue Visconti,
Sisley takes an apartment in the Batignolles quarter.
1st Zola publishes an enthusiastic article about
Manet in L'Artiste.
3rd Manet asks his mother for money from his
inheritance so he can stage a one-man show near the
Champ-de-Mars, where the Universal Exhibition is to be held.
She subsequently advances him 28,305 francs to cover the
cost of building a temporary gallery.
View of the Universal Exhibition
this panoramic view of the Universal Exhibition from a point
in the rue Franklin near the Troca-dero. The balloon from
which Nadar took photographs of the city can be seen in the
top right-hand corner. On the left are the Pont de l'Alma
and the Pont d'lena, leading into the exhibition grounds.
Cover of one of the many illustrated publications produced
to promote the Universal Exhibition.
12th Ingres retrospective at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts — of
special interest to Degas, who regards Ingres as one of the
greatest exponents of the classical tradition.
17th Manet sits for Fantin-Latour.
5th Renoir's Diana , Bazille's The Artist's
Family on a Terrace near Montpellier and works by
Cezanne, Pissarro and Sisley are rejected by the Salon jury.
Although Renoir had originally intended this painting to be
'nothing more than a study of a nude', he thought that by
adding a bow and the carcass of a deer it would become less
It was painted specifically for the Salon of
1867 -but strangely, m view of its academic nature, it was
rejected by the jury.
30th The rejected artists forward a petition to the Minister
of Fine Arts demanding another Salon des Refuses.
In a letter to his parents, Bazille mentions that he is
thinking of trying to organize an independent exhibition.
Berthe Morisot exhibits at Cadart's gallery.
Fantin-Latour's Portrait of Edouard Manet
and two paintings by Degas — each entitled Family Portrait
are hung, but Monet's Women in the Garden is rejected. In
view of Monet's poverty and the fact that his mistress,
Camille Doncieux, is pregnant, Bazille buys the painting for
2500 francs payable in instalments of 50 francs a month.
8th Courbet's 'Pavilion of Realism', devoted to his own work,
opens in the Place de Г Alma near the Universal Exhibition.
It receives plenty of publicity, but little critical
Courbet's 'Pavilion of
Realism'. Like Manet's pavilion,
it was caricatured in Le
3rd Opening of the Universal Exhibition.
Some 11 million
people flock to see it - but only 98,000 visit the fine-art
section, which includes no Impressionist works.
22nd Manet's one-man show opens in a specially
built pavilion near the Pont de L'Alma, facing one of the
entrances of the Universal Exhibition. He has about fifty
works on display, but the exhibition is not a popular
30th Manet and Zola reprint Zola's article from
L'Artiste in pamphlet form, to sell at Manet's exhibition. It includes a portrait of Manet by
Bracquemond and an etching of Olympia.
3rd Sisley paints in Honfleur.
7th Sisley's son Pierre is born to his mistress,
29th Le Journal amusant devotes two pages of
caricatures to Manet's exhibition.
The pavilions erected by Manet
and Courbet close to the Universal Exhibition attracted a
good deal of satirical attention. These two architectural
caricatures by Georges Randon appeared in Le Journal amusant.
Courbet's pavilion (left) bears the ironical inscriptions
'To the Temple of Memory' and 'Courbet, Master Painter',
while Manet's (far left; is labelled To the Friends of the
Old French Vaudeville' and 'Comic Museum'.
30th Morisot departs for Lorient, a Breton
port that is one of her favourite painting sites.
15th Manet departs for a holiday in Trouville with his
friend Antonin Proust, a journalist, aspiring
politician and amateur painter.
25th Monet's son Jean is
born to Camille Doncieux in Paris; Monet, who is in a state
of great impoverishment, is staying with his parents in Le
Havre — where Sisley is painting, too.
The Artist's Family on a
Terrace near Montpellier
Bazille's family posed for this charming portrait on the
terrace of the family home outside Montpellier, where they
owned extensive vineyards. Bazille himself is on the extreme
Monet joins Bazille and Renoir in their studio at 20 rue
Visconti. Manet starts work on a series of politically
emotive paintings depicting the execution of the Emperor
Maximilian of Mexico.
Bazille at his Easel
This portrait of Bazille intent on painting was probably
done in the studio Renoir shared with Monet, Sisley and
Bazille (a snow scene by Monet is visible on the wall). A
similar portrait of Renoir at his easel was produced by
2nd Manet attends
MANET'S APOLOGIA FOR HIS
FANTIN-LATOUR Portrait of
Edouard Manet 1867
In the preface to his catalogue, written with the help of
Zacharie Astruc, Manet explained why he had found
it necessary" to stage an exhibition of his work:
Official recognition, encouragement and prizes are, in fact,
regarded as proofs of talent; the public has been informed,
in advance, what to admire, what to avoid, according as to
whether the works are accepted or rejected. On the other
hand, the artist is told that it is the public's spontaneous
reaction to his works which makes them so unwelcome to the
various selection committees. In these circumstances the
artist is advised to be patient and wait. But wait for what?
Until there are no selection committees? He would be much
better off if he could make direct contact with the public,
and find out its reactions. Today the artist is not saying
'come and see some perfect paintings' but 'come and see some
It is sincerity which gives to works of art a character
which seems to convert them into acts of protest, when all
the artist is trying to do is to express his own
Monsieur Manet has never wished to protest. On the contrary,
the protest, which he never expected, has been directed
against himself; this is because there is a traditional way
of teaching form, techniques and appreciation, and because
those who have been brought up to believe in those
principles will admit no others, a fact which makes them
childishly intolerant. Any works which do not conform to
those formulae they regard as worthless. They not only
arouse criticism, but provoke hostility, even active
hostility. To be able to exhibit is the all important thing,
the sine qua поп for the artist, because what happens is
that, after looking at a thing for a length of time, what at
first seemed unfamiliar, or even shocking, becomes familiar.
Gradually it comes to be understood and accepted. Time
itself imperceptibly refines and softens the apparent
hardness of a picture.
By exhibiting, an artist finds friends and allies in his
search for recognition. Monsieur Manet has always recognized
talent when he has seen it; he has no intention of
overthrowing old methods of painting, or creating new ones.
He has merely tried to be himself, and nobody else.
MANET, 'Reasons for Holding a Private Exhibition', 1867
Photograph of the
Nouvelle-Athenes, which replaced the Cafe Guerbois as the
Impressionists' favourite meeting place around 1877.
George Moore — the raffish Irish novelist and haunter of
French artistic circles — once said: 'He who would know
something of my life, must know something about the academy
of fine arts. Not the official stupidity you read of in the
daily papers, but the real French academy, the cafe.'
Impressionism grew and flourished in cafes, of which there
were at least 24,000 in the Paris area. Indeed,
establishments such as the Volpini, the Voltaire, the
Dome, the Coupole, the Brasserie Lip and the Deux Magots
played a central role in the cultural life of the period.
their very nature the cafes attracted those who were
alienated by the anonymity of the modern industrial city,
and their attractiveness was enhanced during and after the
Second Empire by the wide pavements of the new boulevards
created by Baron Haussmann's comprehensive replanning of
This pen-and-ink drawing made
by Manet in 1869 is thought
to show the interior of the Cafe Guerbois.
At first Manet frequented the Cafe de Bade at 23 boulevard
des Italiens, but in 1864 he moved into an apartment at 34
boulevard des Batignolles, in the area where Baudelaire,
Bazille, Caillebotte, Alphonse Daudet, Fantin-Latour, and
Mallarme, Pissarro and Renoir all lived. By 1866
he had started using the Cafe Guerbois, at 11 rue des
Batignolles, where he met his friends most evenings
(Thursday being the most popular). In addition to the
artists, the circle included writers such as Zola, Duranty, Duret and Armand Silvestre, who in his
autobiographical Аи Pays des souvenirs, written in 1892,
provided a fascinating account of the Guerbois' golden
years. The group of painters who frequented the cafe were
dubbed by the critics 'L'Ecole des Batignolles' -and if
Impressionism could be said to have a birthplace,
the Cafe Guerbois was it. As Monet later recalled, 'Nothing
could have been more stimulating than the regular
discussions which we used to have there, with their constant
clashes of opinion. They kept our wits sharpened, and
supplied us with a stock of enthusiasm which lasted us for
weeks, and kept us going until the final realization of an
idea was accomplished. From them we emerged with a stronger
determination and with our thoughts clearer and more sharply
By 1877, however, the Cafe Guerbois had begun to lose its
popularity to the Nouvelle-Athenes in the Place Pigalle. The
Nouvelle-Athenes had a distinguished pedigree. Under the
Empire it had been frequented by the leading figures of the
opposition to Napoleon III — men such as Clemenceau, Gourbet,
Gambetta, Nadar, Daudet and Castagnary. Two significant
icons of Impressionism — Degas' The Absinthe Drinker, showing the actress Ellen Andree with Marcellin
Desboutin (who had been one of the first habitues), and
Manet's George Moore at the Cafe — were painted
at the Nouvelle-Athenes.
George Moore at the Cafe
1878 or 1879 Situated at the Nouvelles-Athenes this portrait of the Irish
writer was roughed out in light brushwork without any
preliminary drawing. If intended as a study for a more
finished painting, the project must have been abandoned at
an early stage.
Among those who frequented the cafe were Renoir, Monet,
Pissarro and occasionally Cezanne; the writers Villiers de
l'lsle Adam, Ary Renan and Zola's friend Paul Alexis; the
musicians Chabrier and Cabaner; and Manet's favourite model,
Victorine Meurent, who posed for Olympia and
Dejeuner sur I'herbe. The Nouvelle-Athenes also witnessed the
schism developing amongst the Impressionists — stimulated by
Degas, who was often to be found there, supported by his
'gang', which consisted of Forain, Raffaelli, Zandomeneghi
and, whenever he wras in Paris, the Florentine critic Diego
Martelli. Indeed, Caillebotte complained that Degas
was guilty of introducing 'disunity into our midst, and
spends all his time haranguing people in the Nouvelle-Athenes.'
By the mid 1880s the Impressionists were beginning to spend
more time outside Paris — Monet in Giverny, Pissarro in
Eragny, Cezanne in Aix-en-Provence, Renoir in Essoyes and
elsewhere. As a result, the casual meetings in cafes were
supplanted by more organized dinners, held either at the
restaurant in the boulevard Voltaire belonging to Eugene
Murer — where the owner offered his friends free hospitality
on Wednesday evenings — or at the Cafe Riche in the
boulevard des Italiens.
Women on a Cafe Terrace,
1877 In this vignette of cafe night-life, Degas gives particular
emphasis to the expression of combined boredom and
professional allurement that masks the women's faces.
La jolie fille de Perth
(The Fair Maid of Perth) is an opera in four acts by
Bizet Georges (1838–1875),
from a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jules
Adenis, after the novel by Sir Walter Scott. Many writers have
reserved severe criticism for the librettists for their stock
devices and improbable events, while praising Bizet's advance on his
earlier operas in construction of set pieces and his striking
melodic and instrumental ideas.
It was first performed at the Théâtre
Lyrique (Théâtre-Lyrique Impérial du Châtelet), Paris, on 26
Although commissioned by Carvalho in 1866 and completed by Bizet by
the end of that year (with the soprano lead intended for Christine
Nilsson), the dress rehearsal took place in September 1867 and the
first performance three months later. It was next revived in Paris
on 3 November 1890 at the Éden-Théâtre for eleven performances.
La jolie fille de Perth was
performed in Brussels in 1868 and Geneva in 1885; in German it was
given in Weimar and Vienna in 1883, and in English in Manchester and
London in 1917.
It was staged at the Wexford
Festival in 1968, the Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne in 1998 and the
Buxton Festival in 2006, and recorded by the BBC in Manchester for
the Bizet centenary in 1975.
Roméo et Juliette
(Romeo and Juliet) is an opera in five acts by
Gounod Charles to a French libretto by Jules Barbier
and Michel Carré, based on The Tragedy of Romeo and
Juliet by William Shakespeare. It was first
performed at the Théâtre Lyrique (Théâtre-Lyrique
Impérial du Châtelet), Paris on 27 April 1867. This
opera is notable for the series of four duets for
the main characters and the waltz song "Je veux
vivre" for the soprano.
Gounod's opera Faust had become popular at the
Théâtre Lyrique since its premiere in 1859 (it was
performed over 300 times between 1859 and 1868) and
this led to a further commission from the director
Carvalho. Behind the scenes there were difficulties
in casting the lead tenor, and Gounod was said to
have composed the last act twice, but after the
public general rehearsal and first night it was
hailed as a major success for the composer.
success was aided by the presence of dignitaries in
Paris for the Exhibition, several of whom attended
performances. A parody soon appeared at the Théâtre
Déjazet, entitled Rhum et eau en juillet (Rum and
Water in July).
The opera entered the repertoire of the
Opéra-Comique on 20 January 1873 (with Deloffre and
Carvalho returning to their roles from the
premiere), where it received 391 performances in 14
years. On 28 November 1888 Roméo et Juliette
transferred to the Paris Opéra, with Adelina Patti
and Jean de Reszke in the leading roles. The
opera was first seen in London (with Patti and
Mario) on 11 July 1867 and in New York (with Minnie
Hauk) at the Academy of Music on 15 November of that
In 1912, the opera
was recorded complete for the first time , with
Agustarello Affre as Roméo, Yvonne Gall as Juliette,
Henri Albers as Capulet and Marcel Journet as
Adelina Patti and Mario in Act 2 (London,
Sutherland Edwards, music critic of the St. James's
Gazette, wrote the following about the opera
following its first London performance in 1867:
Gounod's Roméo et
Juliette, in which the composer is always pleasing,
though seldom impressive, might be described as the
powerful drama of Romeo and Juliet reduced to the
proportions of an eclogue for Juliet and Romeo. One
remembers the work as a series of very pretty duets,
varied by a sparkling waltz air for Juliet, in which
Madame Patti displays that tragic genius, which
belongs to her equally, with the highest capacity
for comedy. [Vaccai's] Romeo e Giulietta is an
admirable opera for Giulietta; in which Romeo is not
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Roberto Alagna "Love Duet" Romeo et Juliette
Anna Netrebko -Roberto
Alagna "Love Duet" Romeo et Juliette - 2007
La Grande-Duchesse de
Gérolstein (The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein) is an opéra
bouffe (a form of operetta), in three acts and four tableaux
by Offenbach Jacques to an original French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. The story is a satirical
critique of unthinking militarism and concerns a spoiled and
tyrannical young Grand Duchess who learns that she cannot
always get her way.
The opera premiered in
Paris in 1867 and starred Hortense Schneider in the title
role. Thereafter, it was heard in New York, London and
elsewhere, and it is still performed and recorded.
Offenbach's career was at its height in the 1860s with the
premieres of some of his most popular and enduring works,
such as La belle Hélène (1864) and La vie parisienne (1866).
With the original production of the latter still running,
Offenbach and his librettists hurried to prepare a new
opera, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, to play during the
Paris Exposition (Exposition universelle) of 1867.
assisted Meilhac and Halévy in shaping the libretto. They
were eager to ensure a hit, and so they engaged the
immensely popular Hortense Schneider, who had created the
title role in La Belle Hélène, among other Offenbach roles,
paying her the extraordinarily rich monthly sum of 4,500
francs. Schneider, in addition to her vocal gifts, was well
able to portray the commanding and saucy character of the
Grand Duchess, which parodied Catherine the Great.
The April 1867 premiere was
an immediate hit, and a parade of European royalty, drawn to
Paris by the Exposition, attended performances of the
operetta. Among those attending were French emperor Napoleon
III; the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom; Tsar
Alexander II of Russia and his son Grand Duke Vladimir;
Franz-Joseph, Emperor of Austria-Hungary; Otto von Bismarck,
the Prime Minister of Prussia; and other crowned heads,
generals, and ministers.
1868 Jules Chéret poster
Of the military satire in
the piece, Bismarck remarked, "C'est tout-a-fait ça!" (That's
exactly how it is!)
Three years later the
Franco-Prussian War broke out, and the operetta was later
banned in France, because of its antimilitarism, after the
It was first performed at the Théâtre des Variétés in Paris
on 12 April 1867 and starred Hortense Schneider as the
Duchess, who was highly successful in the title role A
Viennese production soon opened.
The piece was first heard
in New York City, in French, in September 1867 at the
Théâtre Français, where it ran for six months.
November 1867, the opera appeared at Covent Garden, in an
English translation by Charles Kenney, and a subsequent tour
of that production starred Emily Soldene.
The operetta was produced
in English in New York City at the New York Theatre in 1868,
at Wood's Museum and Metropolitan beginning November 14,
1870, and at the Union Square Theatre beginning July 3,
In 1869, the work was revived in Paris, with Zulma
Bouffar in the lead. The opera was heard in Australia in
1873, starring Alice May, who also took the title role at
the Gaiety Theatre, London in 1876.
adaptation was presented at the Savoy Theatre in London by
the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1897–98 with a new
translation by Charles Brookfield and lyrics by Adrian Ross,
starring Florence St. John, Florence Perry, Walter Passmore
and Henry Lytton.
The production ran for 99 performances and
was reviewed as vivacious, but sanitized and "prudish".
20th century and beyond
Productions during the 20th century included one at Daly's
Theatre in London in 1937. In the U.S., there were several
presentations by the Santa Fe Opera in 1971, which were
repeated in 1972, 1974 and again in 1979. The singers for
Santa Fe included Huguette Tourangeau in the title role in
1972, and Donald Gramm and Richard Stilwell in both 1971 and
1972. A 1977 production was given at the Collegiate Theatre
in London, produced by Park Lane Opera, starring Patricia
Routledge. A French production starring Régine Crespin was
televised in 1980, and New York City Opera mounted the piece
A notable production was
designed and staged by Laurent Pelly in 2004 at the Théâtre
du Châtelet in Paris. It was conducted by Marc Minkowski and
starred Felicity Lott, Sandrine Piau and Yann Beuron.
Minkowski restored several numbers cut after the first
production. Both a CD and a DVD of the production
are available, and it was televised in France in
December 2004. Opera Philadelphia also mounted a production in
2004, starring Stephanie Blythe. Los Angeles Opera produced
the piece in 2005, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, with
Frederica von Stade and directed by Gary Marshall. Theater
Basel had a production under Hervé Niquet with Anne Sofie
von Otter in the title role in 2009. In 2011, both Opera
Boston (starring Stephanie Blythe) and the Comic Opera
Guild, near Detroit, Michigan presented the work.
It is scheduled to be part
of the Santa Fe Opera's 2013 season, conducted by Emmanuel
Villaume, and with Susan Graham in the title role.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jacques Offenbach "La
Grand-Duchesse de Gerolstein" Overture
Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Hermann Scherchen, conductor
The Blue Danube
is the common English title of An der schönen blauen
Donau, Op. 314 (German for "By the Beautiful Blue
Danube"), a waltz by the Austrian composer Johann
Strauss II (Strauss
II Johann , the
"Waltz King"), composed in 1866.
Originally performed in February, 1867 at a concert of
the Wiener Männergesangsverein (Vienna Men's Choral
Association), it has been one of the most consistently
popular pieces of music in the classical repertoire. Its
initial performance was considered only a mild success,
however, and Strauss is reputed to have said, "The devil
take the waltz, my only regret is for the coda—I wish
that had been a success!"
After the original music was
written, the words were added by the Choral Association's
poet, Joseph Weyl. Strauss later added more music, and Weyl
needed to change some of the words. Strauss adapted it into
a purely orchestral version for the 1867 Paris World's Fair,
and it became a great success in this form. The instrumental
version is by far the most commonly performed today. An
alternate text was written by Franz von Gernerth (de), "Donau
so blau" (Danube so blue). "The Blue Danube" premiered in
the United States in its instrumental version on 1 July 1867
in New York, and in Great Britain in its choral version on
21 September 1867 in London at the promenade concerts at
Strauss's stepdaughter, Alice von Meyszner-Strauss, asked
the composer Johannes Brahms to sign her autograph-fan, he
wrote down the first bars of The Blue Danube, but adding "Leider
nicht von Johannes Brahms" ("Alas! not by Johannes Brahms").
(born March 25, 1867, Parma, Italy—died Jan. 16, 1957, New
York City, N.Y., U.S.), Italian conductor, considered one of
the great virtuoso conductors of the first half of the 20th
Toscanini studied at the conservatories of Parma and
Milan, intending to become a cellist.
At the age of 19, when
playing at the opera house at Rio de Janeiro, he was called
upon to fill in for the conductor and performed Giuseppe
Verdi’s Aida from memory.
He came into prominence as a
conductor in Italy and elsewhere and was appointed musical
director of La Scala, Milan, in 1898, and of the
Metropolitan Opera, New York City, in 1908.
He conducted the
New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra from 1928 to 1936
and appeared with orchestras all over the world, except
those of Italy and Germany during the Fascist regimes.
1937 to 1954 he directed the NBC Symphony, an orchestra
sponsored by the U.S. radio network.
Toscanini became principally known for his readings of
the operas of Verdi and the symphonies of Beethoven, and he
gave remarkable performances of the music of Wagner.
interpretations were notable for detail of phrasing, dynamic
intensity, and an essentially classical conception of form.
His phenomenal memory stood
him in good stead when, suffering from poor eyesight, he was
obliged always to conduct from memory. He commanded from the
artists who worked under him a devotion that often made them
reach something like his own fervour.
Don Carlos is a five-act grand opera composed by
to a French-language libretto by Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle,
based on the dramatic play Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien (Don
Carlos, Infante of Spain) by Friedrich Schiller. In addition, it has
been noted by David Kimball that the Fontainebleau scene and auto da
fé "were the most substantial of several incidents borrowed from a
contemporary play on Philip II by Eugène Cormon".
Given its premiere at the Salle Le Peletier on 11 March 1867, the
opera's story is based on conflicts in the life of Carlos, Prince of
Asturias (1545–1568), after his betrothed Elisabeth of Valois was
married instead to his father Philip II of Spain as part of the
peace treaty ending the Italian War of 1551–1559 between the Houses
of Habsburg and Valois. It was commissioned and produced by the
Théâtre Impérial de l'Opéra (Paris Opera).
When performed in one of its several Italian versions, the opera
is generally called Don Carlo. The first Italian version given in
Italy was in Bologna in March 1867. Revised again by Verdi, it was
given in Naples in November/December 1872. Finally, two other
versions were prepared: the first was seen in Milan in January 1884
(in which the four acts were based on some original French text
which was then translated). It is now known as the "Milan version".
The second, also sanctioned by the composer, was the "Modena
version" and presented in that city in December 1886. It added the
"Fontainebleau" first act to the Milan four-act version.
Over the following twenty years, cuts and additions were made to
the opera, resulting in a number of versions being available to
directors and conductors. No other Verdi opera exists in so many
versions. At its full length (including the ballet and the cuts made
before the first performance), it contains about four hours of music
and is Verdi's longest opera.
Pre-première cuts and first published edition
Verdi made a number of cuts in
1866, after finishing the opera but before composing the ballet,
simply because the work was becoming too long. These were a duet for Elisabeth and Eboli in
act 4, scene 1; a duet for Carlos and the King after the death of
Posa in act 4, scene 2; and an exchange between Elisabeth and Eboli during the insurrection in the same scene.
After the ballet had been composed, it emerged during the 1867
rehearsal period that, without further cuts, the opera would not
finish before midnight (the time by which patrons would need to
leave in order to catch the last trains to the Paris suburbs). Verdi
then authorised some further cuts, which were, firstly, the
introduction to act 1 (with a chorus of woodcutters and their wives,
and including the first appearance of Elisabeth); secondly, a short
entry solo for Posa (J'étais en Flandres) in act 2, scene 1; and,
thirdly, part of the dialogue between the King and Posa at the end
of act 2, scene 2.
The opera, as first published at the time of the première,
consisted of Verdi's original conception, minus all of the
above-named cuts but including the ballet.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Title page of a libretto for performances at the Teatro Pagliano
in Florence in April–May 1869 which used the Italian translation by
Achille de Lauzières
Maria Callas-Elizaveta`s aria "Don
Carlo". G. Verdi
(born July 27, 1867, Lérida, Spain—died March 24, 1916,
at sea), pianist and composer, a leader of the movement
toward nationalism in late 19th-century Spanish music.
Granados made his
debut as a pianist at 16. He studied composition in
Barcelona with Felipe Pedrell, the father of Spanish
nationalism in music. He studied piano in Paris in
1887. Returning to Barcelona in 1889, he established
himself as a pianist of the front rank, and his 12
Danzas españolas achieved great popularity. The
first of his seven operas, María del Carmen, was
produced in 1898.
In 1900 Granados founded a short-lived
classical-concerts society and his own piano school,
which produced a number of distinguished players.
His interest in the 18th century is reflected in his
tonadillas, songs written “in the ancient style.” He
wrote extensively and fluently for the piano, in a
somewhat diffuse, Romantic style.
His masterpieces, the Goyescas (1911–13), are
reflections on Francisco de Goya’s paintings and
tapestries. They were adapted into an opera that
received its premiere in New York City in 1916.
Returning home from this performance, Granados
drowned when his ship, the Sussex, was torpedoed by
a German submarine.
Enrique Granados - Spanish Dances
The twelve Spanish Dances, Op.37, were composed in 1890, and
initially published in four sets of three dances each. These early
works, inspired by the Spanish national school of Felipe Pedrell,
were one of Granados' first successes as a composer, and have become
one of his most popular piano works, second only to the masterly
The 12 Spanish Dances have been transcribed for guitar as well as
for orchestra, and are more often heard on the guitar than on the
piano, especially the famous 5th dance, Andaluza (sometimes named
Playera), which is one of the most performed Spanish classical