The French Symphony at the Fin de Siècle

September 2013
58 line illustrations
310 pages
9x6 in
Eastman Studies in Music
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MUS020000, MUS006000

The French Symphony at the Fin de Siècle

Style, Culture, and the Symphonic Tradition

Andrew Deruchie

eBook for Handhelds
The first extended study of seven beloved French symphonic masterpieces, from Saint-Saëns and Franck to d'Indy and Dukas.
In this first full-length study of the symphony in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century France, Andrew Deruchie provides extended critical discussion of seven of the most influential and frequently performed works of the era, by Camille Saint-Saëns, César Franck, Édouard Lalo, Vincent d'Indy, and Paul Dukas. The volume explores how these symphonists modernized the art form yet preserved many of the formal and rhetorical conventions of the canon, reconciling, in particular, Beethoven's symphonic legacy with the musical culture, intellectual environment, and political milieu of fin-de-siècle France. Drawing on contemporary criticism, music histories, composers' prose, and unpublished sketches, Deruchie's readings offer fresh insights on issues of musical form and technique, and also move beyond the notes to consider questions of meaning.

Andrew Deruchie is a lecturer in musicology at the University of Otago (New Zealand).

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Table of Contents

Camille Saint-Saëns, Third Symphony
César Franck, Symphony in D Minor
Édouard Lalo, Symphony in G Minor
Ernest Chausson, Symphony in B-flat Major
Vincent d'Indy, Symphonie sur un chant montagnard français
Vincent d'Indy, Second Symphony
Paul Dukas, Symphony in C


Immensely valuable: rich in insights, meticulously presented, Deruchie's book shows. . . each work to be as cunningly crafted and tightly unified as the Germanic works to whose standards they have always been held and usually found wanting. NINETEENTH-CENTURY MUSIC REVIEWS

Richly illustrated by musical examples and graphs. . . . Deruchie's prose is pleasantly engaging, and he has a dramatist's knack for constructing an absorbing narrative for each chapter. . . . Anyone interested in French music or the history of the symphony in the nineteenth century would find much of interest in [this] book. MUSIC & LETTERS

Destined to become a standard resource on its topic. The author is to be commended for . . . exploring key works in more musical depth than any previous study. H-FRANCE

Selected as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of 2014

[The French symphonies studied here] highlight extraordinary confrontations in and through music. . . . Deruchie's deft Introduction provides a fine model for French musical and social historiography. FRENCH STUDIES

Close studies or analyses of the French symphony are relatively few. Thus this contribution . . . is particularly important. Discussion of each symphony is tailored to the unique features of that work. Destined to become a standard resource, accessible for the interested novice. Summing Up: Essential. All readers. CHOICE

The latest addition to the outstanding "Eastman Studies in Music" series from the University of Rochester Press . . . is an impressively informative work from beginning to end. Extraordinary and highly recommended addition to professional and academic library Music Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists. MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

Well-written, thought-provoking, and fascinating . . . Skillfully enlaces the musical with the sociopolitical. H-NET REVIEWS IN THE HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES

Andrew Deruchie's The French Symphony at the Fin de Siècle is thoroughly researched, intelligently designed, and vividly narrated. This wonderful book should appeal to anyone who is interested not only in French music but also in the broader cultural and historical issues surrounding European classical music at the end of the nineteenth century. --Michael J. Puri, author of Ravel the Decadent: Memory, Sublimation, and Desire (Oxford 2011)

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