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French Opera at the Fin de Siecle$
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Steven Huebner

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195189544

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189544.001.0001

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The Franckiste as Wagner Critic

The Franckiste as Wagner Critic

(p.308) 20 The Franckiste as Wagner Critic
French Opera at the Fin de Siecle

Steven Huebner

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of d'Indy's ideas about Wagner. It is shown that d'Indy admired Wagner's music from his earliest exposure to it in the late 1860s until 1877 or so. D'Indy's longstanding admiration for Wagner, however, eventually crystallized into the view that he had helped bring about regeneration in the decadent ‘période judaÏque’ that had reigned in French music, of which Meyerbeer was a prime example. The role of César Franck in d'Indy's programme is also analyzed. It is argued that Wagnerian seeds fell on to fertile soil tilled by Franck and his disciples. Without Franckian faith, probity, and craft those seeds could not possibly take root, as evidenced by the superficial efforts of Saint-SaËns and Massenet, who could not completely escape the deleterious effects of the ‘école judaÏque’.

Keywords:   Vincent d'Indy, French opera, Wagner, César Franck

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