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Voice Lessons: French Mélodie in the Belle Epoque (review)

Voice Lessons: French Mélodie in the Belle Epoque (review) Bergeron, Katherine. Voice Lessons: French Mélodie in the Belle Epoque. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. 424. ISBN-10: 0195337050 Stephen A. Willier, Temple University Voice Lessons is an exhaustive study of one particular chapter in the history of setting text to music and in its performance. It examines la mélodie française and its rise to prominence around 1900; according to the jacket blurb it "narrates the development of a rare musical art and seeks to explain why this art emerged, why it mattered, and why it eventually disappeared." The book is a veritable series of boites chinoises in which a host of mélodies, composers, poets, linguists, politicians, and singers from the Belle Epoque are examined from top to bottom, to top again, producing striking and nuanced connections. Bergeron boosts the image of nestled boxes when she states on pp. 252­53: "If our previous chapters sought to unpack the cultural and literary meanings of this development, here I have probed its aesthetic implications." Much of the detail in the book represents what an undergraduate music theory professor of mine called "MRM," or "microcosm reflecting macrocosm." Bergeron takes apart a number of songs and song cycles by Fauré, Debussy, and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nineteenth-Century French Studies University of Nebraska Press

Voice Lessons: French Mélodie in the Belle Epoque (review)

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Nebraska Press.
ISSN
1536-0172
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Bergeron, Katherine. Voice Lessons: French Mélodie in the Belle Epoque. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. 424. ISBN-10: 0195337050 Stephen A. Willier, Temple University Voice Lessons is an exhaustive study of one particular chapter in the history of setting text to music and in its performance. It examines la mélodie française and its rise to prominence around 1900; according to the jacket blurb it "narrates the development of a rare musical art and seeks to explain why this art emerged, why it mattered, and why it eventually disappeared." The book is a veritable series of boites chinoises in which a host of mélodies, composers, poets, linguists, politicians, and singers from the Belle Epoque are examined from top to bottom, to top again, producing striking and nuanced connections. Bergeron boosts the image of nestled boxes when she states on pp. 252­53: "If our previous chapters sought to unpack the cultural and literary meanings of this development, here I have probed its aesthetic implications." Much of the detail in the book represents what an undergraduate music theory professor of mine called "MRM," or "microcosm reflecting macrocosm." Bergeron takes apart a number of songs and song cycles by Fauré, Debussy, and

Journal

Nineteenth-Century French StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Nov 2, 2012

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