Chamber Music in Europe (1850-1918): Composition,
Mediation and Reception


edited by Catrina Flint de Médicis and François de Médicis, Turnhout, Brepols, 2024 (Speculum Musicae, 52), pp. xviii+360, ISBN 978-2-503-61176-1.


The present volume has been made possibile by the friendly support of the

Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de musique romantique française

This volume invites its readers into the highly varied world of chamber music composition, performance, and reception from England to Croatia, by way of the Czech lands, Italy, and France. It highlights ways in which the chamber music repertoire might engage in political or diplomatic issues, in chapters by Fenton, Kahan, Sà, and Thomason. The role of women in this genre of music also has a place this collection, bringing to light performances by all-women string quartets (November), and exposing the ethos of Marguerite de Saint-Marceaux’s salon (Perrault). Societies devoted to works in this genre flourished throughout Europe during the time period in questions: here authors reflect on the workings of these groups and the nature of their performances in Prague (Bunzel) and Zagreb (Katalinić). Cultural transfer also has its place in these pages, across the English channel with Reiβfelder’s work on French chamber music composers in England, and from center to periphery in Branda’s exploration of Dvořák’s ‘Farewell’ tour. No volume on that most intimate of Romantic genres would be complete without a deep dive into musical style. Style, structure, and the Beethovenian legacy come to a head in two, in-depth studies of Franck’s chamber music (de Médicis and Strucken-Paland) while questions of a ‘late’ or ‘mature’ compositional style — a sacrosanct ideal connected to Beethoven — a re held up for scrutiny in the music of Saint-Saëns (Deruchie) and Dvořák (Campo-Bowen).

Musicologist Catrina Flint de Médicis serves as a music generalist at Vanier College. Her research interests in the Parisian Schola Cantorum, its early music revival, and its place in sacred music reform have recently given way to the ‘pre-cinematic’ in musical works for puppet theatre, mime, tableaux vivants, and related genres. She has contributed to Nineteenth-Century Music Review and Intersections, as well as several collected editions. In 2017 and 2023, she oversaw the restoration of works originally given at the Petit-Théâtre in Paris, a venue frequented by French Symbolists.

Professor of musicology at the Université de Montréal, François de Médicis has published articles and chapters on French and Russian music from 1880 to 1945, focused on composers such as Franck, Bonis Debussy, Koechlin, Milhaud, Scriabin, and Stravinsky. Author of La maturation artistique de Debussy dans son contexte historique (1884—1902) (2020), he co-edited Debussy’s Resonance (2018) with Steven Huebner, and Musique et modernité en France, 1900-1945 (2006) with Sylvain Caron and Michel Duchesneau. With Fabien Guilloux, he produced the critical edition of Saint-Saëns’s violin sonatas for Bärenreiter (2021).

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