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Musical Memories   By: (1835-1921)

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[Illustration: The Master, Camille Saint Saëns]

MUSICAL MEMORIES

BY CAMILLE SAINT SAËNS

TRANSLATED BY EDWIN GILE RICH Translator of Lafond's " Ma Mitrailleuse ," etc.

[Illustration: (A publisher's seal, inscribed "SCIRE QVOD SCIENDVM".)]

BOSTON SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY

PUBLISHERS

1919, BY SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY (INCORPORATED)

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I MEMORIES OF MY CHILDHOOD

II THE OLD CONSERVATOIRE

III VICTOR HUGO

IV THE HISTORY OF AN OPÉRA COMIQUE

V LOUIS GALLET

VI HISTORY AND MYTHOLOGY IN OPERA

VII ART FOR ART'S SAKE

VIII POPULAR SCIENCE AND ART

IX ANARCHY IN MUSIC

X THE ORGAN

XI JOSEPH HAYDN AND THE "SEVEN WORDS"

XII THE LISZT CENTENARY AT HEIDELBERG (1912)

XIII BERLIOZ'S REQUIEM

XIV PAULINE VIARDOT

XV ORPHEE

XVI DELSARTE

XVII SEGHERS

XVIII ROSSINI

XIX JULES MASSENET

XX MEYERBEER

XXI JACQUES OFFENBACH

XXII THEIR MAJESTIES

XXIII MUSICAL PAINTERS

ILLUSTRATIONS

The Master, Camille Saint Saëns

The Paris Opéra

The First Performance of Déjanire

M. Saint Saëns in his Later Years

The Madeleine where M. Saint Saëns played the organ for twenty years

Hector Berlioz

Mme. Pauline Viardot

Mme. Patti

M. Jules Massenet

Meyerbeer, Composer of Les Huguenots

Jacques Offenbach

Ingres, the painter famous for his violin

MUSICAL MEMORIES

MUSICAL MEMORIES

CHAPTER I

MEMORIES OF MY CHILDHOOD

In bygone days I was often told that I had two mothers, and, as a matter of fact, I did have two the mother who gave me life and my maternal great aunt, Charlotte Masson. The latter came from an old family of lawyers named Gayard and this relationship makes me a descendant of General Delcambre, one of the heroes of the retreat from Russia. His granddaughter married Count Durrieu of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres . My great aunt was born in the provinces in 1781, but she was adopted by a childless aunt and uncle who made their home in Paris. He was a wealthy lawyer and they lived magnificently.

My great aunt was a precocious child she walked at nine months and she became a woman of keen intellect and brilliant attainments. She remembered perfectly the customs of the Ancien Régime , and she enjoyed telling about them, as well as about the Revolution, the Reign of Terror, and the times that followed. Her family was ruined by the Revolution and the slight, frail, young girl undertook to earn her living by giving lessons in French, on the pianoforte the instrument was a novelty then in singing, painting, embroidery, in fact in everything she knew and in much that she did not. If she did not know, she learned then and there so that she could teach. Afterwards, she married one of her cousins. As she had no children of her own, she brought one of her nieces from Champagne and adopted her. This niece was my mother, Clemence Collin. The Massons were about to retire from business with a comfortable fortune, when they lost practically everything within two weeks, in a panic, saving just enough to live decently. Shortly after this my mother married my father, a minor official in the Department of the Interior. My great uncle died of a broken heart some months before my birth on October 9, 1835. My father died of consumption on the thirty first of the following December, just a year to a day after his marriage.

Thus the two women were both left widows, poorly provided for, weighed down by sad memories, and with the care of a delicate child. In fact I was so delicate that the doctors held out little hope of my living, and on their advice I was left in the country with my nurse until I was two years old.

While my aunt had had a remarkable education, my mother had not been so widely taught. But she made up for any lack by the display of an imagination and an eager power of assimilation which bordered on the miraculous... Continue reading book >>




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