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My Recollections   By: (1842-1912)

My Recollections by Jules Massenet

First Page:

MY RECOLLECTIONS

[Illustration: The Master, Jules Massenet]

MY RECOLLECTIONS

BY

JULES MASSENET (1842 1912)

THE AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION DONE AT THE

MASTER'S EXPRESS DESIRE

BY HIS FRIEND

H. VILLIERS BARNETT

Authorized Translator of

H. S. H. the Prince of Monaco's Autobiography: La Carrière d'un Navigateur

[Illustration]

BOSTON

SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY PUBLISHERS

Copyright, 1919,

By SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY (INCORPORATED)

TO

LUCY ARBELL

CONSUMMATE DRAMATIC ARTIST

AND

GREATEST CONTRALTO SINGER

OF OUR TIME

IN AFFECTIONATE ADMIRATION

I DEDICATE

THIS ENGLISH VERSION

OF HER

BELOVED MASTER'S BOOK

" Chère amie, gardez aussi sa réligion, et qu'elle vous conduise, ferme et courageuse, au milieu des cahots de la vie, jusq'au paradis des arts. "

FOREWORD

I have been often asked whether I put together the recollections of my life from notes jotted down from day to day. To tell the truth I did, and this is how I began the habit of doing so regularly.

My mother a model wife and mother, who taught me the difference between right and wrong said to me on my tenth birthday:

"Here is a diary." (It was one of those long shaped diaries which one found in those days at the little Bon Marché, not the immense enterprise we know now.) "And," she added, "every night before you go to bed, you must write down on the pages of this memento what you have seen, said, or done during the day. If you have said or done anything which you realize is wrong, you must confess it in writing in these pages. Perhaps it will make you hesitate to do wrong during the day."

How characteristic of an unusual woman, a woman of upright mind and honest heart this idea was! By placing the matter of conscience among the first of her son's duties, she made Conscience the very basis of her methods of teaching.

Once when I was alone, in search of some distraction I amused myself by foraging in the cupboards where I found some squares of chocolate. I broke off a square and munched it. I have said somewhere that I am greedy. I don't deny it. Here's another proof.

When evening came and I had to write the account of my day, I admit that I hesitated a moment about mentioning that delicious square of chocolate. But my conscience put to the test in this way conquered, and I bravely recorded my dereliction in the diary.

The thought that my mother would read about my misdeed made me rather shamefaced. She came in at that very moment and saw my confusion; but directly she knew the cause she clasped me in her arms and said:

"You have acted like an honest man and I forgive you. All the same that is no reason why you should ever again eat chocolate on the sly!"

Later on, when I munched other and better chocolate, I always obtained permission.

Thus it came about that from day to day I have always made notes of my recollections be they good or bad, gay or sad, happy or not, and kept them so that I might have them constantly in mind.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

FOREWORD vii

I MY ADMISSION TO THE CONSERVATOIRE 1

II YOUTHFUL YEARS 11

III THE GRAND PRIX DE ROME 20

IV THE VILLA MEDICI 29

V THE VILLA MEDICI (CONTINUED) 37

VI THE VILLA MEDICI (CONTINUED) 43

VII MY RETURN TO PARIS 53

VIII MY DEBUT AT THE THEATER 63

IX THE DAYS AFTER THE WAR 74

X JOY AND SORROW 82

XI MY DEBUT AT THE OPÉRA 93

XII THE THEATERS IN ITALY 103

XIII THE CONSERVATOIRE AND THE INSTITUTE 114

XIV A FIRST PERFORMANCE AT BRUSSELS 123

XV THE ABBÉ PREVOST AT THE OPÉRA COMIQUE 136

XVI FIVE COLLABORATORS 148

XVII A JOURNEY TO GERMANY 161

XVIII A STAR 173

XIX A NEW LIFE 186

XX MILAN LONDON BAYREUTH 199

XXI A VISIT TO VERDI FAREWELL TO AMBROISE THOMAS 208

XXII WORK! ALWAYS WORK! 217

XXIII IN THE MIDST OF THE MIDDLE AGES 231

XXIV FROM Chérubin TO Thérèse 242

XXV SPEAKING OF 1793 254

XXVI FROM Ariane TO Don Quichotte 267

XXVII A SOIRÉE 278

XXVIII DEAR EMOTIONS 288

XXIX THOUGHTS AFTER DEATH 302

ILLUSTRATIONS

The Master, Jules Massenet Frontispiece

sPAGE

Massenet at Égreville 44

One of the last portraits of Massenet 68

Mme... Continue reading book >>




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