Revue internationale de musique

(Paris, 1898-1899)

Prepared by Doris Pyee
Online only (2016)

The bi-weekly journal, Revue Internationale de Musique [RVI], was published by Paul Dupont in Paris from 1 March 1898 until 15 February 1899. The journal consists of twenty-two issues which appeared on the first and the fifteenth of each month. Each issue comprises sixty-four pages; the page numbers of he twenty-two issues are continuous beginning with number 1. Some issues include a four to eight page musical supplement featuring newly-published contemporary works for piano, piano and voice or piano and another instrument. The excellent collaborators to RVI are among the leading European musicologists and music critics of the time: Henri de Curzon, Julien Tiersot, Albert Soubies, Emile Jaques Dalcroze and Léon Schésinger.

The journal presents a wide variety of articles, critical, theoretical, analytical or historical in nature. They either concentrate on trends such as the new Russian school, the music of Spanish composer Felipe Pedrell, or focus on a single composer such as Brahms or Handel’s dealing with the Royal Academy of Music in London. Some concentrate on a single work: Wagner and Die Meistersinger. Historical articles deal with the origins of Spanish music, sixteenth-century music, the Gregorian chant, a comprehensive study of violin makers featuring numerous photographs of Paganini’s Stradivarius instrument and a violin by Guarnerius. The writings of composers feature Wagner on the art of conducting and Schumann’s opinion of pianist-composers Chopin and Liszt. The careers and impacts of four directors at the Paris Académie Nationale de Musique are also among the many other noteworthy topics. In short, the articles cover a breadth of subjects giving an in-depth view of musical matters across several centuries. Moreover, articles are amply illustrated: portraits, facsimiles of scores, illustrations from production books about the staging of operas. Many pictures about important operatic events, photographed by Nadar, include the settings for Wagner’s Die Meistersinger and the bass Jean-François Delmas as Hans Sachs and soprano Lucienne Bréval as Eva at the Paris Opéra.

The articles are usually followed by a section entitled “Concerts” giving reviews of musical activities in Parisian concert halls among which were the Salle Pleyel, Salle Érard and the Théâtre du Châtelet featuring events of the Société Nationale, the Nouveaux Concerts and Concerts modernes. The section “Courrier des départements” [News from the provinces] gives reviews of major events in the main cities of France. Yet another section, the “Courrier de l’étranger” [Foreign mail] contains reviews by members of the international network of correspondents associated with the journal and covering concerts in Amsterdam, The Hague, London, Rome, Munich, Moscow, St. Petersburg and cities in Belgium and Switzerland.

The section “Chronique” gives current news about cultural or administrative events such as the relocation of the Parisian Théâtre Lyrique and the situation of lyrical composers in France; while “Bibliographie” provides reviews of noteworthy contemporary books or scores. Occasionally the “Revue des journaux musicaux étrangers” [Review of foreign musical journals] presents synopses of articles from periodicals published in other cities of Europe and the United States. The “Tableau du mouvement musical de la quinzaine” [Table of musical news of the fortnight] contains lists musical productions in major European cities.