« Caro ed illustre Maestro » : un lot de lettres adressées à Jules Massenet, conservé à la Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris

Abstract : On 8 December 1938, items from the archives of Jules Massenet, consisting of photographs and some important correspondence received by the composer or his wife, were sold by auction in Paris. Those letters that were considered to be the most valuable were sold separately, while the others were gathered into fifteen auction lots of 150 items each. While some of these are now held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France or at the Beinecke Library, most were dispersed, or deposited in places where they remain unknown. An example is a packet, just rediscovered at the Bibliothèque historique of the city of Paris, that was acquired, and then bequeathed, by Lucy Arbell, the composer’s last muse. This packet provides new information on the composer’s life, works and relationships, thanks in particular to unpublished letters from Bizet, Puccini, or Verlaine. It also testifies to the composer’s particular concern over his correspondence, which he sometimes carefully annotated or cited in the memoirs (Mes souvenirs) that he wrote at the end of his life; several letters in the pack show evidence of this. The packet also contains material relating to personalities documents or autographs that Massenet seems to have particularly and preciously collected together. Thus, while this new collection confirms Massenet’s important place in the social and cultural fabric of the Third Republic, it also bears witness to an author who wished to leave hismark as part of a cultural tradition, and to leave behind information that would be useful in constructing the image that he wished to hand down to posterity.
Mots-clés : Massenet
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas

https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-01918255
Contributor : Jean-Christophe Branger <>
Submitted on : Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 1:53:11 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 4:31:23 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01918255, version 1

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Jean-Christophe Branger. « Caro ed illustre Maestro » : un lot de lettres adressées à Jules Massenet, conservé à la Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris. Fontes Artis Musicae, A-r Editions, 2018, 65 (3), pp.125-145. ⟨https://www.iaml.info/fontes-contents-2018-vol-65⟩. ⟨hal-01918255⟩

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