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Propaganda and Reception in Nineteenth-Century Music Criticism: Maurice Schlesinger, Henri Herz, and the Gazette musicale

Propaganda and Reception in Nineteenth-Century Music Criticism: Maurice Schlesinger, Henri Herz,... In the mid-1830s, Henri Herz (1803–88) was an internationally renowned pianist, but his reputation today, for the most part, is that of a second-rate musician who wrote trivial variations on opera themes. This enduring picture of Herz was painted first in France in 1834 by the Gazette musicale . The Gazette ’s campaign has been understood by modern scholars as a conspicuous moment in a broad aesthetic shift away from French salon music and toward high German Romanticism, and the Gazette has garnered praise for its prescience. But a closer examination of the Gazette ’s articles, the events surrounding the coverage such as a pistol duel and a libel case, contemporary correspondence, and Herz’s publishing record indicate that the Gazette ’s negative treatment of Herz was not an organic assessment of his output, but rather a revenge scheme orchestrated by the Gazette ’s owner and Herz’s former publisher, Maurice Schlesinger (1798–1871). As a case study, the Gazette ’s Herz campaign exposes the endemic corruption of the nineteenth-century press that has been portrayed as an unseemly rarity rather than a central component of historical criticism’s production. But taken more broadly, the Gazette ’s articles on Herz highlight limitations in the history of reception. This article turns to media studies to explore the problematic relationship between propaganda and reception and shows how the Gazette , and other nineteenth-century journals, are still manipulating our cognition. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png 19th-Century Music University of California Press

Propaganda and Reception in Nineteenth-Century Music Criticism: Maurice Schlesinger, Henri Herz, and the Gazette musicale

19th-Century Music , Volume 43 (1): 23 – Jul 1, 2019

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Publisher
University of California Press
Copyright
© 2019 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press’s Reprints and Permissions web page, https://www.ucpress.edu/journals/reprints-permissions.
ISSN
0148-2076
eISSN
1533-8606
DOI
10.1525/ncm.2019.43.1.38
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the mid-1830s, Henri Herz (1803–88) was an internationally renowned pianist, but his reputation today, for the most part, is that of a second-rate musician who wrote trivial variations on opera themes. This enduring picture of Herz was painted first in France in 1834 by the Gazette musicale . The Gazette ’s campaign has been understood by modern scholars as a conspicuous moment in a broad aesthetic shift away from French salon music and toward high German Romanticism, and the Gazette has garnered praise for its prescience. But a closer examination of the Gazette ’s articles, the events surrounding the coverage such as a pistol duel and a libel case, contemporary correspondence, and Herz’s publishing record indicate that the Gazette ’s negative treatment of Herz was not an organic assessment of his output, but rather a revenge scheme orchestrated by the Gazette ’s owner and Herz’s former publisher, Maurice Schlesinger (1798–1871). As a case study, the Gazette ’s Herz campaign exposes the endemic corruption of the nineteenth-century press that has been portrayed as an unseemly rarity rather than a central component of historical criticism’s production. But taken more broadly, the Gazette ’s articles on Herz highlight limitations in the history of reception. This article turns to media studies to explore the problematic relationship between propaganda and reception and shows how the Gazette , and other nineteenth-century journals, are still manipulating our cognition.

Journal

19th-Century MusicUniversity of California Press

Published: Jul 1, 2019

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