Fauré wasn’t the only gifted composer of mélodies of his generation; Henri Duparc (1848 – 1933) is also (justly) famous for his talents as a song composer. Duparc, like his younger Austrian contemporary, Hugo Wolf, only produced a handful of music before – again like Wolf – he succumbed to a mental illness that forced […]

Mélodie Maker

The English language, famed for the expansiveness of its vocabulary, is rather surprisingly coy when it comes to the idea of song. Sure, you can have all sorts of songs, but you generally need some type of qualifier to tell your listeners or readers whether you’re referring to a pop song, art song, folk song […]

Pater seraphicus

It may seem a bit odd to have listened to and talked about the music of Henri Duparc and Vincent D’Indy before that of their teacher, César Franck. But Franck (as composer as distinct from performer) was a late developer who wrote most of his best known music during the last years of his life: Le […]


Paris café after the defeat at Sedan The second half of the 19th century marked one of the high points of French culture. The Symbolist poets (Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Nerval, Corbière…) and artists (Moreau, Redon, Fantin-Latour, Chavannes…) ; the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists (Monet, Morisot, Sisley, Pissaro, Cézanne, Renoir…) and a whole string of distinguished composers […]