Music Forum: Ancient, Revolutionary and Modern Music in Dialogue

Date(s) - 02/19/2016
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Rm. 3491 (Large Seminar Rm.), Graduate Center

Guest Speaker:

Barbara Kelly, Royal Northern College of Music.

About the Paper:
This paper focuses on Jane Bathori’s wartime concerts at the Théâtre du Vieux Colombier, Paris, when she responded to theatre director Jacques Copeau’s invitation to run the theatre between 1917 and 1919.  Her archives and existing concert programmes show the efforts she made to ensure that new music was heard in Paris, despite the bombardment.  She was a key figure in bringing together the music of Ravel, Debussy, Satie and Caplet’s generation with the early works of the youngest generation of Milhaud, Honegger and Poulenc.  Yet, she was not only intent on performing new music.  Her programmes indicate her commitment to early French, Italian and English music and her promotion of music from the French Revolution.  Her letters reveal the particular importance she attached to her production of Adam de la Halle’s Le Jeu de Robin et Marion in Julien Tiersot and Emile Blémont’s adaptation.  Katharine Ellis has considered the symbolic importance of the first performance of this adaptation in Arras in 1896.  Regarded as both folk opera and the source of opera-comique, the patriotic potential of a war-time performance is clear.  The paper explores the musical and cultural implications of the Bathori’s war-time efforts, in particular, the significance of putting ancient, revolutionary, propaganda and contemporary music in active dialogue.


Barbara L. Kelly is Professor of Musicology and Director of Research at the Royal Northern College of Music.  She has published articles and chapters on Debussy, Ravel, Milhaud, Satie, Poulenc and Honegger.  She is author of Tradition and Style in the Works of Darius Milhaud (1912-1939) (Ashgate, 2003) and Music and Ultra-Modernism in France: A Fragile Consensus, 1913-1939 (Boydell, 2013) and contributing editor of Berlioz and Debussy: Sources, Contexts and Legacies (Ashgate 2007 with Murphy) and French Music, Culture, and National Identity (Rochester, 2008).  She is editing a volume entitled Authority, Advocacy, Legacy: Music Criticism in France (1918-1939)with Christopher Moore (University of Ottawa).  She is currently working on avant garde concert series in Paris don during and after WWI.  She is directing an AHRC-funded archival project called ‘Making Music in Manchester during WW1.  She is Visiting Professor at Keele University and Professeur invité at the Université de Paris, Sorbonne (2016).



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